Best solar panels in 2023

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SunPower and Sunlux
solar panels on the roof of a house

A home solar system is a significant investment, so it's important to find products that fit your needs. The best home solar panels should have a high efficiency rating and comprehensive warranty coverage — to help you get started, we’ve compared some of the best solar panel companies on these factors. We also considered provider availability. Our picks:

Best solar panels on the market

At the time of publishing, all our top picks have an efficiency rating of at least 20.6% and a power production warranty of at least 25 years.

Maxeon (SunPower)
  • Model: Signature Black X-Series
  • Efficiency: 22.8%
  • Offered by: SunPower
  • Warranty/guarantees: 25-year product and performance warranty

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SunPower designs and manufactures residential, flexible, portable and commercial panels with Maxeon solar cell technology. The Maxeon Signature Black X-Series panels come with anti-reflective black roof panels constructed on a durable copper foundation. You can pay for Maxeon solar panels with a lease, a solar loan or an outright cash purchase.

SunPower can help you tackle (and pay fees for) permitting paperwork and tax incentive applications, and it can assist with solar testing, monitoring and maintenance. SunPower also has an app that lets you track your efficiency in real time from your phone.
Many happy SunPower reviewers on our site mention not only the look of the Maxeon solar panels, but also the helpful staff and service — like a reviewer from New Jersey, who said, “SunPower designers were able to balance out which [panels] would fit better, give the most power, while being the most visibly unobtrusive. And we were able to find the perfect one to fit our house. The installation company did a magnificent job.” They continued: “The panels look beautiful. They are not obtrusive and they don't stick out at the house. The installation team was flexible, friendly and customer-focused.”

  • Model: EverBolt Black Series Module
  • Efficiency: 21.2%
  • Offered by: Sunlux, Solar Optimum
  • Warranty: Complete 25-year warranty

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Panasonic EverBolt Black Series Module solar panels are available with wattages of 350, 360 and 370 (most panels manufactured today are between about 270 and 460 watts). These panels are made of one crystalline layer sandwiched between two thin-film panels, which allows for more light to filter from the top surface through the absorbent middle and to the lower surface.

EverBolt series panel performance, power, parts and labor are all warrantied for 25 years, and Panasonic guarantees an output of at least 92% after that time. The panels can also operate in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
As of publishing, there are no reviews for Panasonic solar panels on our site.

LONGi Solar
  • Model: Hi-MO4m
  • Efficiency: 21.2%
  • Offered by: Complete Solar
  • Warranty/guarantees: 12-year product and 25-year power warranty

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LONGi Solar Hi-MO4 panels are available in three different sizes, which means an installer can arrange them in a way that makes the most sense for your roof. The Hi-MO4 panels have a module power wattage of 460, and they’re ideal for residential, commercial and industrial use.

LONGi provides flexible panel options for rooftop installations, which can result in both cost savings and higher efficiency (and therefore energy output). The Hi-MO4m panels are also designed to withstand a wide range of weather conditions, including hail up to 25 mm.
As of publishing, there are no reviews for LONGi solar panels on our site.

Q Cells
  • Model: Q.Peak Duo BLK ML-G10+
  • Efficiency: 20.6%
  • Offered by: Sunlux, Palmetto Solar
  • Warranty/guarantees: 25-year product and performance warranty

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Q Cells’ Q.Peak Duo BLK ML-G10+ solar panels are guaranteed for 86% of their original power output after 25 years. These 400-watt panels are designed to withstand all kinds of weather and to produce high power yields regardless of temperature or low levels of light.

The Q.Peak Duo BLK’s aluminum alloy frame is certified to withstand significant pressure from both intense snow and wind. In the event of snow, these panels can handle up to 5,400 Pascal (about 113 pounds of pressure per square foot); they can tolerate up to 4,000 Pascal (about 84 pounds per square foot) of resistance from the wind.
As of publishing, there are no reviews for Q Cells solar panels on our site.

Where to get the best solar panels this year

With the exception of SunPower, the brands above are manufacturers that partner with solar energy providers. If you’re interested in building a home solar system with Panasonic’s panels, you might consider working with Sunlux or Solar Optimum. Complete Solar works with LONGi, and Sunlux and Palmetto Solar offer Q Cells panels.

» READ MORE: Most efficient solar panels

Compare solar companies side by side

Compare our top picks for solar panel companies. Read reviews to learn more about each company from verified customers.

SunPowerSunPowerSunluxSunluxComplete SolariaComplete SolariaSolar OptimumSolar OptimumPalmetto SolarPalmetto Solar
Warranty 25 years (system) 25 years (product and performance) 25-year warranty 6-point, 25-year Warranties 25 years (product and performance)
Financing options Cash, lease, loan Cash, lease, prepay or loan Cash, lease, loan Cash, lease, loan, PPA Cash, lease, loan or PPA
Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews

How to choose solar panels

Look for panels from solar energy companies with high efficiency ratings that offer comprehensive warranties on product and workmanship. High-efficiency panels let you produce the most power with limited space, and warranties reduce maintenance costs if you have problems with the system later on.

"When determining what type of solar panel to purchase for your home, consider cost, quality, efficiency, durability and size. You should also ensure your roof is not nearing the end of its life or in need of repairs. Solar panel installation should only be done on roofs in good condition," according to Andrew Meyer, CEO of Arbor, a digital energy advisor.

"Monocrystalline solar panels will produce the most efficiency, while polycrystalline solar panels are the most environmentally friendly. If you’re on a budget, you could also consider thin-film, but keep in mind they won’t last as long as the other two types. In terms of efficiency, aim for 15 to 20%. Brands such as SunPower, Panasonic, Silfab, Q Cells, and REC are all good options."

The type of solar panel that’s best for your home will depend mostly on your available roof space. Since polycrystalline solar panels are generally less efficient, those with limited roof space may have to go with the more expensive monocrystalline panels.

The number of panels you need depends on the efficiency of the panel and the amount of electricity your home requires. The energy a solar power system can produce varies by location and available sunlight. According to, cost per watt and estimated cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) are the most useful metrics for comparing panels.

As you compare your options, pay attention to different panels' power ratings and temperature coefficients. In addition to solar panel costs, you should also budget for additional equipment, such as inverters, storage batteries and charge controllers.

Solar panel manufacturers are separated into different tiers. Tier 1 status is typically reserved for the largest manufacturers with automated protection and some degree of vertical integration. Small- to medium-scale manufacturers fall into tiers 2 or 3. Tier 1 solar panels are typically more expensive, but not necessarily better in quality.

Remember that the quality of the inverter and battery can affect the quality of your overall solar power system. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and EnergySage devised a criteria for judging solar equipment based on performance, durability, warranty and other factors. The rating system has five classifications, from poor to excellent.

The efficiency rating simply describes how well a solar panel turns sunlight into usable electricity. These days, most solar panels have an efficiency rating between 15% and 21%. This means that, under ideal conditions, 15% to 21% of sun waves that hit the panels will be converted into usable electricity.

With monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels, the purity of the crystalline silicon determines efficiency. Outside of power ratings and degradation rates, a variety of external factors affect the performance of a solar panel, such as shade, temperature and orientation.

Some panels include automatic tracking systems and will reposition themselves for maximum performance based on the sun's position. If your system is a nontracking system, plan to adjust your panels twice a year — in the summer, put your system at a lower angle to catch more sunlight. In the winter, angle your system higher.

Once you have an idea of your energy needs and the type of solar panel you want, it’s a good idea to get at least three to five quotes. Comparing multiple quotes helps ensure you get the best deal on your system.

As you compare cost estimates, you should also pay attention to the companies’ histories. Some people feel more comfortable working with a company that’s been around for a while. If you buy solar panels from a less established company, it’s even more important to read reviews and verify that it's UL-listed.

No matter which company you choose, make sure it provides a warranty and performance guarantee. Solar panels degrade after constant exposure to the elements. Your manufacturer should be able to guarantee its equipment can withstand the conditions in your area.

Depending on where you get your new panels, the company may offer installation services as part of a package deal. Otherwise, you can hire a local solar installer or certified contractors to complete the project. Read our solar energy guide to find companies in your area.
It’s a good idea to hire a good electrical engineer to review the proposed installation. Their supervision will ensure the installation is smooth, free of unwanted surprises and able to meet your electricity needs.

What are the different types of solar panels?

The main types of solar panels are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film (which are different from flexible solar panels) and concentrated photovoltaic (PV). With all factors being equal — location, available space (roof or another dedicated area), shading, climate and natural degradation of the panels — monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are typically the best choice for residential energy needs.

Thin-film panels are best for commercial buildings or satellites, and concentrated photovoltaic cell panels are used only on satellites and in research labs.

  • Monocrystalline solar panels: The most efficient residential solar panels on the market are easily recognized by their uniform dark color and rounded edges. They produce the highest power outputs and require the least amount of space compared with other panels (most have an efficiency rating of around 15% to 20%). They have the longest life span of any panel on the market. Most companies provide warranties of around 25 years on them. Monocrystalline silicon solar panels are made from melted pure silicon formed into bars and cut into wafers.
  • Polycrystalline solar panels: Sometimes referred to as multicrystalline, polycrystalline solar energy panels cost less than monocrystalline panels because the process to make them is simpler and less expensive. Compared to monocrystalline panels, these have a more speckled look and lighter color. Polycrystalline solar panels are made from fragments of silicon melted together to form the wafers. With more crystals in each cell, there's less freedom for the electrons to move around. This results in a lower efficiency rating of about 13% to 16%.
  • Thin-film solar panels: Most commonly associated with amorphous systems, thin-film solar energy panels are made by layering thin solar cells on materials such as glass, metal or plastic. They're cheaper to manufacture than crystalline-based panels, so they’re easy to mass-produce. Since thin-film panels require a lot of space, they’re not ideal for residential use.
  • Concentrated PV cell solar panels: These panels contain a concentrated amount of photovoltaic material, making them the most efficient type of solar panel with a 41% efficiency rate. They're extremely expensive and are only used in satellites and research labs — not residential or commercial buildings.

» MORE: Best solar panels for RVs

Find a Solar Energy partner near you.


    What solar cell technologies do the best solar panels use?

    Monocrystalline solar panels tend to be more efficient than polycrystalline solar panels, and both tend to perform better than thin-film solar panels. There are many different solar panels on the market, each with its own benefits and disadvantages. Polycrystalline solar panels are a popular option for homes but tend to have a lower efficiency rate than monocrystalline solar panels.

    What is a solar panel efficiency calculation?

    A solar panel efficiency calculation is the conversion rate used to measure how much of the sun's rays a panel can convert into usable energy. Specifically, it’s the portion of sunlight that can be converted into electricity.

    A solar panel manufacturer determines this by multiplying the incident radiation flux or the amount of available sunlight in your area based on standard testing conditions (STC) by the area of your panel in square meters. The panel's maximum wattage is divided by this number and then multiplied by 100% to calculate solar panel efficiency.

    Do solar panels require maintenance?

    Although regular maintenance isn’t necessary for grid-tied systems, routine cleaning is recommended in order to remove dust, dirt and other traditional contaminants that can affect efficiency. If your area doesn’t receive rainfall, you can wipe off dust with soapy water or by hiring a cleaning service.

    Do shade and temperature affect solar panel efficiency?

    Because solar cells are connected in a series, even just a little shade on one panel can cease solar production on all other panels. Trim your trees as needed to ensure no shade falls on any part of your solar panels.

    Solar panels work best when they’re kept cool and dry. Higher temperatures can reduce a solar panel's power production by 10% to 25%. Panels should be positioned in areas with significant airflow and natural cooling in order to maintain efficiency rates. Before buying, consider a panel's temperature coefficient, which describes how effectively your panels will produce electricity when your climate is less than ideal for solar panel production.

    Bottom line: Are solar panels worth it?

    Solar panels are worth it both for the long-term utility savings and the environmental impact. When you're choosing a solar energy company to power your home, look for one that has a high efficiency rating to maximize the amount of power your solar system generates and a good warranty to protect you from future maintenance costs.

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