REC solar panels reviews

Based on 435 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 panels are their current top-of-the-range offering. Their efficiencies range from 18.6% 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

Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Your Green Planet Show additional information
Bought From: Kozco Energy Group Show additional information
Bought From: Signature Solar Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Solenergy Group Brisbane Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
No problems so far. Performing beautifully.
Bought From: SEM Brisbane
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Bought From: Adelaide SolarSafe Show additional information
Bought From: Australian Solar and Energy Solutions ASAES Show additional information
Bought From: Adelaide SolarSafe Show additional information
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.
Bought From: Signature Solar Pty Ltd
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Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Celtic Solar Show additional information
Bought From: I Want Energy Show additional information
Nothing, all good here.
Bought From: Sunrun Solar
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Bought From: Adelaide SolarSafe Show additional information
Consistent solid performance above spec.
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical
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Bought From: Oz Solar World Show additional information
Bought From: Sunrun Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Adelaide SolarSafe Show additional information
They are efficient, and to the extent you can see them - attractive with the black frames. I was originally keen on the more "black" looking panels, but they are less efficient. Efficiency won out, but I am very happy with the look.
Bought From: Sydney Air and Solar Sydney
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Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Daniel Shea Electrical and Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Solar Fusion Solutions Show additional information
Bought From: Solenergy Group Brisbane Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: MJ Solar Solutions Newcastle Hybrid Show additional information
Bought From: Apex Solar and Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Kozco Energy Group Show additional information
N-Peak panels look nice and seem to be performing well overall, hopefully will never need the outstanding product warranty offered by these units.
Bought From: OTI Power QLD
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Bought From: Sungold Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Sunergy Solar Bendigo Show additional information
Bought From: I Want Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Solar Pro Bendigo and Electric Pro Show additional information
Bought From: Kobi Energy Solutions Albury Show additional information
Bought From: Adelaide SolarSafe Show additional information
Bought From: ECG Electrical Show additional information
I'm getting 4.8kW in the middle of winter with clear skies in Perth. I have a 50/50 split for the two strings, one facing North-East, the other North-West. Great power generation all day. Happy with the 25 year linear performance warranty (not stepped warranty), and linear -0.5% efficiency drop the REC N-Peak panels have.
Bought From: Solaire Connect
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REC has 32 solar panels in our database

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