REC solar panels reviews

Based on 588 ratings Aus Ranking

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About REC, Solar Panels

REC solar panels review

REC is short for Renewable Energy Corporation. The company was founded in Norway but now carries out all production in Singapore and the company is owned by the giant Chinese chemical corporation Bluestar that is also known as ChemChina. 

They produce tier one panels with 20 year product warranty (or 25 years, depending on whether they're installed by a REC certified installer) and a 25 year performance warranty. They are certified as corrosion resistant.   REC has an Australian office in Melbourne.

A US Company Has A Similar Name

There is a company in the United States called REC Solar that installs commercial scale solar for businesses. They do not make their own solar panels. It is easy to confuse the two when looking for information on REC.

REC Solar Manufacturing Capacity

REC is medium sized producer of solar panels. They shipped 1.34 gigawatts of panels in 2017.  This was more than what was installed in all of Australia that year.  They claim their Australian sales in 2017 were the highest they have ever been. To the end of 2019, the company says it had shipped 10 gigawatts of REC solar panels (cumulative total).

Company History

REC was founded in Norway in 1996 under the name Fornybar Energi AS and produced its first silicon wafer in 1997. It became REC after merging with another company in 2000. By taking advantage of Norway’s comparatively cheap hydroelectric power, for a period at the start of the century they become the world’s largest producer of multicrystaline silicon wafers used to make solar cells.

In 2008 and 2009 REC opened two new multicrystalline wafer factories in Norway. Then the company ran into financial difficulties and shut them down permanently a few years later in 2011 and 2012. In retrospect it doesn't appear to be a very bright move, but these are the sort of mistakes companies make when they decide for some reason not to predict the future with 100% accuracy.

In 2010 they started production of solar panels in Singapore and REC expanded capacity at this facility.  This is currently their only manufacturing site. 

In 2015 REC Solar was bought by the Norwegian company Elkem which is owned by the Chinese corporation Bluestar.  This makes REC Solar a Chinese owned company that manufactures in Singapore, but for some reason it is still often referred to as a European company.  I guess old habits die hard. 

They Are Big In Germany

REC started as a European company and they have been able to hold onto market share there.  They state that in 2016 they were the number one panel supplier in Germany and in in 2017 they also did well with 15% of the market share.  Punitive tariffs on Chinese panels in Europe that don't affect REC were part of this success. 

REC Solar Panels

REC produces three series of panels that are of standard size and likely to be used on residential roofs in Australia.

REC N-Peak Energy Panels

REC N-Peak solar panels are available in 305 - 330 watts. The efficiency these panels ranges from 18.3% to 19.8%. They are certified as corrosion resistant, making them suitable for installation in coastal areas.

REC TwinPeak 2 Panels

REC also produces TwinPeak 2 series panels.  They are an interesting design because they are divided into top and bottom halves and if one half is shaded it won’t affect the output of the other. This makes them more tolerant to partial shade and soiling than many other panels. But if they are installed where there is no shade it is of little benefit. And like all solar panels they perform terribly when fully shaded.

TwinPeak 2 panels come in both polycrystalline and monocrystalline versions.

Polycrystalline TwinPeak 2 panels have an efficiency of 16.5% - 18.0%, while the monocrystalline version has an efficiency range of 18.0% - 19.2%.

Because TwinPeak 2 panels are made with silicon and aluminium that is produced mostly with hydroelectric power rather than fossil fuels, they are certified in Europe as having a low carbon footprint.

TwinPeaks Packaging

If you go to this page here and download their packaging specifications, you'll see that TwinPeak panels come wrapped in plastic.  This fact makes me as happy as that gum I like coming back in style.

REC Alpha Solar Panels

In 2019, the company unveiled its Alpha Series solar panels. REC said it was the highest power 60-cell module in the world at that point in time. The Alpha offers a panel efficiency of up to 21.7%.

REC Solar Panel Failure Rate

On the REC site they state:

“...out of 4 million panels manufactured each year, just 400 might come back as product claims.”

In other words their failure rate is around 1 in 10,000.  While those seem like good odds, they don’t say this is the predicted failure rate over the panel’s lifespan. It instead appears to be their failure rate when they are new, which isn’t quite as impressive as if it was over 25 years, but it is still pretty good.

REC Is Ranked As A Financially Secure Solar Panel Manufacturer

Solar panel manufacture is a very competitive business and many companies have gone bust, leaving customers without warranty support.

But the clouds over REC are extremely tenuous. They’re more of a light mist, really. Because of the company’s financial stability, REC was ranked as the panel producer least likely to go belly up  back in 2016.

Warranty Claim Procedure For Orphaned REC Customers

If your original installer is no longer operating and you need to make a warranty claim, you should contact REC on 03 9020 2056. They have a network of REC certified installers that they can dispatch to diagnose any issues and handle replacement under warranty. If your original installer was REC certified, labor costs involved with warranty replacement are covered. If they were not - labor costs are not covered.

My Recommendation

REC produce quality tier one solar panels and I would have no problem installing them on my roof.

REC Solar Panel Reviews

Again - only has been used for two days - but so far very happy with the performance, - I spent long time in choosing this system - so far - very good
Bought From: Perth Solar Warehouse
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Appear to be doing the correct thing
Bought From: Hawking Electrical Energy Solutions
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Bought From: Velocity Solar Geelong Show additional information
Great performance in all conditions
Bought From: Deionno Electrical
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Bought From: Apex Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Open Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
I am happy with REC Alpha panels. As I had an experience with old systems which was installed in 2012, REC was one of the best quality with good price. Sunpower Maxeon and LG are also best quality in industries but so much expensive.
I send an email to REC on Facebook. They replied my questions very quickly and gave me a feedback of installer which i was considering.
REC panels has 25 year warranty with my installer.
Bought From: RK Solar And Consulting NSW
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Bought From: Kobi Energy Solutions Wodonga Show additional information
Bought From: Traeger Solar Residential Show additional information
Thin profile looks good on the roof, particularly when close to the gutter line where it can be seen closely.
Bought From: Local Power
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Bought From: Open Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Adapt Energy Gold Coast - Brisbane Show additional information
The panels are very efficient and are producing more power than the original estimate provided. Great warranty was what really sold me over other brands.
Bought From: Progress Electrical Newcastle
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Great looking panels, and performing well considering we aren't even close to Summer. Very happy.
Bought From: Target Solar (Alex - Melbourne)
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Bought From: Green Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Fantastic high quality looking panel, all black on black frames so much nicer than earlier panel types.
Having an older system replaced it is obvious straight away that these panels are light years ahead in low sun conditions than the older polycrystalline Suntech panels.
Bought From: Perth Solar Warehouse
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Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Apex Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Open Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
Love them!
Bought From: Adapt Energy Townsville - Cairns - Port Douglas
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Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Adapt Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Sunrun Solar VIC Show additional information
Bought From: Keen 2B Green Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: I Want Energy Show additional information
Bought From: I Want Energy Show additional information
Bought From: I Want Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Sunworks Show additional information
On most cloudy and overcast days, I'm still generating around 15kWh/day with an east/west configuration. Have colleagues with conventional panels at similar system sizes that are north facing who generate less than that on similar days. Do not regret choosing REC Alpha for my panels.
Bought From: Yuma Energy
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Bought From: Signature Solar Pty Ltd Show additional information
2020
A bit early to tell but the REC365AA Alpha look very modern, are performing well despite winter shadowing. The Clenergy black mounting add to the overall clean lines and orienting the panels in landscape enabled 18 panels to sit on main house roof.

2021 follow up
Panels have performed extremely well even on overcast days.

From Sept 2020 to July 2021
Lifetime energy 8.35 MWh Lifetime revenue AU$1,176.41 based on FIT of .16c
Bought From: Signature Solar Pty Ltd
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Bought From: Solargain Perth Show additional information
Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Sunlogics Show additional information
Bought From: Adapt Energy Gold Coast - Brisbane Show additional information
These panel came recommended and look good on the roof. Winter performance has been great so far
Bought From: GoRun Solar
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Panels all good - some placements need adjusting ...
Bought From: MJ Solar Solutions Central South
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Bought From: Solaire Connect Show additional information
Best panels for price and suitability for this install. Ended up with an upgrade on panels from 325 to 330 klw, due to availability at time of install, however no extra cost involved, big tick for supplier.
Bought From: Adapt Energy
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Bought From: Trione Solar Show additional information
Bought From: GI Energy Brisbane Show additional information
We chose REC panels for the longevity, warranty, efficiency and bang for buck.
Bought From: Signature Solar Pty Ltd
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Seems to be working very well so far. In the middle of the winter which should be the lowest yield of the year, the system generated ~32-34kw/day on a sunny day, which seems to be above average
Bought From: Signature Solar Pty Ltd
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Bought From: GoRun Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical Show additional information
No problems
Bought From: Progress Electrical Newcastle
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Jan-Feb 20/21, on the Mornington Peninsula was not a particularly great sunny period this time around. On full sun days we were producing between 40 and 50 kw per day and on cloudy days anywhere from 20 to 40kw.

March to mid May 2021 has given us a taste of winter production. We produce about 5kw on really bad days and up to 22kw on the sunny days.

Our normal daily energy usage before solar, was between 14kw and 17kw per day. Normally we would use about 9kw from 6pm to 8am, ie night time hours. Of course that is still the same, but during daylight hours we now generate enough on most days to cover our usage. Night usage is another matter and that's when the battery has its time to shine(sic).
Bought From: Sunrun Solar VIC
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Bought From: GI Energy Brisbane Show additional information

REC has 32 solar panels in our database

Model Type Size (W) PTC (W) Performance Ratio
REC205PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline20518288.78
REC205PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline20518288.78
REC210PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline21018688.57
REC210PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline21018688.57
REC215PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline21519188.84
REC215PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline21519188.84
REC220PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline22019588.64
REC220PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline22019588.64
REC225PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline22520088.89
REC225PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline22520088.89
REC230PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline23020488.70
REC230PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline23020488.70
REC235PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline23521390.64
REC235PE ECO (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline23521189.79
REC235PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline23521390.64
REC240PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline24021890.83
REC240PE ECO (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline24021589.58
REC240PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline24021890.83
REC245PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline24522391.02
REC245PE ECO (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline24522089.80
REC245PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline24522391.02
REC250PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline25022790.80
REC250PE ECO (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline25022590.00
REC250PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline25022790.80
REC255PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline25523090.20
REC255PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline25523090.20
REC260PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline26023490.00
REC260PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline26023490.00
REC265PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline26524190.94
REC265PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline26524190.94
REC270PE (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline27024691.11
REC270PE(BLK) (60 poly cells)Polycrystalline27024691.11
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