SunPower Maxeon Solar Panels May Outlive You

SunPower Maxeon solar panel warranty

Premium solar panel manufacturer Maxeon is very confident its modules will last a very long time. So much so, the company has beefed up the warranty on its flagship SunPower Maxeon product line.

Solar panels come with two warranties – product and performance.

The product warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship. This is usually for a period of 10 – 15 years depending on the brand and module, although 25 years is more common among premium brands such as SunPower Maxeon. The longest product warranty I’m aware of previously is 30 years for SolarWatt panels, which are manufactured in Germany.

The performance of even a good quality solar panel will slowly decrease over time. The performance warranty guarantees a panel’s output won’t deteriorate beyond a certain point each year, and usually covers a period of 25 years. Among the budget brands, most promise a panel will provide within the range of 83% – 86% of its rated output after 25 years. Among the premium brands, it has been as high as 92%.

When SQ’s Ronald wrote about why now is the time to buy solar panels with 25-year product warranties back in November, he mentioned:

“In time, product warranties of 25 years will become standard. By then, high-end solar panels may be competing with 30, 40, or 50 year product warranties, and the hard part will be living long enough to take advantage of them.”

With cheaper brands increasingly extending warranties, Maxeon has decided to take a big leap.

Product And Performance Warranty Boost

Last week Maxeon Solar Technologies announced the product and performance warranty on Maxeon Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) panels, sold under SunPower Maxeon brand1 in Australia, have been extended from 25 years to a whopping 40 years2. Maxeon is guaranteeing an 88.3 percent warranted power level at the end of 40 years under the enhanced performance warranty.

“We have spent more than 35 years refining the patented cell and panel design of our IBC technology and that has provided the confidence that our panels will last for more than 40 years in the field,” said Maxeon Solar Technologies CEO Jeff Waters.

Maxeon decided to offer this warranty based on analysis of performance of SunPower solar panels installed since 1985. The company claims a return rate of less than 0.005% on more than 15 million panels studied.

The extended coverage is available to all residential and commercial customers in select markets including Australia. If you’ve very recently had SunPower Maxeon panels installed, there’s good news as the beefed up warranty is effective for systems installed on or after January 1, 2022.

The new Australian warranty documents can be viewed here (DC) and here (AC). The longer warranty is subject to registration on Maxeon’s website.

SunPower Maxeon panels are high-performing modules, but pretty pricey – you can compare estimated pricing and specifications against a bunch of other brands using SolarQuotes’ solar panel comparison table. Just note we haven’t updated the warranty duration or related documents for relevant SunPower Maxeon models yet.

On a related note, the company also mentioned in its announcement the new Maxeon 6 solar panel is scheduled to launch globally in a few months.

Footnotes

  1. SunPower spun off much of its solar panel manufacturing into Maxeon Solar Technologies in August 2020. Since then, most of the company’s products are marketed under the “SunPower Maxeon” name.
  2. Update 8 February – for the Sunpower Maxeon 5 AC, it appears the 40 years only covers the panel, not the integrated microinverter, which is covered under Enphase’s 25 year warranty.
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. George Kaplan says

    How many people will be living in the same house in 25 years time, let alone 40?

    I mean it’s great to see confidence in a product, but is the fact a product will outlive you really a selling point?

    The current generation(s) seem more focused on replaceable products, not in investing in long lasting ones. 🙁

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