SunPower Company History
SunPower was founded in April 1985 by Dr Richard Swanson, a Stanford electrical engineering professor, and is now the world’s largest residential and commercial solar panel company based in San Jose, California. The most efficient panel on the Australian market is SunPower’s Maxeon 3. It uses 31% more efficient cells than most other top-performing solar panels on the market.
Following a $300m investment by Tinajin Zhonghuan Seminconductor Co. (TZS), SunPower will be split into SunPower and Maxeon Solar in 2020. The Maxeon Group is now the company that produces solar panels, although the brand name has remained the same. Maxeon Solar has production facilities in France, Malaysia, Mexico, China, and the Philippines. It is expected that the disassembly of TZS’ low-cost manufacturing processes across Asia will result in a lowering of Sunpower’s panel costs.
The SunPower solar panels are only available through approved installers rather than wholesalers or distributors. SunPower does, however, have an Australian office located at Suite 207/28 Riddell Parade, Elsternwick VIC 3185. Their office can be reached via phone on 1800 786 769.
Are SunPower a Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Manufacturer?
Yes, SunPower currently hold a Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar rating. What does this mean? The notorious solar quality ranking from Bloomberg is NOT a measure of Solar Panel quality in any way. It is merely a sign of the solar technology manufacturer’s financial viability based on publicly available data relating to the company’s financial health. This should give you some idea of whether the solar systems maker is a well-known, reputable firm.
PV Evolution Labs Top Performer
SunPower panels are listed in the PV Evolution Labs Top Performers for five of the six tests in the most recent study. The SunPower E-Series was awarded Tier 1 for all five. The only other manufacturer to score top marks for every test was LG, with the LG NeON R and Hanwha Q CELLS coming in at Tier 1 on four of five tests.
SunPower HMIs have been tested and found to perform well in ‘hot and humid climates’ which obviously goes well with our Australian weather.
SunPower Solar Panels Cost
The below prices are a rough indication only. They include components needed to ensure you have a fully functioning system, including installation costs, the Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) rebate and of course GST.
A 6kW system will usually cost around $8 000 whereas an 8kW system can usually be spec’d up for around $10 000 with a 10kW system coming in around $13 000.
What makes SunPower Panels so good?
SunPower Maxeon solar panels are the most efficient in the industry for more than 10 years, generating more power from the same roof over time than conventional panels. They are capable of delivering up to 35% more energy from the same space when compared to conventional solar panels.
SunPower Maxeon solar panels, in actual field testing over 8 years and 800,000 panels at 264 sites, demonstrated the industry’s* best durability and almost 4x higher dependability than competing modules.
[* Jordan, et al, “Robust PV Degradation Methodology Application” PVSC 2018 and “Compendium of Photovoltaic Degradation Rates” PiP 2016]
Low Return Rate
The panels are comprised of Maxeon technology, which is said to have a lifespan of 40 years and a failure rate of less than 0.005 percent after over 15 million panels. This backs up their industry-leading product guarantee, which runs for 25 years. In essence, faulty panels are rare when choosing Sunpower’s panels.
Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) Technology
The SunPower Maxeon Series features interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cells. Instead of utilising front contact energy conversion, IBC technology employs back contact energy conversion. Because of this absence of grid lines, the cells can absorb more light. Because of their tin-copper metal system, these panels have a longer life span than the aluminium systems found in other solar brands. Triple-redundant connectors link the cells together, which is helpful in keeping track of changes in temperature.
Solar panels degrade at an average of 2.5% each year in the first year and 0.7% each subsequent year, according to a study conducted by Harvard University scientists. This indicates that a typical 25-year solar panel performance warranty will cover about 80% to 82% of their nominal rating after 25 years. The Maxeon solar technologies are guaranteed to decrease at a maximum of 0.25% each year, providing an industry leading product warranty of 25-year warranty at 92 percent. Although the difference may be minute in the early years, the cumulative savings will mount over time. If consistent power output is important for you, SunPower are definitely worth a look.
Another technological innovation and a fourth-generation cell technology are included in the SunPower Performance series panels. Solar shingles technology employs narrow cells that are stacked vertically or horizontally, resulting in improved performance in areas that suffer from shade. One of the benefits of these cells is that tend is crack much less especially when compared to the full-size conventional cells of other manufacturers. A total of 96 solar cells are packed into each panel, which is produced by SunPower’s latest generation of cells. Other suppliers often produce 60-cell panels.
Suitable as residential panels or for commercial use
SunPower solar has a vast assortment of both residential and commercial panels, thanks to the introduction of the P-series. The Maxeon series has taken the place of the SunPower X- and E-series as SunPower’s top solar modules. With its low price and cutting-edge shingle cell technology, the P-series is well positioned on the market.
When the temperature rises above 25°C, the panel’s electricity generation begins to decrease by a certain percentage. You should search for solar panels with the least temperature coefficient if your system is in a region that frequently experiences high temperatures. In this category, SunPower panels currently have an outstanding reputation: the SunPower X21 345 panel has a temperature coefficient of -0.3% per degree Celsius. If you are looking for the best panel with the best warranty for residential solar energy, strongly consider SunPower.
SunPower solar has a sustainability policy in place to promote as sustainable as its energy output, striving to set the bar for solar providers in Australia and across the world. The company recently made another stride toward achieving this objective by becoming the first solar module manufacturer in the world to be Cradle to Cradle certified. This is a method of evaluating a company’s dedication to sustainability and contributions toward a circular economy by minimizing waste, using non-hazardous chemicals, and reusing materials in an ethical manner.