Top Solar Panels of 2018 & 2019 | Solar.com

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Top Solar Panels of 2018 & 2019

Top Solar Panels 2019 & 2018: An Overview

As we’re wrapping up the year here at Pick My Solar, we’ve been reflecting on the last two years in the solar industry. Solar is one of the fastest-growing industries in America and globally, and that means a lot of changes happening very quickly. To help make sense of some of these changes, we took a deep dive into our last two years of data to try and pull out some insights. Specifically, we wanted to visualize the way that solar panel manufacturers have grown and competed in the last two years on our marketplace, and see how they stack up against one another over time. To accomplish this, we turned our raw data into a “bar chart race” that compares the relative growth of the solar manufacturers that work with Pick My Solar, over the last two years. The video shows a “running quarter” total for each month from 2018 to 2020, and allows you to see the top solar panels’ ups and downs, who stayed on top, and who we’ve seen the most impressive growth from. The results surprised and excited us, and provide some interesting insights into the future of the solar market.

The Rise of Solaria

Throughout the two years represented in the video, you’ll see many of the top global solar manufacturers battle it out for supremacy and unseat one another repeatedly. This speaks to the amount of competition and innovation in the market, and highlights the large number of variables that influence who the top solar panels are at any given point in time. Looking at the entire two-year time period as a whole, it could be generally summarized as a fight among Hanwha Q Cells, LG, Sunpower, and Panasonic (with Silfab making an appearance or two). This is pretty much expected, as all of these companies are big brands in tech, and they each produce high-quality solar panels. Competition is stiff at the higher end of the solar panel market, which is why it’s so surprising (and encouraging) to see U.S. based panel manufacturer Solaria shoot up in popularity so dramatically at the end of the video. In just a year of being sold on the Pick My Solar Marketplace, Solaria managed to soar to the top of the charts, second only to LG at the time of this writing in December 2019. The timescale that our data is based on in this case, a rolling three-month total, indicates massive growth for Solaria compared to other manufacturers in a relatively small amount of time (within a year). This is encouraging for a number of reasons, but primarily because competition in the industry means lower prices for consumers and better technology quicker. The fact that we saw such outstanding growth from a newcomer to the market reveals that the solar industry is still in its early stages, and that we can most likely expect plenty of change, innovation, and competition in the coming years. In other words, solar is just getting started!

The Other Top Manufacturers

We’ve spent a good amount of time talking about Solaria, but what about the other major players? LG, Sunpower, Hanwha and Panasonic each performed considerably well in 2018 and 2019, and each is already a well-established technology brand with plenty of brand recognition and past successful products to point to. Each of these players has different strengths and weaknesses including warranties, parent companies, tech specifications, certified dealers, supply chain, efficiency and more. If you watched the video, you saw that there is no one single player who is consistently on top of the market. What this means for consumers is that there really isn’t a one-size-fits all, true “best solar panel”. Even the video that we made, while it does provide some valuable insight into the relative growth of these companies, only looks at one dimension of the competition between panel manufacturers.

Conclusion: Top Solar Panel of 2019 & 2018

The answer, while mildly anticlimactic, shouldn’t surprise you if you watched the video: The top solar panel is subjective, and depends on your individual situation and what you’re looking for out of going solar. However, you can rest assured that no matter which of the top solar panels you go with, you’re backed by massive, reputable brands and plenty of competition among them to keep your options fresh and enticing. Here’s some information to help you compare and decide what YOUR top solar panel is:

Manufacturer
Strengths
LG
  • Best smart home integration strategy/compatibility
  • Warranties backed by LG Electronics
  • Highest brand recognition along with Panasonic
  • >90% efficiency guaranteed by year 25
  • 25 year labor warranty
SunPower
  • Best efficiency ratings and most advanced technology
  • All-in-one manufacturer: SunPower makes every part of the system from the panels to the racking
  • Premium top tier panel, although that means a premium price
  • >90% efficiency guaranteed by year 25
  • 25 year labor warranty
Hanwha Q Cells
  • Best value: High efficiency for the price point
  • Low degradation ratings
  • Not quite top tier, but significantly more affordable than other premium panels
Panasonic
  • Certified Panasonic “master dealers” backing their solar work for 25 years on top of Panasonic’s warranties
  • Very low degradation ratings
  • Highest brand recognition along with LG
  • Top tier panels
  • >90% efficiency guaranteed by year 25
Solaria
  • Best panel aesthetics in the industry
  • Competitive pricing
  • Inching toward the top tier with LG, Sunpower, Panasonic

Pick My Solar is dedicated to providing a space for competition in the solar market, because when manufacturers and installers compete, consumers win. To take advantage of this competition and compare solar bids, schedule a call with one of our energy advisors today.

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