REC solar panels reviews

Based on 636 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 newer Alpha Pure offers up to 22.2%. The Alpha Pure is available in the following wattages: 385W, 390W, 395W, 400W, 405W and 410W.

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

Again no issues so far. We have the impression the overall system is functioning as well as expected.
Bought From: Sungain Solar Perth
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Bought From: Velocity Solar Geelong Show additional information
I would like to have the ability to compare different manufacturer's panel's output in low light situations. Cloud cover substantially reduces the output of my system.
Perhaps if I had 2 different manufacturers of panels connected to the 2 strings of my inverter I could then compare the output of the particular brand of panels on a cloudy day.
Bought From: East Coast Energy Solutions Pty Ltd
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Bought From: Apex Solar and Electrical Show additional information
They are doing the job but it is hard for us to comment on performance or reliability. The results are better than we expected.
Bought From: Our Power Solar
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Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: SolarWide Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Solar Saving Show additional information
Bought From: Green Choice Electrical Show additional information
Perfomance has been bang on, also being all black they look great too
Bought From: Green Wave Solar Pty Ltd
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REC alpha series is in the top end of SolarQuotes comparison category for panels
Bought From: Solar Man
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Great competitive price.
Bought From: Solaray Energy Z1
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Bought From: Adapt Energy Gold Coast - Brisbane Show additional information
Bought From: SEM Solar Show additional information
All look neat and tidy, and not like an add on
Bought From: Sungain Solar Perth
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Bought From: Signature Solar Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Hunter Valley Electrics Show additional information
Bought From: SolarWide Pty Ltd Show additional information
Because of the large size of the panels - we had to change original plan from 11 North , 8 East to 3 East , 9 West , 7 North . I feel the western panels 258 degrees will be less efficient
Bought From: Sungain Solar Perth
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Bought From: Compass Home and Lifestyle Show additional information
Consistently good output, even in low sunlight
Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical
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Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Green Wave Solar Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Adam Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Linked Solar Show additional information
Bought From: G Solar and Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
REC Alpha 350w half cut. REC proTrust warranty certified installer to get the 25 yr product warranty.

Happy with the panels
Bought From: Green Choice Electrical
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Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Sungain Solar Perth Show additional information
Bought From: Proven Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Open Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
Also have Hyundai and SolarEdge as well.
Bought From: Green Energy Technologies Mackay
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REC Alpha 370W
Bought From: Green Solar Energy NSW
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Bought From: Jet Solar Melbourne GC Show additional information
38 × 350W REC Solar Alpha Series supplied at a cheaper price than either 38 × 350W Hanwha Q CELLS Q.MAXX or 36 x TSM-370DD08M.08(II) Trina HoneyM 370 Watt panels.

At one year, all panels are working to specifications.
Bought From: Progress Electrical Newcastle
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Premium REC Alpha panels, award-winning, innovative and industry leading technology.
We're really happy with their high consistent power output, we monitor the performance of our panels through our Solar Analytics installation.
Bought From: Magic Electrical Services
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Bought From: Sungain Solar Perth Show additional information
Bought From: Ever Power Solar Show additional information
Bought From: RK Solar And Consulting Sydney North Show additional information
Bought From: Perth Solar Warehouse Show additional information
Bought From: The Sun Works Show additional information
Bought From: Adapt Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Green Solar NSW Show additional information
seem to be working well so far
Bought From: Adelaide SolarSafe
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Bought From: Sunlogics Show additional information
Bought From: Rimfire Projects Show additional information
They look good, have extra bracing across the back of the panel, and perform well - even on cloudy days.
Bought From: Green Solar Toowoomba
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Bought From: Surge It Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Kobi Energy Solutions Wodonga Show additional information
Bought From: Adapt Energy 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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