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Home & garden.

4 August 2021

Solar panel brand reviews

Solar panel owners tell us about the solar panels they've bought from JA Solar, LG, Panasonic, REC, Sharp and Sunpower.
SI
Sarah Ingrams
Solar panels on house roof 475031

Solar panels are a long-term investment as they'll be on your roof for 20 years or more. Choosing the right brand and solar pv system for your home is important if you're keen to cut your carbon footprint and electricity bills.

To help you pick a solar panel brand we reveal the most popular ones among Which? members plus what owners think of them.

We surveyed 1,116 Which? members who have solar panels online in June 2021 and conducted an in-depth online study with 27 owners about buying, using and maintaining their solar panels. 

If you have already chosen your solar panel brand, read owners' tips to make the most of your solar panels.

Solar panels on a detached house

The most popular solar panel brands

The Which? members in our survey own solar pv panels from more than 23 different brands. The most commonly owned and currently available are:

  • Sharp (7%)
  • LG (3%)
  • Sunpower (3%)

Canadian Solar, Hyundai, JA Solar, Panasonic, REC, Solarworld and Suntech were also popular.

To help you choose, we've rounded up key features of solar panels from the biggest brands. Plus, we created an online forum from 9 to 23 June 2021, where 27 solar panel owners gave us an in-depth view of buying, using and maintaining their solar pv systems.

Which? members can log-in to see what owners of each brand think of them. If you're not a member, join Which? to get access.

JA Solar solar panels

JA Solar makes a range of solar pv panels for homes and commercial buildings, including smart solar panels and panels which can generate electricity from both sides (bifacial). It's based in Shanghai, China.

  • Product warranty: 12 years
  • Power output warranty: 25 years
  • Service warranty: not specified
  • Maximum power output and efficiency*: 350W at 20.8%

Sunpower solar panels

Sunpower has been making solar panels for 35 years and says its solar panels have high efficiency and are more reliable than conventional solar panels. Among the six popular brands listed on this page, it's one of only two to offer 25-year product and service warranties. 

  • Product warranty: 25 years
  • Power output warranty: 25 years
  • Service warranty: 25 years
  • Maximum power output and efficiency*: 22.6% efficiency on 400w

LG solar panels

LG might be best-known for its TVs, but it's now bringing its 50 years of electrical technology experience to solar panels. Its solar panel range includes high-efficiency panels, matt black panels and solar panels which generate electricity on both sides (bifacial). 

It's one of few to offer both 25-year product and service warranties on some of its solar panels.

  • Product warranty: 25 years
  • Power output warranty: 90.08% at 25 years
  • Service warranty: 25 years
  • Maximum power output and efficiency*: 380W at 22%

Panasonic solar panels

Panasonic's choice of solar panels includes smaller and slimmer panels for small or complicated roofs, matt-black panels and higher efficiency panels. It has been making solar pv panels since 1975, under the Sanyo brand until 2012.

It's worth noting that in 2021 Panasonic announced that it was planning to stop making solar pv panels by 2022. It has already closed its European business so stock may be limited.

  • Product warranty: 25 years
  • Power output warranty: 86.2% at 25 years
  • Service warranty: not specified
  • Maximum power output and efficiency*: 340W at 20.4%

Sharp solar panels

Sharp sells solar panels for homes, businesses, farms, factories and fields. It says its 60 years of experience means that its solar panels can withstand harsh conditions without their performance suffering. You can choose matt black panels if you'd prefer not to see the traditional silver squares.

  • Product warranty: 15 years
  • Power output warranty: 80.7% at 25 years
  • Service warranty: not specified
  • Maximum power output and efficiency*: 370W at 20.1%

REC solar panels

The Renewable Energy Corporation (REC)'s range of solar panels includes a choice of finishes (with silver lines or matt-black), panels that can generate electricity even when partly shaded, and a lead-free panel.

  • Product warranty: 20 years
  • Power output warranty: 92% at 25 years
  • Service warranty: 25 years
  • Maximum power output and efficiency*: 405W at 21.9%

*Specification information is based on the most efficient domestic monofacial (i.e. one-sided) solar panel we could find online for each brand in June 2021.

Don't forget that Which? members can log in to see what owners of each of the brands above think of them. If you're not a member, join Which? to get access.

If you've chosen a solar panel brand, use our Which? Trusted Traders search tool below to find a reliable solar panel installer near you.

Solar panels value for money

Solar panels can cost several thousands of pounds to install, depending on the size of your system. As well as making your home more sustainable, owners often want to save money on their electricity bills.

So it's important to work out how long your investment will take to pay for itself.

Find out how much solar panels cost and if solar pv is a good investment

Using electricity from your solar panels will help reduce your electricity bills. The more you're able to use, the bigger your savings. Read owners' tips on how to make the most of your solar panels.

You can also sell excess electricity to the grid. How much you'll get paid depends on the Smart Export Guarantee tariff you sign up to. Find out more about the Smart Export Guarantee.