When it comes to solar panels, LG and REC both offer some great options. However, when you compare the panels’ efficiency, performance, build quality, warranties, and cost, there are some clear differences between these two industry giants.
LG was always a front-runner in solar technology, and its panels were highly respected in the industry. However, the company has recently announced that it will cease production of solar panels by June 30, 2022. LG's decision to exit the solar panel market will leave a significant void in the solar energy industry. LG was a leading manufacturer of premium solar panels that were highly efficient and reliable.
Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) is a leading solar panel manufacturer headquartered in Norway, with manufacturing plants in Norway, Singapore, and other locations around the world. REC has been in business for over 20 years, and has produced 43 million solar panels for homes, commercial establishments, and utility-scale facilities worldwide, and has generated 10 gigawatts of solar energy to date.
In this article, we will be going over the solar panel offerings from both LG and REC, and we will be taking a comparative look into the panels’ efficiency, performance, build quality, warranties, and cost.
REC vs LG Solar Panels: Product Line
LG manufactured all of their solar panels in their fully-automated facilities in Gumi, South Korea, and Alabama, United States. LG was a top-tier manufacturer of premium solar panels based on N-type monocrystalline cells that have higher efficiency and longer lifespan, compared to the more affordable and more common P-type monocrystalline cells that other solar panel manufacturers use.
LG’s Neon R Series was the company’s flagship solar panel offerings. Neon R panels had the latest IBC technology that gave them better low light performance, very high efficiency, and extremely low degradation. LG Neon R panels also have excellent performance in hot weather conditions.
LG’s Neon 2 Series was the company’s bestselling solar panel series. Neon 2 panels used LG’s proprietary Cello technology that enabled solar absorption from both sides of the cell. LG’s Cello Technology won the Photovoltaic Innovation Award at the Intersolar Industry Event held in Germany.
LG’s Neon H Series was essentially an upgraded version of the company’s more affordable Mono X Plus panels; whereas the Mono X Plus panels used half-cut P-type monocrystalline cells, Neon H panels, instead, used half-cut N-type monocrystalline cells for increased all-around performance.
LG’s Mono X Plus Series was the company’s only range of panels that used the more cost-effective P-type monocrystalline cells. Mono X Plus panels were specifically designed for customers who want good-quality, budget-oriented solar panel options.
REC manufactures all of their solar panels in-house in their central manufacturing plant in Singapore, where the company has complete control over the quality of their solar panels and all of their components. REC is known for developing and popularizing solar panels based on the split-module, half-cut cell design, which is now becoming an industry standard.
REC’s The Alpha Series leads REC’s solar panel lineup in every category: efficiency, performance, warranty, and even environmental sustainability. The Alpha Pure solar panels are equipped with heterojunction cell technology that optimizes efficiency and power output.
REC’s N-Peak Series is a line of 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 efficiency and power.
REC’s 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).
REC vs LG Solar Panels: Efficiency
Solar panel efficiency ratings measure how well a solar panel can convert sunlight into usable electricity. The higher the efficiency rating, the more electricity a solar panel can generate.This makes solar panels with high efficiency ratings a better investment, as they will produce more electricity over their lifespan than solar panels with lower efficiency ratings.
Solar panel efficiency is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a solar panel. The industry-average solar panel efficiency rating is anywhere between 15% and 20%, meaning that most of the solar panels on the market can convert 15% to 20% of sunlight into usable electricity.
Both LG and REC solar panels come in a wide array of different models, sizes, and configurations, so it makes sense that different solar panel offerings from both manufacturers will have different efficiency ratings. That said, both LG and REC have built a reputation for producing highly efficient solar panels.
LG Solar Panels:
- LG Neon R series solar panels had a peak efficiency rating of up to 22.0%
- LG Neon 2 series solar panels had a peak efficiency rating of up to 21.4%
- LG Neon H series solar panels solar panels had a peak efficiency rating of up to 20.6%
- LG Mono X Plus series solar panels had a peak efficiency rating of up to21.1%
REC 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 vs LG Solar Panels: Performance
Solar panel performance is a measure of how well a solar panel can convert sunlight into electrical energy. The temperature coefficient, in particular, is an important factor to consider when measuring solar panel performance, as it affects the amount of power generated by the panel at different temperatures.
Theoretically, the best possible temperature coefficient is 0%. In reality, however, most solar panels have a temperature coefficient that is greater than 0%, meaning if solar panels are subjected to very hot weather conditions, their performance will be slightly reduced. However, given that this reduction is still within an acceptable range, then the solar panels will continue to generate power at a reasonably high level.
Most solar panels available on the market have a temperature coefficient ranging from -0.38% to -0.45%. LG’s solar panels offered above-average temperature coefficient ratings ranging from -0.30% to -0.35%. REC solar panels, on the other hand, offer slightly better temperature coefficient ratings ranging from -0.26% to -0.34%.
REC vs LG Solar Panels: Build Quality
The build quality of a solar panel is another important consideration that often correlates to its ability to perform reliably over its lifespan. To ensure that solar panels can withstand the elements, both LG and REC follow strict quality control procedures.
LG solar panels were supported by extra-strength, double-wall aluminum frames and have a strength and durability factor of 5,400 Pa. LG solar panels were also rated high for corrosion and ammonia resistance, which made them ideal for coastal area installations.
LG manufactured some of the best premium solar panels in the market, earning an excellent reputation for reliability. The company had an unparalleled return rate of only 40 warranty claims in every 1 million panels sold.
REC Alpha and N-Peak solar panels also implements extra-strength frames, as well as extra support bars that increase their 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 also has a reputation for reliability; the company has an impressive return rate of 400 warranty claims in every 4 million panels sold.
REC vs LG 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 or accidental damage, which can save you money if something happens to your panels. A product warranty provides peace of mind that your panels will be fixed or replaced in the event of a malfunction. Additionally, a solar panel product warranty often covers
While the majority of solar panel manufacturers only provide 10-12 year product warranty Both LG and REC offer warranties on all their solar panel offerings that far exceed the industry average, which makes sense as both companies are known for producing solar panels that have next-level build quality and low failure rates.
LG solar panel product warranties are as follows:
- a 25-year product warranty on all of their Neon R series solar panels
- a 25-year product warranty on all of their Neon 2 series solar panels
- a 25-year product warranty on all of their Neon H series solar panels
- a 15-year product warranty on all of their Mono X series solar panels
REC solar panel product warranties are as follows:
- a 25-year product warranty on all of their Alpha series solar panels
- a 20–25 year product warranty on all of their N-Peak series solar panels
- a 20–25 year product warranty on all of their Twinpeak series solar panels
Solar panel performance guarantee is a promise by the manufacturer to replace your solar panels if they don't work well. This usually means that they will give you new solar panels if your old ones don't produce an acceptable percentage of their nameplate power, or if they don't work as well as they were supposed to.
LG solar panel performance guarantee are as follows:
- a 90% nominal yield production on all of their Neon R series solar panels for 25 years
- a 90% nominal yield production on all of their Neon 2 series solar panels for 25 years
- a 90% nominal yield production on all of their Neon H series solar panels for 25 years
- a 87.9% nominal yield production on all of their Mono X series solar panels for 25 years
REC solar panel performance guarantee are as follows:
- a 92% nominal yield production on all of their Alpha series solar panels for 25 years
- a 92% nominal yield production on all of their N-Peak series solar panels for 25 years
- a 92% nominal yield production on all of their Twinpeak series solar panels for 25 years
REC vs LG Solar Panels: Cost
Solar panel cost is often a primary consideration when investing in a residential solar system. It's important to keep in mind that the total cost of a solar system will vary depending on the size and complexity of the installation.This means that the cost of solar panels can be different for every person, depending on what kind of system they want to install.
Solar panel installation isn't cheap but solar panels have come down in price significantly in recent years. Additionally, there are a number of financing options available that can make the switch to solar more affordable, and there are a lot of tax credits, incentives, and rebates available to help offset the cost. For instance, The federal solar tax credit is worth 26 percent of the total system cost,
Both LG and REC solar panels come in different model series, sizes, and configurations , so prices tend to vary quite a bit. That said, solar panel offerings from both LG and REC are more or less inline with $3 per watt industry average.
LG solar panels had an average price range of roughly $2.46 and $3.38 per watt, meaning that a typical 6 kW system would have cost anywhere between $14,760 and $20,280.
REC solar panels have an average price range of roughly $2.40 to $3.60 per watt, meaning that a typical 6kW system would cost anywhere between $14,400 and $21,600.
REC vs LG Solar Panels: The Bottomline
At the end of the day, LG and REC are both Tier-1 solar panel manufacturers; both companies produce state-of-the-art solar panels that offer excellent price-to-performance ratio and carry extensive warranties.
With LG having exited the solar panel market in 2022, REC remains a great option, particularly if you are willing to invest a little more on premium solar panels. REC has a strong focus on research and development and is committed to continuously improving its solar panel offerings across different price points.
Being a vertically integrated company, REC has complete control of the key components of its solar panels—cells, wafers, modules, inverters, etc.—and every aspect of the production process; this allows the company to consistently ensure the quality of its products from the ground up.
If you can look past the premium price tag that typically comes with REC’s premium solar panels, then it becomes very difficult to find any fault in their best-in-class solar technology, build-quality, and production standards.