SunPower is one of the leading companies in the U.S. solar industry, with a history dating back more than 50 years ago. Photovoltaic (PV) products manufactured by SunPower are a byproduct of intense research, outstanding craftsmanship, and high-quality manufacturing processes that result in SunPower's high-efficiency solar panels that can retain around 92% of their DC power generation capacity in 25 years.
Products manufactured by SunPower have a great performance, highly aesthetic designs, and long warranties extending up to 40 years in some cases. If you are looking to learn more about SunPower, how the company works, its technology, available products, and other interesting information about it, then this is the right article is for you.
SunPower overview: History, subsidiaries, and technology
The history of SunPower started in 1970, when Dr. Richard Swanson, the co-founder of the company, chose solar energy to deal with the oil crisis in the country. The company was finally created in 1985, as a result of two grants awarded by the Electric Power Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Throughout its history, SunPower has heavily focused on research and adapting cutting-edge solar technology available in the industry, to create its outstanding products. As a result, SunPower has created world-record solar cells used in all types of applications like residential, commercial, utility-scale, and even special projects created by NASA.
SunPower does not only provide high-quality PV products, but a complete range of energy solutions including generation, monitoring, control, and storage. The company is currently positioned as one of the leading solar companies in the U.S. solar industry.
Understanding more about SunPower, how they work, and its technology will provide you with greater insight into the reach of the company and how its products might suit your needs.
SunPower or Maxeon Solar: Who is who?
SunPower was created as a U.S. solely based company, focusing on selling PV solutions only to the U.S., but this did not limit its reach. In 2020, Maxeon was created as a spin-off company of SunPower, allowing it to sell PV solutions to customers all over the world, by dealing with SunPower-branded products on an international scale, delivering solar energy solutions to Asia, Europe, and more than 100 countries all over the globe.
Maxeon currently holds more than 1,000 solar patents and has achieved revenue surpassing $700 million by selling high-quality PV products all over the world. This company has partnered with over 1,400 solar sales and installers to extend its reach within different countries, granting homeowners across the globe the possibility to enjoy high-quality PV solutions with fully integrated solar energy systems.
SunPower high-efficiency solar panels are manufactured using some of the best monocrystalline silicon modules in the market. The company integrates this high-quality material with highly-developed solar cell structural designs like IBC solar cell technology and shingled technology to create their high-quality products.
IBC Solar Cell Technology
Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cell technology is one of the most advanced and cutting-edge manufacturing technologies available for SunPower solar cells. The technology places solar energy conversion at the back of the cell, also relocating the electrodes at the rear side of it.
Since IBC SunPower solar cells have relocated the frontal electrodes at the back, they feature a larger useful area for photons to impact, which results in the SunPower high-efficiency solar panels. IBC SunPower solar cells are up to 20% more efficient than Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact (PERC) solar panels.
With this technology, SunPower has been able to create highly aesthetic solar panels with no visible contacts at the front, commonly known as the SunPower All Black solar panels. Installing these modules at homes or any other locations, will not disrupt the superiorly aesthetic aspect of the place while providing the capacity to generate solar power.
Shingled technology is one of the latest manufacturing methods for creating solar modules. By combining it with mono-PERC technology, SunPower has created the Maxeon Performance modules that can reach up to 625W in solar power generation with a single module, featuring a 21.2% conversion efficiency.
SunPower Performance modules manufactured with shingled technology, are robust solar panels featuring resistance to thermal stress, humidity, and Potential Induced Degradation (PID). The circuitry design can also mitigate hotspots while increasing energy production under unfavorable conditions.
Aside from increasing conversion efficiency by reducing whitespace between SunPower solar cells, Shingled technology increases flexibility for the modules, making them more durable and resistant.
Are SunPower solar panels the right option for you?
SunPower PV modules feature cutting-edge technology, outstanding performance, and superior aesthetics, making them ideal for practically any application, but especially for residential.
SunPower solar panel price tends to have a slightly higher cost than traditional low- and mid-efficiency solar panels, but the high conversion efficiency, great durability, low power degradation, and long warranty, provide benefits surpassing the price difference between modules.
SunPower has tailored-designed solar panels and other PV solutions, suited for residential, commercial, and utility-scale applications. SunPower products are the preferred option picked by many investors, project developers, electric utilities, homeowners, government entities, and retail businesses.
If you are looking for extremely high-performance modules designed for the most demanding applications and featuring highly aesthetic designs, then SunPower panels are the right fit for you.
SunPower has a wide variety of PV solutions featuring different efficiencies, price range, estimate size, power rate, and other technical and visual variations. In this section, we will introduce each product series manufactured by SunPower.
The M series solar panels by SunPower, feature Maxeon Gen 6 patented solar cells that can deliver a great performance with module options ranging from 420W to 440W. M series modules are compatible with the SunPower Equinox Solar System and the mySunPower Monitoring system, featuring an AC microinverter that directly converts DC to AC at the output of the module.
Coupled with powerful microinverters, A Series SunPower solar panels are among the first residential modules to have achieved a solar power generation capacity of 415W. A Series SunPower panels include high power output options going from 400W to 420W for SunPower residential solar panels, and 430W to 450W for SunPower commercial solar panels.
Featuring a maximum conversion efficiency of 22.5% for the A series, these modules are among the best AC coupled solar panels, falling second only to the M series modules.
The X Series SunPower PV modules are an outstanding show of durability, performance, and low degradation over time. These modules are designed to achieve a conversion efficiency superior to the 22.0%, delivering more power and higher savings while requiring fewer modules installed on the roof.
Featuring a power output of 360W for SunPower residential solar panels and 470W for the SunPower commercial solar panels, X Series SunPower solar panels are built over a solid metallic foundation, making them almost invulnerable to the corrosion and cracking of regular modules. These modules produce 60% more energy than conventional modules featuring the same size and they are covered by a 25-year warranty.
Customers who want to get affordable solar panels manufactured by SunPower will find the E Series to be the right fit for them. Power output for E Series modules includes options going from 320W to 327W for the SunPower residential solar panels, and one option of 435W for the SunPower commercial solar panels. E Series modules can achieve a maximum conversion efficiency of 20.4%, making them a great investment opportunity.
E Series PV modules by SunPower feature a low power degradation over time and feature a 25-year warranty. Conventional modules retain 80% of their capacity after 10 years, while E Series SunPower panels retain a little less than 90% of their capacity at 25 years of operation.
U Series - Equinox
The U Series SunPower solar panels are the latest product from Sunpower. While little is known about these interesting new additions to the portfolio of PV modules manufactured by SunPower, they are revealed as the new addition to the SunPower Equinox System.
The SunPower Equinox System is the best PV solution for homeowners and businesses who want to have complete control over their solar PV system with energy storage addition. This PV system seamlessly integrates AC SunPower high-efficiency solar panels featuring cutting-edge technology and superior aesthetics with invisible mounting, integrating the system with the EnergyLink Hardware and the EnergyLink software.
SunPower vs. Other companies: Strengths & ideal applications
Over its more than 50 years of history, SunPower has delivered excellent results in the U.S. solar industry, positioning itself as one of the leading solar PV manufacturing companies in the country. SunPower is regularly compared to other world-leading solar companies like LG Solar, Jinko Solar, Canadian Solar, Q-Cell Solar, REC Solar, and other outstanding solar manufacturers in the industry.
While SunPower has a premium price on its products, the high durability, higher efficiency, great performance, long-term warranty and low power degradation of their modules, make the investment in SunPower solar panel price totally worth it. Moreover, while other brands compete with each other to provide the manufacture of the highest efficiency solar panels, SunPower has remained in the first position with the highest efficiency solar panels for several years.
While in 2022 SunPower high-efficiency solar panels run at 22.6% efficiency, every year we get new innovations from this company that push that efficiency boundary a little higher and SunPower has managed to do that always on top of competition.
Due to all these reasons, SunPower PV modules are probably the top-quality choice for homeowners who want to install robust solar panels with great performance and superior aesthetics.