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SunPower solar panels review

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SunPower is an industry leader in the solar market, supplying high-efficiency solar panels across 30 countries. SunPower designs and manufactures solar products on a large scale and has a good reputation. Its product range features a variety of panels with varying power outputs and efficiency. One thing SunPower products have in common is their long product warranty, which is usually 25 years, and high efficiency. 

In this article we’ll cover:

  • SunPower pricing
  • Comparing SunPower solar panels

SunPower company overview

SunPower solar panels logo

SunPower’s solar products are designed and manufactured by Maxeon Solar Technologies, which is a global leader in solar innovation. The company initially began in 1988, and by developing game-changing solar cells its products were used by the likes of NASA and Honda, and ultimately this really put SunPower at the forefront of the industry. Fast forward a few years, SunPower, now a global solar company, split into two companies in 2019 – SunPower and Maxeon Solar, with the latter focusing more on the global market.  

The industry leader has a longstanding history in solar technology and is well-known for its highly efficient SunPower Maxeon 3 panel, which comes with one of the lowest degradations on the market with 98 per cent minimum warranted year-one output and a maximum annual degradation of just 0.25 per cent. Its power output alone was applaudable, but its phenomenal 40-year product warranty, which is one of the longest warranties currently available for any solar panel on the market, really steals the show.

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SunPower pricing and costs

SunPower’s advanced solar technology has an abundance of premium features, such as long product warranties and low degradation, and its solar panel pricing does reflect this. Compared to the rest of the market, SunPower’s panels do feature on the pricey end of the spectrum, but not without justification. We’ve compared SunPower with other solar companies, focusing on what price range and power output ranges the companies have.

Solar company Price range Power output range Product warranty range
SunPower £200.28 to £614.40 330W to 440W 25 to 40 years
JA Solar £188.40 to £262.80 365W to 420W 20 to 25 years
Jinko £141.60 to £177 415W to 470W 12 to 25 years
Suntech £103.20 to £232.80 400W to 555W 12 years
Qcells £146.40 to £190.40 345W to 410W 12 to 25 years
REC £171.60 to £262.80 365W 420W 20 to 25 years

SunPower easily wins on the product warranty, but in most other areas such as price and power output, it certainly does not come out on top. Other brands such as Jinko offer a higher power output for a more affordable price. Suntech’s highest power output is 555W, which is much higher than the Maxeon 3’s, and again is much more reasonably priced per panel.

SunPower Trustpilot scores and general reputation

SunPower has been a big player in the solar industry for over 30 years and completes solar installations on a global scale. It’s quite difficult to find a true representation of what customers think about SunPower. Though we did find it receives 2.7 out of a possible five stars on Trustpilot, there were only 360 customer reviews available.  

“New solar installation and I was not able to connect or get the system running. Warren Grennan, from SunPower, came out. He was super nice and professional. Even better, he really knew what he was doing. It turns out the original install was done so poorly the system couldn’t work. Warren spent extra time correcting those mistakes and stuck around until everything was up and running properly. Thank you, Warren!”

SunPower’s best solar panels

The featured solar panels were chosen based on different use-cases such as home size, homes with low-light conditions and homes with limited roof space. SunPower has various products ranges and all of which feature different power outputs. 

How we calculate solar panels’ value for money

Our experts multiplied the efficiency by the power output and divided that figure by the cost to calculate the value for money. This provides a fair and measurable result for each of SunPower’s panels. To find out more, read our article on how we review solar panels.

SunPower Maxeon 3 435W: Best for homes with a high energy consumption

Key features

✓ 98 per cent minimum warranted year one output and maximum annual degradation of 0.25 per cent

✓ Designed to power through all weather conditions  

✓Efficiency of up to 22.8 per cent

Specifications

  • Power output: 435W
  • Efficiency: 22.8 per cent
  • Warranty: 40 years for both product and performance 
  • Cost per panel: £614.40

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Long product warranty Expensive compared with similar solar panels
Low degradation
High efficiency

The SunPower Maxeon 3 is well-known for its high power output and efficiency. It’s a premium monocrystalline solar panel that is well-suited to most UK homes thanks to its powerful solar technology. Perhaps one of the most notable features of the SunPower Maxeon 3 is its low degradation; degrading at just 0.25 per cent per year means homeowners will reap the benefits of their solar system for much longer than with other solar panels. The only obvious drawback with the Maxeon 3 is cost, as it’s one of the priciest panels on the market thanks to its advanced solar technology. 

Efficiency and power output

Solar panels that have an efficiency of at least 20 per cent are considered good, so the Maxeon 3’s 22.8 per cent is exceptionally good. Its high efficiency means a large portion of usable energy is generated from the Maxeon 3 and this is especially beneficial for larger homes with a higher energy consumption. The Maxeon 3 has a power output of 435W per panel. With a relatively high power output, the Maxeon will generate more power from fewer panels. The two combined make for a highly efficient solar panel that can generate more energy from a smaller roof space compared with other panels on the market with lower efficiencies. 

One of the Maxeon 3’s best features, besides its efficiency, is its reliability in poor weather. Engineered to power through all types of weather conditions, the panel’s crack-resistant cells allow for a layer of protection against harsh weather and prevent corrosion of solar cells. 

Cost

The SunPower Maxeon 3 is one of the more expensive panels on the market. This doesn’t come as a surprise since its product warranty and efficiency are high. With that being said, there are other solar panels that are comparable in terms of power output, efficiency and warranty for a more wallet-friendly price. 

How does SunPower Maxeon 3 compare to similar panels in its price range?

Panel name Efficiency Power output Cost per panel
SunPower Maxeon 3 22.80% 435W £614.40
425W Trina Vertex S+ solar panel 21.90% 425W £144
420W REC Alpha Pure-R Series All Black solar panel 21.70% 420W £262.80
470W Jinko Tiger Neo solar panel 21.80% 470W £151.20
420W JA Solar Mono PERC Half-Cell solar panel 21.50% 420W £114

When our researchers compared the Maxeon 3 to other similar solar panels on the market, it was evidently far more costly than any other panel that we came across. The REC Alpha 420W has an efficiency of 21.7 per cent and a power output of 420W but is less than half the cost of one Maxeon 3 solar panel. The Jinko Tiger Neo 470W solar panel has a higher output and efficiency of 21.8 per cent and is priced at a fraction of the cost of the Maxeon 3. 

All of these cheaper solar panels have shorter product warranties, and this contributes to the price. Although the Maxeon 3 has a longer product warrant, there are other solar panels with warranties that cover a panel’s lifespan with a good power output that will cost far less.  

What the experts say

“SunPower’s Maxeon 3 panels are a great choice for homeowners with limited roof space. But while there is no doubting SunPower’s impressive specifications and metrics, there are other brands on this list that offer better value if you’re on a tight budget.”

Our rating

Efficiency ★★★★★
Power output ★★★
Value for money (ExP/C)
Overall ★★★

What is this panel best for?

The SunPower Maxeon 3 is good for homes with high energy consumption. The Maxeon 3’s high power output and efficiency can produce a large amount of usable renewable energy. Thanks to its high efficiency, homeowners who install the Maxeon 3 would save a decent amount on their energy bills compared with other panels with less than 20 per cent efficiency.  

Not good for

This solar panel is not good for those on a budget since the price per panel is especially high when compared with others on the market. At over £600 per solar panel, it’s an unfeasible investment for some.

SunPower Maxeon 3 375W: Best for medium-sized homes

Key features

✓ Up to 60 per cent more lifetime energy 

✓ 12 per cent more power in year 25 than other solar panels 

✓ Patented solid metal foundation prevents breakage and corrosion

Specifications 

  • Power output: 375W
  • Efficiency:  21.2 per cent
  • Warranty: 40 years for both product and performance 
  • Cost per panel: £346.80

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
High efficiency Expensive compared with similar solar panels
Long product and performance warranty
Sleek design

The SunPower Maxeon 3 375W is a sleek, black monocrystalline solar panel that would suit homeowners concerned about aesthetics. Its seamless design blends into your roof, providing an elegant finish. Aesthetics aside, much like the 435W version, it’s a powerhouse of a solar panel, with high efficiency and power output. Just like the Maxeon 435W, its product warranty is 40 years for both product and performance – covering more than the average lifespan of a solar panel. The Maxeon 3 375W is quite pricey and is best suited to medium-sized homes with average energy consumption.  

Efficiency and power output

The SunPower Maxeon 3 375W is a powerful solar panel with a maximum efficiency of up to 21.2 per cent – higher than the recommended 20 per cent. Its high efficiency is ideal for both small and large homes, particularly homes with little roof space. This is because the SunPower Maxeon 3 could produce a certain amount of solar energy by using less roof space. The panel’s 375W power output is not necessarily the highest on the market but is still a decent wattage. According to our extensive solar panel research, the average watt for a solar panel is 400W; but it’s important to note that most other solar panels do not have an above 20 per cent efficiency. 

Compared with the larger model, the 375W version is obviously not as efficient, but it’s fair to say that both panels are more efficient than most others on the market.  

Cost

Unlike the Maxeon 435W, the Max3 375W solar panel won’t break the bank quite as much; but it’s still on the expensive side for panels with similar features.  To put it into context, one 375W solar panel is more expensive than two JA Solar panels with a higher power output. 

Our researchers have reviewed all the top solar companies in the UK, comparing their panels. We’ve compared solar panels with similar efficiency and power output to establish where the Maxeon 3 falls on the price spectrum. 

How does SunPower Maxeon 3 375W compare to panels in its price range?

Panel name Efficiency Power output Cost per panel
SunPower Maxeon 3 375W 21.20% 375W £346.80
380W JA Solar Mono MBB Percium Half-Cell panel 20.40% 380W £153.60
380W Qcells Q Peak Duo Black solar panel 20.10% 380W £170.40

Though the Maxeon 3 375W has a high efficiency when compared with other panels on the market, it is more expensive. The JA Solar Mono 380W has an efficiency of 20.4 per cent and is less than half price per panel and the Qcells 380W panel is also better priced with a higher power output. 

Our rating

Efficiency ★★★★
Power output ★★★
Value for money (ExP/C) ★★
Overall ★★★

What is this panel best for?

The SunPower Maxeon 3 375W is good for homes with not a large amount of roof space but still a high energy consumption. Thanks to its high power output and efficiency, the 375W version can generate a decent amount of renewable energy using a smaller roof space than is required for panels with lower than 20 per cent efficiency. 

Not good for

The Maxeon 3 is not good for homes on a budget. Throughout our solar panel research, we found that when we compared the SunPower Maxeon 3 375W to similar panels on the market, it was on average twice the price per panel. Yes, it has exceptionally high efficiency, but other JA Solar and Q Cell panels have a higher power output and comparable efficiency.

SunPower Maxeon 6 AC 425W: Best for homes with limited roof space

Key features

✓ Year one warranted output 98 per cent

✓ Maximum annual degradation 0.25 per cent

✓ Crack-resistant cells that resistant against adverse weather conditions

Specifications

  • Power output: 425W
  • Efficiency: up to 22 per cent
  • Warranty: 40 years product and performance warranty
  • Cost per panel: POA

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
All-black design Might produce too much energy for small homes
High power output

The Maxeon 6 425W is a full-black panel and would suit homeowners who are concerned with the aesthetics of solar panels on their roof. It’s designed to maximise power output, even when faced with adverse weather conditions. It’s ideal for households situated in areas with low-light conditions. 

Power output and efficiency 

Power output is the Maxeon 6 425W’s best feature. It has an efficiency of up to 22 per cent, which means each panel can generate a high amount of solar energy.  With a power output of 425W, the panel would suit homes with a high energy consumption. Equally, it would be well suited to homes with small roof space, since fewer panels would be required to generate a good amount of solar energy. 

Cost

Our researchers compared the Maxeon 6 panel with other similar panels on the market and found it had a higher efficiency.

Panel name Efficiency Power output Cost per panel
Sunpower Maxeon 6 425W 22% 425W POA
Perlight Delta 425W Total Black Mono 21.40% 425W £182
425W Trina Vertex S Mono Black Frame Solar Panel 21.30% 425W £117.60

Our researchers compared the Maxeon 6 panel with other similar panels on the market and found it had a higher efficiency.

Our rating

Efficiency ★★★★★
Power output ★★★★
Value for money (ExP/C) ★★★
Overall ★★★★

What is this panel best for?

Homes with limited roof space would benefit from this panel. The Maxeon 6 has a high power output and efficiency, meaning you could install fewer panels and still meet energy consumption demands.  

Not good for?

With a 425W output, this panel might produce more energy than would be needed for a household with low electricity consumption.

SunPower Performance 6 410W: Best for homes with low-light conditions

Key features

✓ Designed to deliver more lifetime energy than standard solar panels

✓ Maximum annual degradation of 0.45 per cent

✓ Works well in low-light conditions

Specifications

  • Power output: 410W
  • Efficiency: 20.9 per cent
  • Warranty: 25 years’ product and performance warranty
  • Cost per panel: POA

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Works well in low-light conditions Efficiency not as high as the Maxeon 3 or Maxeon 6
High power output

SunPower’s Performance 6 panels combine performance, reliability and aesthetics. Its innovative shingled-cell design is durable and has a high performance. SunPower’s Performance panels have the ability to produce 8 per cent more energy in the same space than conventional mono perc panels, which makes them a great choice for homeowners with high shade coverage.

Power output and efficiency 

The SunPower Performance 6 410W panel has a maximum efficiency of up to 20.9 per cent, which is not as high as the Maxeon 3 or Maxeon 6 panels. Its power output is 410W, which would be well-suited to most homes and would provide enough usable energy for the average UK home. 

Cost

How does SunPower Performance 6 410W compare with other panels in its price range?

Panel name Efficiency Power output Cost per panel
SunPower Performance 6 410W 20.90% 410W POA
JAM53S30 410 Half Cell PV 20.10% 410W £172
410W Longi 54c HiMo5 Black Frame Mono solar panel 20.10% 410W £133.20

The Performance 6 holds up well against its competitors, making it a great choice if it’s within your budget.

Our rating

Efficiency ★★★★
Power output ★★★★
Value for money (ExP/C) ★★★
Overall ★★★★

What is this panel best for?

Households located in areas with limited sunshine or low-light conditions would find this panel suitable for their needs. The SunPower Performance 6 is designed to produce more energy than other solar panels, even in low-light conditions.

Not good for

Although the Performance 6 has a good power output, its warranty is only 25 years – some of SunPower’s other panels have 40 years’ warranty for both product and performance.

SunPower Performance 3 385W: Best for small homes

Key features

✓ Engineered to withstand humidity, daily temperature swings and shading

✓ Delivers up to 7 per cent more energy in the same conditions over 25 years compared to conventional mono perc panels

✓ Maximum degradation of 0.45 per cent per year

Specifications

  • Power output: 385W
  • Efficiency: 19.6 per cent
  • Warranty: 25 years’ product and performance warranty
  • Cost per panel: POA

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Sleek, black design Low power output when compared with SunPower’s other panels
Minimal annual degradation

Power output and efficiency 

SunPower’s Performance 3 385W has the lowest efficiency out of all of its product ranges. Its efficiency is also lower than other panels with a similar power output, such as the JA Solar Mono MBB Percium Half-Cell Silver Short Frame QC4, which has an efficiency of 20.4 per cent. Its power output would be best suited to smaller homes that don’t require much electricity. 

Cost

How does SunPower Performance 3 385W compare with similar panels in its price range?

Panel name Efficiency Power output Cost per panel
SunPower Performance 3 385W 19.60% 385W POA
380W JA Solar Mono MBB Percium Half-Cell 20.40% 380W £153.60
380W Q Cells Q Peak Duo Black ML-G9PLUS Solar Panel 20.10% 380W 170.4

The Performance 3 has a lower efficiency rating than some of its competitors, so you might find better value elsewhere.

Our rating

Efficiency ★★★
Power output ★★★
Value for money (ExP/C) ★★★
Overall ★★★

What is this panel best for?

This panel is worth considering for homes with an average energy consumption and that don’t require a high power output. 

Not good for

It wouldn’t suit fully detached properties with more than three bedrooms – its power output and efficiency may not be able to provide enough energy.

Frequently asked questions about SunPower solar panels

SunPower was first established in 1988 and began as a small solar technology company until its solar cell technology was recognised and gained traction within the industry. Today, SunPower is a global solar company supplying countries worldwide. SunPower also offers some of the best product and performance warranties and solar panel efficiency ratings on the market. The only downside to its advanced solar technology is that it comes at a high price compared with other companies on the market.

The SunPower Maxeon 3 comes with up to 22.8 per cent efficiency, which is not only above the average 20 per cent efficiency for a solar panel, but is one of the highest available. The Maxeon 3’s high efficiency also means it is capable of producing large amounts of sustainable energy from fewer solar panels. Compared with other solar panels on the market, there are just a few others that have an above-20 per cent efficiency and even fewer over 22 per cent.

The SunPower Maxeon 3 comes with a combined 40-year product and performance warranty, which is the longest solar panel warranty currently on the market. This means the solar panel is covered for both the product itself and for the panel’s performance, meaning you’re guaranteed to get the most out of it throughout its lifetime. The panel has a projected 98 per cent maximum power output for year one and only a 0.25 per cent annual degradation after that.

rachel

Rachel Sadler

Home Tech Writer

Rachel is a seasoned writer who has been producing online and print content for seven years. 

As a home tech expert for Independent Advisor, Rachel researches and writes buying guides and reviews, helping consumers navigate the realms of broadband and home security gadgets. She also covers home tech for The Federation of Master Builders, where she reviews and tests home security devices. 

She started as a news and lifestyle journalist in Hong Kong reporting on island-wide news stories, food and drink and the city’s events. She’s written for editorial platforms Sassy Hong Kong, Localiiz and Bay Media. While in Hong Kong she attended PR events, interviewed local talent and project-managed photoshoots. 

Rachel holds a BA in English Language and Creative Writing and is committed to simplifying tech jargon and producing unbiased reviews.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.