Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) is an international solar panel manufacturer and a leading innovator of solar PV technology headquartered in Norway; the company has an advanced manufacturing plant in Singapore, as well as regional offices in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and California.
Founded in Norway in 1996, REC has manufactured over 43 million solar panels for homes, commercial establishments, and utility-scale facilities worldwide; the company has so far generated 10 gigawatts of solar energy for roughly 17 million people. REC is currently owned by Chinese chemical corporation ChemChina but is in the process of being acquired by Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries.
REC is a vertically integrated company that manufactures everything in-house and has complete control over the quality of their solar panels and all of their components. REC carries out all production in the company’s central manufacturing plant in Singapore.
REC Solar Product Line
REC manufactures a full range of solar panels for residential use, as well as commercial and industrial applications. REC solar panels generally come in three different series: Alpha Series, N-Peak Series, and Twinpeak Series.
REC is known for being the first company to produce panels based on the split-module, half-cut cell design that’s now becoming an industry standard, with many solar panel manufacturers developing their own half-cut design.
Alpha series solar panels are the newest addition to REC’s solar panel lineup and are among the company’s best-performing solar panels. The Alpha series leads REC’s solar panel lineup in every category: efficiency, performance, warranty, and even environmental sustainability.
Alpha series solar panels come in a number of different sizes and configurations. The latest generation Alpha Pure solar panels implement the use of N-Type silicon cells and heterojunction cell technology (HJT) that results in higher energy coefficients, less power loss, and a peak efficiency rating of 22.2%.
N-Peak series solar panels are high-efficiency, high-power solar panels designed for use in limited spaces and small locations. The N-Peak series offers a more economical alternative to the Alpha series of solar panels without sacrificing too much power and efficiency.
N-Peak series solar panels come in a number of different sizes and configurations. N-Peak series solar panels implement the use of N-Type silicon cells and REC’s vaunted split-module, half-cut cell design that makes it less susceptible to light-induced degradation (LID). The latest generation N-Peak 2 solar panels have a peak efficiency rating that ranges from 19.7% to 20.5%.
Twinpeak series of solar panels are REC’s most affordable solar panel offering. The Twinpeak series is a budget-oriented alternative to the N-Peak series of solar panels that—while comparably efficient to the N-Peak series—is much more prone to light-induced degradation (LID).
Twinpeak series solar panels come in a number of different sizes and configurations. Twinpeak solar panels share a very similar design to N-Peak solar panels, implementing the same split-module, half-cut cell design, but using the more affordable P-Type silicon cells instead. The latest generation Twinpeak 4 panels have a peak efficiency rating that ranges from 19.7% to 20.5%.
REC Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar panel efficiency refers to how much sunlight your solar panels can absorb and convert into usable electricity. All things being equal, a solar panel with high efficiency ratings is capable of generating more usable electricity than a solar panel with lower efficiency ratings.
The industry average for solar panel efficiency ranges from 15% to 20%, meaning that most solar panels available on the market are capable of converting 15% to 20% of sunlight into usable electricity.
REC solar panels come in 3 different series and in a wide range of different sizes and configurations, so it makes sense that different REC solar panels will have different efficiency ratings. That said, REC has a stellar record of producing highly efficient solar panels.
- REC Alpha series solar panels have a peak efficiency rating of up to 22.2%.
- REC N-Peak series solar panels have a peak efficiency rating of up to 20.5%.
- REC Twinpeak series solar panels have a peak efficiency rating of up to 20.5%.
REC Solar Panels Performance
Solar panel performance is a multifactorial metric that gauges a solar panel’s ability to generate electricity, and one particularly important factor to consider when gauging panel performance is temperature coefficient.
Generally, solar panels can operate at peak performance when they are at an ideal temperature of 77° F (25° C). However, solar panels tend to be exposed to extremely hot weather conditions every now and then, so they can’t realistically operate at an ideal temperature all the time. Temperature coefficient is important as it measures how well solar panels perform when they operate in this less-than-ideal, extreme-heat weather conditions..
The ideal temperature coefficient is zero, or as close to zero as possible. Lower temperature coefficient often correlates to a high solar panel performance. The industry average for solar panel coefficient ranges from -0.38% to -0.45%. REC solar panels offer top-notch temperature coefficient ratings ranging from -0.26% to -0.34%.
REC Solar Panel Build Quality
Solar panel build quality typically correlates to your solar panel’s long-term reliability and performance. REC solar panels consistently receive high ratings from DNV-GL’s independent solar module testing program. REC Twinpeak series solar panels, in particular, have been rated by DNV-GL as a top performer.
REC implemented a new extra-strength frame design with extra support bars in both the Alpha and N-Peak series of solar panels. This new design reinforces the frame structure of the solar panels, and it increases the panels’ strength and durability factor from 5400 Pa to 7000 Pa. which far exceeds industry standard, making Alpha and N-Peak solar panels some of the strongest options on the market.
REC solar panels have an impressive return rate of only 400 in 4 million, which translates to around 1 panel returned as a warranty claim in every 10,000 panels that the company sold.
REC Solar Panels Warranties
Solar panel product warranty is a legally binding commitment by the manufacturer to replace or repair your solar panels in the event of an equipment failure at no cost to you.
REC previously offered a 10-year product warranty on all of their solar panels. In 2019, however, the company started upgrading and extending their product warranties, which makes perfect sense considering REC solar panels have next-level build quality and low failure rates. REC now offers:
- a 25-year product warranty on all of their Alpha series solar panels
- a 20-year product warranty on all of their N-Peak series solar panels—which can be extended to 25 years if the panels are installed by REC-certified solar installers
- a 20-year product warranty on all of their Twinpeak series solar panels—which can be extended to 25 years if the panels are installed by REC-certified solar installers
A solar panel’s performance warranty, on the other hand, is a legally binding commitment by the manufacturer to replace your solar panels if they fail to produce an acceptable percentage of their nameplate power.
REC offers an extensive 25-year performance guarantee on all of their solar panels. REC guarantees that their Alpha, N-Peak, and Twinpeak solar panels will still be producing at least 92% of nameplate power after 25 years.
REC Solar Panels Cost
Solar panel cost is often a primary consideration when investing in a residential solar system. It is important to understand, however, that the total cost of your solar system will depend on the inverters, mounts, and other pieces of equipment that you use in conjunction with your solar panels..
REC solar panel offerings come in different model series, sizes, and configurations, so prices tend to vary quite a bit. However, on average, the cost of REC solar panels ranges from $2.40 to $3.60 per watt, which place them well within the $3 per watt industry average. This means that a typical 6kW system would cost you anywhere between $14,400 and $21,600.
When investing in a solar panel system, there are a lot of things you can do to keep the cost down significantly, including a 26 percent federal solar tax credit, as well as state-level incentives, and rebates.
REC Solar Panels: The Bottomline
REC solar panels are pricier than average, but not exaggeratedly so—and with the release of the Alpha series of solar panels, REC is definitely moving into the premium solar market segment. With a well-earned reputation within the solar industry and impressively low failure rates, REC solar panels are an excellent choice for any homeowner who’s willing to spend a little more for a reliable residential solar system.
Note that REC solar panels aren’t available for DIY installation, so if you're considering REC panels, it’s best that you reach out to a professional solar installer—or better yet, to an REC-certified solar installer, if you’re looking to extend the warranty of your panels.
All in all, REC solar panels are outstanding solar solutions; REC solar panels are trusted by homeowners, installers, and dealers alike because of their excellent price-to-performance ratio, robust build quality, and dependable long-term reliability, which is further highlighted by REC’s industry-leading product warranty and performance guarantees.