Sunpower solar panels reviews

Based on 441 ratings Aus Ranking

  • 5 star 352
  • 4 star 78
  • 3 star 11
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0

Show ratings from:

Timeline

The views expressed by reviewers are theirs' alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of Peacock Media Group, which makes no representations as to the accuracy of the reviews. For our full disclaimer and further information, see our Terms of Use and our Review Guidelines.

About Sunpower, Solar Panels

Sunpower solar panels review

SunPower is an American company that produces high quality, tier one solar panels that are among the best available. Their panels have the highest efficiency currently on the market, they are likely to be the best at tolerating partial shade, and they have a 25 year replacement product warranty. In addition, SunPower panels are corrosion resistant which makes them suitable for installation anywhere in Australia.

SunPower have an Australian office in Melbourne.

Read All About It

I looked into SunPower panels in June 2016 and you can read what I wrote about them here.  I also wrote about how SunPower replaced some panels under their performance warranty in 2018 here.

Production Capacity

At the start of 2018 SunPower's had 1.2 gigawatts of solar cell manufacturing capacity and 1.9 gigawatts of solar panel manufacturing capacity.

In 2019, the company shipped  2.5 GW of modules, representing 80% growth over 2018.

Manufacturing Locations

SunPower is as American as apple pie and so is majority owned by a French oil company. This makes sense because the French were eating apple pies long before Americans ever did.

SunPower's headquarters are in San Jose in California.  They abandoned manufacturing in the United States for a long time but now own one solar panel manufacturing plant in the United States which they bought from US Solarworld in order to avoid Trump's solar panel tariffs. 

Currently SunPower has other manufacturing capacity in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Mexico.  They also entered into a joint venture to produce their P series panels in China.

Company History

SunPower was founded in 1985 by Richard Swanson. He's a great guy. He's huge in solar. He has all the best solar ideas. And his hands are at least average size.

Swanson is responsible for Swanson's Law, which states that for every doubling of production capability, the cost of solar panels fall by 20%. Despite ups and downs in prices, it's proven to be roughly accurate and I hope the effect will continue into the future.

As it has managed to stick around for over 33 years so far, SunPower is one of the oldest solar panel manufacturers in existence.

However, in November 2019, SunPower announced it will spin off much of its solar panel manufacturing into a new company – Maxeon Solar Technologies.

SunPower's 25 Year Replacement Product Warranty

SunPower provides their panels with a 25 year product warranty. This is far superior to the 10 or 12 years still offered by most tier one panel manufactueres. This makes their product warranty and performance warranty the same length at 25 years each.

SunPower's product warranty is a full replacement warranty. This means that if one of their panels fails, SunPower won't just give you a refund or a replacement, they will send someone out to replace it free of charge. Because replacing a solar panel can can more than the cost of a panel this is useful.  However, under Australian consumer law, when a product fails under warranty it is possible to claim compensation for damages and loss from reasonsonable forseeable expenses such as the cost of installation.  This means technically all solar panel warranties in Australia should be full replacement warranties.  But it is still good that SunPower clearly states in their warranty they will replace faulty panels without charge.      

Panel Reliability

While this figure is now out of date, SunPower has said their panel failure rate is only 1 in 37,000. Hopefully it's even better now, although I know some panels have been replaced under warranty.  Because the large majority of their panels were well under 25 years old at the this doesn't mean there is only a 1 in 37,000 chance of a panel failing during its 25 year warranty period, but it still suggests they are very reliable.

SunPower Panels Resist The Effects Of Heat

SunPower panels suffer considerably less decrease in efficiency due to the effects of heat than the average panels.  Their coefficiency of Pmax ranges from around is -0.29% to -0.37%/°C depending on the model, while the average is around -0.4%.  This is how much their output is decreased by for each degree celcisus the panel temperature is above 25 degrees.  Note that the temperature of panels in the sun can be much higher than the air temperature and can reach 65 degrees on hot days. 

SunPower Panels Tolerate Partial Shade Well

Partial shade can cause a major reduction in the performance of solar cells as one badly performing solar cell can drag down the performance of others, so just one bird poop can have a major effect. But SunPower uses various technologies to minimise its impact.

Note that if SunPower panels are connected to a string inverter the worst performing panel will still drag down the performance of other panels on the string. This problem can be overcome by using DC optimisers or by using microinverters instead of a string inverter.

SunPower Has Financial Difficulties

SunPower had been experiencing financial difficulties, posting significant losses in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

For the fiscal year 2019, SunPower's assets and liabilities were almost equal, which is not a good situation to be in.  Their financial position has been hurt by falling solar panel prices and also President Trump's US solar tariffs -- despite SunPower winning an exemption

There was speculation that SunPower will go bankrupt.  If it did it is possible it will be bought as an ongoing concern and its warranties will still be supported.  However, I have no way to guess how likely this; particularly given the recent plans to spin off much of its manufacturing into another company.

But even if I was certain SunPower wouldn't be around in the future to honour their warranties, I would still be fine with installing them on my roof because their high reliability means the chance of me needing their warranty should be extremely small.

Warranty claim procedure for orphaned Sunpower customers

If you have purchased Sunpower panels from a solar installer that has gone out of business, the responsibility for warranty claims falls to Sunpower. They can be contacted on 1800 786 769, and will arrange for an installer in their network to diagnose and rectify any problems with the panels - with labor costs involved covered by the warranty.

My Recommendation

I would have no problem installing SunPower panels on my roof, and this would be the case even if I expected SunPower to go bust and not be around to honour their warranties.

But while SunPower panels are very high quality, they do carry a hefty premium and so it will be necessary to decide if they are worth the extra expense.

Sunpower Solar Panel Reviews

Bought From: Infinite Energy WA Show additional information
Bought From: Venergy SA Regional Show additional information
Like the fully black look
Bought From: Infinite Energy WA
Show additional information
Bought From: SAE Group Brisbane North Show additional information
Bought From: Energy Buster Show additional information
Bought From: Velocity Solar Geelong Show additional information
Bought From: Energy Buster Show additional information
excellent
Bought From: MC Electrical
Show additional information
We can see how each panel is working every hour.
Bought From: Essential Solar Inner North
Show additional information
Bought From: SAE Group Brisbane North Upper Show additional information
Bought From: Freedom Energy Solutions Group Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: MC Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: Sungold Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Energy Assist Group Bellarine Show additional information
Bought From: Red Dog Power Company Show additional information
Bought From: Energy Buster Show additional information
Bought From: Venergy SA Metro Show additional information
Bought From: AG Solar Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Dunne Solar and Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: MC Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: 3 Phase Solar Show additional information
Bought From: MC Electrical Show additional information
They were laid flat on a clip lock roof and performed extremely well. Even recording some power production after the sun had set at 7 pm in November. They were clamped on the roof with no roof penetration.
Bought From: Fased Pty Limited
Show additional information
Bought From: Venergy SA Metro Show additional information
Bought From: Energy Buster Show additional information
Bought From: Sunlogics Show additional information
Solar panels camouflaged on roof with the black seemless panels, enhancing the beauty of the home.
Bought From: Velocity Solar Geelong
Show additional information
Blends in well with the roof structure, both tiled and iron roofs
Bought From: Venergy SA Metro
Show additional information
They look good. Colour is great.
Bought From: Traeger Solar Residential
Show additional information
Bought From: MC Electrical Show additional information
Great performance so far
Bought From: SAE Group QLD
Show additional information
Sunpower panels performing very well on a South facing roof, would highly recommend.
Bought From: SAE Group Nth Sunny Coast
Show additional information
Bought From: Venergy SA Metro Show additional information
Bought From: Venergy SA Metro Show additional information
They are very good looking as well as the best quality.
Bought From: Platinum Solar Designs NSW
Show additional information
They look great. Dark with no lines or grid so match my dark roof perfectly.
Bought From: EnviroGroup
Show additional information
Panels so far are performing to expectations. with 12 panels on the east and 14 on the western side. The panels look great on the roof and the install job looks great. I would definitely go with these panels again. Warranty was a big decision on utilising these panels in my system.
Bought From: MC Electrical
Show additional information
Bought From: Green Choice Electrical Show additional information
Bought From: SAE Group Pottsville - Tweed Show additional information
Excellent quality and great warranty!
Bought From: AG Solar Pty Ltd
Show additional information
Bought From: Venergy SA Metro Show additional information
A number of panels were not fixed according to the manufacturers specifications - which would have voided warranty.
Situation corrected but not without argument.
The panels are Black, look great and work well.
Finally the system is working as expected.
Bought From: SAE Group Grafton - Coffs Harbour
Show additional information
Bought From: Smooth Current Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Energy Buster Show additional information
This is my 3rd Sunpower system. Very please with build quality and performance.
Bought From: Solargain Perth
Show additional information
For optimal orientation of the panels, I have 6 panels visible from the front of my house. For this reason I wanted a sleek looking installation. Sunpower P series are one of the few panels that are completely black. REC Alpha do also have an all black version but for some reason their all black version is ridiculously more expensive than the version with a white backing sheet.
Bought From: MLEC Solar Perth
Show additional information
As above, system seems to be working very well - just can't monitor it!
Bought From: MLEC Solar Perth
Show additional information
Bought From: SAE Group Ipswich Show additional information
Bought From: GEMEnergy QLD Show additional information
Very please with their performance, even when in partial shade due to a tree I'm yet to remove.
Bought From: Infinite Energy WA
Show additional information

Sunpower has 71 solar panels in our database

Model Type Size PTC Performance Ratio Californian Approved
PL-PLT-63L-BLK-UMonocrystalline635587.30Yes
PL-SUNP-SPR-215Monocrystalline21519892.09Yes
PL-SUNP-SPR-290Monocrystalline29026691.72Yes
PL-SUNP-SPR-305Monocrystalline30528192.13Yes
PL-SUNP-SPR-308EMonocrystalline30828391.88Yes
PL-SUNP-SPR-315EMonocrystalline31529092.06Yes
SER-220PPolycrystalline22019588.64Yes
SER-228PPolycrystalline22820288.60Yes
SER-235PPolycrystalline23521290.21Yes
SPR-200-BLK-UMonocrystalline20018090.00Yes
SPR-200-WHT-UMonocrystalline20018291.00Yes
SPR-205-BLK-UMonocrystalline20518489.76Yes
SPR-208-WHT-UMonocrystalline20818990.87Yes
SPR-210-BLK-UMonocrystalline21018990.00Yes
SPR-210-WHT-UMonocrystalline21019492.38Yes
SPR-217-WHT-UMonocrystalline21719790.78Yes
SPR-220-BLK-UMonocrystalline22019890.00Yes
SPR-220-WHT-UMonocrystalline22020090.91Yes
SPR-225-BLK-UMonocrystalline22520591.11Yes
SPR-225NE-BLK-DMonocrystalline22520691.56Yes
SPR-230-WHT-UMonocrystalline23021292.17Yes
SPR-230E-WHT-DMonocrystalline23020990.87Yes
SPR-230NE-BLK-DMonocrystalline23021191.74Yes
SPR-235NE-WHT-DMonocrystalline23521691.91Yes
SPR-238E-WHT-D (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline23821791.18Yes
SPR-240E-WHT-DMonocrystalline24021991.25Yes
SPR-240E-WHT-U-ACPVMonocrystalline24021991.25Yes
SPR-245NE-WHT-D (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline24522692.24Yes
SPR-245NE-WHT-U-240 ACPVMonocrystalline24522692.24Yes
SPR-250NX-BLK-DMonocrystalline25023292.80Yes
SPR-295E-WHT-DMonocrystalline29527191.86Yes
SPR-300E-WHT-DMonocrystalline30027692.00Yes
SPR-310E-WHT-D (96 cells)Monocrystalline31028591.94Yes
SPR-318E-WHT-D (96 Mono cells)Monocrystalline31829392.14Yes
SPR-320NE-WHT-DMonocrystalline32029592.19Yes
SPR-320NE-WHT-D (96 Mono cells)Monocrystalline32029592.19Yes
SPR-327NE-WHT-D (96 Mono cells)Monocrystalline32730192.05Yes
SPR-335NX-BLK-DMonocrystalline33531192.84Yes
SPR-343J-WHT-DMonocrystalline34331892.71Yes
SPR-390E-WHT-DMonocrystalline39036192.56Yes
SPR-400E-WHT-DMonocrystalline40037192.75Yes
SPR-410NE-WHT-DMonocrystalline41038092.68Yes
SPR-415E-WHT-DMonocrystalline41538592.77Yes
SPR-425E-WHT-DMonocrystalline42539192.00Yes
SPR-435NE-WHT-DMonocrystalline43540091.95Yes
SPR-440NE-WHT-DMonocrystalline44040592.05Yes
SPR-445J-WHT-DMonocrystalline44541392.81Yes
SPR-76R-BLK-UMonocrystalline766585.53Yes
SPR-E18-235Monocrystalline23521691.91Yes
SPR-E18-295-COMMonocrystalline29527191.86Yes
SPR-E18-305-COMMonocrystalline30528192.13Yes
SPR-E19-235Monocrystalline23521691.91Yes
SPR-E19-310-COMMonocrystalline31028591.94Yes
SPR-E19-315Monocrystalline31529092.06Yes
SPR-E19-320Monocrystalline32029592.19Yes
SPR-E20-245Monocrystalline24522692.24Yes
SPR-E20-327Monocrystalline32730192.05Yes
SPR-E20-435-COMMonocrystalline43540091.95Yes
SPR-X19-240-BLKMonocrystalline24022493.33Yes
SPR-X20-245Monocrystalline24523294.69Yes
SPR-X20-255Monocrystalline25524194.51Yes
SPR-X20-327Monocrystalline32730894.19Yes
SPR-X21-335Monocrystalline33531493.73Yes
SPR-X21-345Monocrystalline34532393.62Yes
SPR-X21-345-COMMonocrystalline34532092.75Yes
SPR-X22-340-BLKMonocrystalline34031893.53Yes
SPR-X22-359Monocrystalline35933392.76Yes
SPR-X22-360Monocrystalline36033492.78Yes
SPR-X22-460-COMMonocrystalline46043895.22Yes
SPR-X22-470-COMMonocrystalline47043893.19Yes
SPR-X22-475-COMMonocrystalline47544393.26Yes
 To get your quotes, please enter your postcode: