Solar energy is the imminent solution to many energy quandaries. As one of the world’s dominant producers of consumer electronics, Panasonic has sought to devise solar panels that employ the best in present technology while keeping one eye on the future. Panasonic has been doing key research into solar for more than 40 years. They are the pioneers of the innovative heterojunction solar cell.
It is Panasonic’s vigor and standing as a company that prompts us to rate their solar panels. Though these panels may be slightly less productive than market leader Sunpower, Panasonic offers a robust solar panel lineup and remarkable technical specifications. Let’s see how Panasonic solar panels compare to other solar manufacturers on the market today.
How do Panasonic Solar Panels Compare To Others?
For the function of our review, we’re going to look at five primary metrics that one should assess when scrutinizing solar panel quality.
- Power output
While reviewing the Panasonic solar panels against other leaders in the Solar Industry, we considered how each Panasonic solar panel suits these five metrics. We also looked at how they can help you as a homeowner on your quest to find the best solar panels. Let’s see how Panasonic solar panels hold against the competition.
The best solar panels are productive solar panels that work as proposed. Solar panel efficiency above all else hints to just how well a sole solar panel can secure sunlight and modify it into electricity. In the identical conditions, a high-efficiency panel can manufacture more electricity than a low-efficiency solar panel of the same size. This is why a higher efficiency rating on your solar panels leads to better output. How do the Panasonic solar panels work in terms of efficiency?
In our review tests, we found that the overall efficiency of Panasonic solar panels will depend on the model you choose for your system. Generally speaking, Panasonic panel efficiency ranges anywhere from 19.1% to 20.3%. Similar panels fall in the 14% to 18% range. Let’s break it down by model:
- Panasonic 330N HIT Series. Overall efficiency of 19.7% for a higher power output and efficient energy yields.
- Panasonic N325 Photovoltaic Module. Overall efficiency of around 19.1%.
- Panasonic N330 Photovoltaic Module. 19.7% efficiency provides greater output with fewer panels necessary.
2. Power Output
A solar panel is only as exceptional as its comprehensive power output. Currently, every solar panel is rated at a precise wattage established by their overall power yield at standard test conditions. This customarily requires around 1000 watts of irradiation per square meter at a blanket climate of 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consequently, most real-world conditions do not fit neatly into such a precise little box. For the most part, solar cells will have to operate well above 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and power output will generally fall as temperatures exceed this temperature.
The overall rate at which power output falls for each uptick in 1 degree is called the solar temperature coefficient. The best solar panels will have a lower temperature coefficient, even though its production will still fall as temperatures increase. However, the result will fall at a much lower rate. Do Panasonic solar panels fall under the category of “best solar panels?”
Well, to decide, we utilized the rating system of PTC, which is an attempt by the National Renewable Energy Laboratories to rate how different panels react in real-world conditions. Let’s look at the power output of each of the Panasonic solar panel models.
Panasonic N330 Photovoltaic Module
The Panasonic N330 solar panels offer a -0.29% fall in production per 1-degree increase in temperature. The lower this number, the better, as this means output falls less as temperatures soar. The Panasonic coefficient is equal to better panel brands, though not quite as good as the temperature coefficient from the Sunpower X series of panels.
Panasonic N325 Photovoltaic HIT Module
The Panasonic Photovoltaic HIT panels offer a very low-temperature coefficient of -0.258%, which generates a remarkable electricity output even on sweltering days. This number does exceed many Sunpower panels.
Panasonic 330N HIT Series
The Panasonic 330N HIT Series offers a temperature coefficient rating -0.258%, which stands as one of the lowest in the world. It helps to generate greater electricity output even on scorching days or in consistently warm climates.
Overall, the power output on the Panasonic solar panels lineup is well above average and ranks as high/better than Sunpower in terms of temperature coefficient and overall energy output in hot conditions.
3. Performance (Panasonic HIT Panels and Photovoltaic models)
As mentioned above, the performance of solar panels has everything to do with power output. Generally, this relates to a panel’s overall temperature coefficient. In terms of the Panasonic Solar Panel lineup, the Panasonic HIT panels, tend to offer a better temperature coefficient for enhanced performance. The HIT technology is what gives their solar panel efficiency and a low-temperature coefficient, each of which results in higher electricity yield.
Traditional solar panels depend on a simple sheet of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon. The ingenious HIT panels use a mix of monocrystalline and a thin amorphous silicon to trim power debt while increasing energy yield. The face of the Panasonic panels boasts an exclusive pyramid structure that completely lowers reflection and leads more sunlight into the solar cells. This maximizes electrical output. You will always garner a 90.76% minimum power output even after 25 years of use.
Keep in mind; every solar panel offered in the Panasonic lineup utilizes the mix of monocrystalline and ultra-thin amorphous silicon, which the brand has dubbed Heterojunction technology. Additionally, every model includes a water damage frame design that effectively prevents unnecessary rain accumulation and eliminates water stains from the panel surface, which can help with the overall absorption of sunlight.
Anyone looking into solar panels should ensure that the model they choose offers a solid warranty should something go wrong. Currently, Panasonic provides a very generous 15-year structural warranty that is referred to as their product guarantee. The industry standard in solar is only around ten years. Unlike similar solar companies, Panasonic does limit the warranty to mechanical and physical defects.
Panasonic also guarantees a 90.76% output rating for panels at standard test conditions for at least the first 25 years. After that, one can expect at least 80% of rated power. While this is a solid guarantee, it is not quite as good at the output warranty offered by brands such as Sunpower and LG.
However, in practice, this is unlikely to make any true difference because solar panel warranties only really require that the panel be tested at standard test conditions. Your Panasonic solar panels will go through many variables in temperature.
5. Overall Cost
Finally, in our review, we wanted to keep costs in mind. After all, for many homeowners, the final decision in choosing a solar panel is cost. The outright premium you’re going to pay for a solar energy system with Panasonic panels will differ tremendously depending on the equipment used during the installation process. The overall attributes of your roof can also come into play.
However, most Panasonic systems are priced between $2.64 and $3.34 per watt, which is a balanced price for solar. For a moderate 6 kW system, your overall aggregate cost (before you deduct incentives and tax credits) would be between $15,840 and $20,040 for Panasonic solar panels. Still, it is worth mentioning that the Panasonic panels are very competitively priced.
Panasonic solar panels may not be quite as efficient as SunPower solar panels. Still, they do offer cost-effective and high-efficiency products that will do as they are designed to do and curb your energy costs. With an industry-leading warranty of 25 years, they are worth checking out and adding to your shortlist.