Panasonic Solar Panels Cost, Pros & Cons – The Ultimate Guide

Panasonic is a popular brand in the consumer electronics market, and they also manufacture some of the best solar panels. Panasonic focuses on product quality, and their solar panels can operate at high efficiency even when exposed to hot weather. They also offer some of the best warranties in the industry, protecting your investment for up to 25 years following the installation.

Panasonic home solar panels on a metal roof

In terms of efficiency, solar panels from Panasonic are among the top five, converting up to 21.7% of sunlight into electricity. Only three brands have achieved higher efficiency ratings, and the difference is small: SunPower offers up to 22.8% efficiency, followed by LG at 22.3%, and REC at 21.9%. High-efficiency solar panels make your roof space more productive, generating more kilowatt-hours from each square foot covered.

Surprisingly, Panasonic solar panels have competitive prices in spite of being premium products. According to solar pricing data gathered by EnergySage (a home solar marketplace, no affiliation), you can expect an average cost of $2.71 per watt when using Panasonic. — This is below the US average price reported by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which is $3.06 per watt according to their quarterly report from December 2021.

Panasonic Solar Panels: Main Product Lines

Panasonic solar panels achieve their superior efficiency by using monocrystalline cells, which are characterized by their black color.

Panasonic is currently offering two product lines for the US residential market, and their main features are summarized below:

Panasonic Product Line Efficiency Wattage
EverVolt Up to 21.7% 360W, 370W, 380W versions
EverVolt Black Up to 21.2% 350W, 360W, 370W versions

The EverVolt and EverVolt Black series use half-cut solar cells with the heterojunction technology. This design increases their conversion efficiency and power output with respect to conventional solar panels of the same size. Both product lines have the UL and ETL certification marks, which means they have been successfully tested for safe operation.

  • The 380W EverVolt and 370W EverVolt Black solar panels have the same dimensions, being 40” wide and 67.75” tall.
  • Using 20 of these solar panels, you can achieve a rated wattage of 7.6 kW or 7.4 kW (depending on the product line), and they fit in less than 400 square feet of roof space.

Panasonic used to have the HIT solar panel series, which offered rated wattages from 315W to 330W. However, they have discontinued that product line to focus on the more efficient EverVolt and EverVolt Black series.

Do Panasonic Solar Panels Have a Good Warranty?

Panasonic solar panels come with the AllGuard and TripleGuard warranty, which is among the best in the industry. The warranty has a 25-year term and covers the following aspects:

  • Product
  • Performance
  • Parts
  • Labor

Thanks to their long-term warranty, Panasonic solar panels are a safe investment. In places with abundant sunshine and expensive electricity, home solar systems can often achieve a payback period of less than five years.

Even under less favorable conditions, the payback period for home solar panels is rarely longer than 10 years. By the time you recover your upfront investment with power bill savings, you will still have a free electricity source covered by a warranty for 15-20 years.

Many solar panel brands only come with a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year power production warranty. However, Panasonic combines both into a 25-year warranty that also covers labor, as long as you meet two conditions: having your home solar system set up by one of their approved installers, and registering it on their website within 60 days.

There is also a product warranty for solar owners who don’t meet these requirements, but the coverage term is reduced to 15 years (still higher than the industry average of 10-12 years).

All solar panels lose some power generation capacity over time, but this happens very slowly when using high-quality brands. EverVolt and EverVolt Black solar panels from Panasonic have a maximum degradation of 2% during the first year of operation, and then 0.25% per year. This means you still have 92% of the original capacity after 25 years of use.

If the productivity of your solar panels drops faster than the rate specified by Panasonic, and the warranty conditions are met, you’re eligible for free replacements.

Regardless of the solar panel brand you pick, working with professional installers is very important. Cheap installations may be tempting, but any savings you can achieve are small compared with the long-term risks:

  • Even solar panels from quality brands like Panasonic can give you trouble when installed or wired incorrectly, and there is a higher risk of electrical faults and fire.
  • On top of that, manufacturers will normally void their warranties if your solar panels are installed incorrectly.

How do Panasonic Solar Panels Perform with Hot Weather?

The solar industry uses a metric called the temperature coefficient, which describes the performance of photovoltaic panels when exposed to high temperature.

  • The temperature coefficient tells you the percentage of generation capacity lost by a solar panel, for each Celsius degree of temperature rise.
  • This is a temporary effect: the capacity lost when solar panels heat up is recovered when they cool down.
  • The rated wattage is measured under Standard Test Conditions (STC), which include a temperature of 25°C. For this reason, the performance drop with higher temperature is calculated using 25°C as reference.

As a quick example, assume you’re comparing two solar panel models of the same wattage, but their temperature coefficients are -0.40% per °C and -0.30% per °C.

With a temperature rise of 20°C, the first panel would lose 8% of its rated output, but the second one would only lose 6%. In this case, the second panel is more productive at high temperature, even when they have the same wattage under Standard Test Conditions.

Panasonic has the best temperature coefficient in the solar industry, along with REC and Solartech Universal. The EverVolt and EverVolt Black series only lose -0.26% output per °C, which means the effect of high temperature is relatively small. With a 20°C temperature rise, the drop in productivity is only 5.2%.

The excellent temperature coefficient of Panasonic solar panels achieves synergy with their superior efficiency. You get a product that converts a high percentage of sunlight into electricity, and that power conversion capacity is not affected severely by high temperature.

What Are Some Alternatives for Panasonic Solar Panels?

Panasonic solar panels have solid technical specifications, but they excel in three main areas: high efficiency, performance at high temperature, and warranty coverage. Here we will compare Panasonic with other high-quality brands.

As mentioned above, Panasonic is among the five most efficient solar brands, converting up to 21.7% of sunlight into electricity.

  • SunPower makes the most efficient solar panels, reaching up to 22.8% and 1.1% ahead of the most efficient Panasonic modules.
  • LG Solar and REC are also ahead of Panasonic, but the difference is small: LG achieves 22.3% efficiency, while REC achieves 21.9%.
  • CSUN occupies the fifth place with 21.2% efficiency, behind Panasonic by 0.5%.

Although SunPower is the leader in terms of efficiency, this comes at a high price. EnergySage has reported an average cost of $3.35 per watt for SunPower, while Panasonic solar panels can be installed for around $2.71 per watt.

Although you can get an extra 1.1% efficiency with SunPower, the price to pay is almost 24% higher. LG Solar and REC are closer to Panasonic in terms of price, with average costs of $2.75 and $2.76 per watt, respectively.

When comparing solar panel warranties, you will find that many brands offer 25 years like Panasonic. However, few brands offer the combination of a long warranty with high efficiency and a low temperature coefficient.

Other brands with 25-year warranties include Aptos Solar Technology, Axitec, Certainteed Solar, LG Solar, Mission Solar, Q CELLS, REC, Silfab, Solaria, SunPower, and Winaico.

Finally, let’s compare Panasonic with other brands offering good performance at high temperatures. As mentioned above, three brands are tied in first place with -0.26% per °C: Panasonic, REC and Solartech.

The following solar brands are slightly behind the top three, but their temperature coefficients are also excellent:

  • Sunspark Technology: -0.28% per °C
  • LG Solar and SunPower: -0.29% per °C

If we compare solar brands across all performance metrics, three can be considered similar to Panasonic: SunPower, REC, and LG Solar. Solar panels from these brands have high efficiencies, low temperature coefficients, and 25-year warranties.

Conclusion

Panasonic solar panels offer top performance at a reasonable price. Their 21.7% efficiency is one of the highest in the industry, only surpassed by three brands by a small margin.

Keep in mind that Panasonic has an average installed price of only $2.71 per watt (EnergySage marketplace), which is 11% less than the US average ($3.06 per watt, according to the SEIA).

Panasonic also offers one of the best product warranties in the industry, combined with the lowest temperature coefficient available. To summarize, you get an affordable and efficient product that doesn’t lose its performance under the heat, covered by a solid 25-year warranty.

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