REC solar panels reviews

Based on 689 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.

REC is owned by the giant Chinese chemical corporation Bluestar; also known as ChemChina - but as at early 2022 is in the process of being acquired by an Indian company. 

They produce tier one panels with 20 year product warranty (or 25 years if 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. Having a physical local presence is pretty important for building confidence in the brand and properly supporting its customers in Australia.

A US Company Has A Similar Name

There is a company in the United States called REC Solar that installs commercial scale solar power systems 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, which was more than what was installed in all of Australia that year. Shipments since then aren't clear, but in terms of cumulative total, in 2021 the company noted it had shipped 11 gigawatts of REC solar panels - 40 million modules.

As for total manufacturing capacity, the last we heard it was around 1.8GW annually.

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 REC started production of solar panels in Singapore and subsequently expanded capacity at this facility.  This currently remains the company's only manufacturing site. 

In 2015 REC Solar was bought by the Norwegian company Elkem, which is owned by the Chinese corporation Bluestar.  Then in October 2021, REC announced it had been acquired by Reliance New Energy Solar Limited; an Indian multinational headquartered in Mumbai.

This will make REC Solar an Indian-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 Were (Are?) Big In Germany

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

How it has fared more recently in Germany isn't clear.

REC Solar Panels

REC produces four 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 were available in 305 - 330 watts. The efficiency these panels ranged from 18.3% to 19.8%. They were certified as corrosion resistant, making them suitable for installation in coastal areas.

In July 2021, the original N-Peak series were superseded by the N-Peak 2, offering better efficiency and more power. Available in 360W, 365W, 370W and 375W models, the N-Peak 2 have an efficiency ranging from 19.7% - 20.5%.

REC TwinPeak 4 Panels

REC also produces TwinPeak 4 series panels; the fourth generation in this series.  These are an interesting design as they are divided into top and bottom halves - 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 installed where there is no shade, this feature is of little benefit. And like all solar panels they perform terribly when fully shaded.

TwinPeak 4 panels have an efficiency of 19.7% - 20.5%, and are available in 360W, 365W, 370W and 375W models.

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 originally offered a panel efficiency of up to 21.7%, but the Alpha Pure that followed offers up to 22.2% and is available in the following wattages: 385W, 390W, 395W, 400W, 405W and 410W.

REC picked up an Intersolar Award in May 2022 for the Alpha Pure Series, with the judges commenting on its "outstanding" power output, small carbon footprint and lack of lead use in manufacturing.

Also in May 2022, REC unveiled its Alpha Pure-R solar panels, which will be available in capacities ranging from 410W – 430W and with module conversion efficiencies from 21.2% to 22.3%. REC said the company is to commence production of Alpha Pure-R panels in August 2022.

REC Solar Panel Failure Rate

On the REC site the company states:

“...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 manufacturing 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. The company has a network of REC certified installers 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. And it seems many other Australians share this view based on the number, nature and consistency of REC solar panel reviews and ratings below - feel free to add your own review if you're an Australian owner and have these modules installed.

REC Solar Panel Reviews

Bought From: G Solar and Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Hello Sun Show additional information
Bought From: Adapt Energy Show additional information
Bought From: SolarPro Show additional information
12 months on, and the panels are still generating same amount of power, with nil degradation
Bought From: MJ Solar Solutions Port Stephens
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I have only had the system up and running for 3 days. Even though it is mid-June and been cloudy, the panels and system have delivered the inverter maximum power out of 5KW on a number of full sun occasions.
Bought From: Formosa Electrics Pty Ltd
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Bought From: Perth Solar Warehouse Show additional information
Bought From: Velocity Solar Geelong Show additional information
So far very happy, they are performing very well, having upgraded from an older system we can see the difference already. Can't wait to see in 6 months how we are going.
Bought From: Green Choice Electrical
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They look good and close up you can see the quality.
Bought From: Electro Service Solar
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It produces electricity on overcast days
Bought From: RK Solar And Consulting NSW
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Look nice blend in nicely on the shed.
Bought From: Kobi Energy Solutions Albury
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Bought From: Apex Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Not much to say, doing their job well, haven’t had any issues. They appear to be good quality.
Bought From: Macedon Ranges Solar Power
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Bought From: Kobi Energy Solutions Albury Show additional information
Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Xpert Energy Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Go Green Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Fritts Solar Batteries Show additional information
Bought From: RenewCo Solar Show additional information
High end solar panels with huge output & long warranty - peace of mind with these panels.
Bought From: I Want Energy
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Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Green Solar Show additional information
Bought From: G Solar and Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Ultimate Solar Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
These panels were chosen as they closely matched our existing setup, look great, and perform well.
Bought From: Green Solar
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Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical Show additional information
It is early days, but we have been impressed with the amount of power generated even on rainy/cloudy days. We have been self sufficient since the system was turned on.
Bought From: Sunstak
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Bought From: Fritts Solar GC Show additional information
Bought From: SALT Solar 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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Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical 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: Alliance Solar Show additional information
Chose the REC Alpha Pure panels. Had a high Power output warrantied at 92% at 25 years (one of the highest around), and a high Panel Efficiency at 21.6
They look great in the black.
Had the panels for a month now, and every day they are exceeding what was expected. The battery gets full by lunchtime (on a good day), and we are selling back to the grid daily.
Bought From: Advanced Energy Management VIC
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REC Twin peak 4 Series
Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical
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Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Green Solar Show additional information
Bought From: I Want Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Solar Saving Show additional information
We got Alpha black panel and we are really pleased they look great and they are performing really well. Again one of your recommended brands
Bought From: RenewCo Solar
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Bought From: Solaire Connect Show additional information
Happy
Bought From: Goliath Solar and Electrical
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Bought From: Linked Solar 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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