HE Solar LLC - Premium Solar Panels

We Compare Panasonic, Sunpower, LG, and more!

he solar test array comparing sunpower to panasonic and LG solar panels

Behold the HE Solar Test Array! Our test array uses module level electronics to actively compare all of the latest solar panels on the market. We compare premium solar panels from Sunpower, Panasonic, and LG. The test array also includes standard efficiency solar panels from Solarworld and Mission Solar.

The Hoffman brothers are both Master Electricians that grew up in the Austin electrical industry. The brothers make a point to test all new electrical equipment before offering it to their customers.

Solar Panels we are testing

Panasonic HIT Solar Panel

Panasonic HIT

Panasonic's HIT solar cell's are high efficiency and have a proven 40 year manufacturing history.

SunPower X Series Solar Panels

SunPower

SunPower's solar cells have a copper backplate that offers a clean aesthetic and high efficiency.

LG NeON2 series solar panel

LG NeON 2

LG's NeON2 Solar cells are connected by 12 small busbars making it an affordable high efficiency option.

solarworld and other standard efficiency solar panels

Standard Efficiency

We also compare standard efficiency solar panels from SolarWorld, Q-Cells, Hyundai, and more!

Get a Price Quote

Get Pricing: Submissions go directly to the Hoffman Brothers... or call 512-921-6763
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Getting Started

How we test solar panels

dc optimizer used to compare solar panels on the HE solar test arrayUsing SolarEdge DC optimizers we are able to mix different solar panels and log their production. DC optimizers do not clip power output like micro inverters. This gives us full output potential under various Central Texas weather conditions.

All of the original HE Solar LLC Test Array solar panels were deployed at the same time. Solar power output will slowly degrade from age. This is an important variable that we will take into consideration as we add new panels to the array.

(NOTE: We have recently added LG R Series Panels to the array 350watt and 360watt)

he solar test array solar production report

 

HE Test Array

How we rank solar panels

Ranking Factors

Before you scroll down to the rankings (you already did.. didn’t you!) get to know the factors we take into consideration.

Cost: This is the largest factor for most customers and we take it in to consideration on our recommendations below. Consumers interested in cost should pay close attention to Panasonic vs. LG Solar Comparison below.

Efficiency: Efficiency is a greater consideration for customers with less space for solar panels. All panels compared below are considered High Efficiency. Consumers curious about the most efficient solar panels on the market can compare SunPower vs LG R Series below.

Weather Conditions: Our values reflect weather conditions for the greater Austin / San Marcos area where the solar panels are located.

Product Warranty: It is important that customers learn the difference between product warranty and power guarantee. Product warranty covers various defects. Solar panel defects are incredibly rare for premium solar panel manufacturers. Compare the top solar panel warranties in the industry below by comparing Panasonic vs SunPower Solar. Note: Warranty assumes Panasonic Enhanced Partner and SunPower Partner Status

Power Guarantee (AKA Performance Warranty): Guarantees power output for a specified amount of time. Power guarantees are difficult to prove without dc optimizers or micro inverters.

Warranty Reliability: Solar Panel manufacturers are in a highly competitive environment and we have seen numerous bankruptcies over the years. We add value to companies like LG and Panasonic that have a diverse portfolio and can survive solar market fluctuations.

Ranked Comparison (1=Worst, 5=Best)

How we rankPansonic, LG, and SunPower in the 2017 solar panel market.

Panasonic HIT 330W SunPower X22 360W LG NeON2 330W LG NeON R-Series 360W
Efficiency 4 5 3.5 4.5
Cost 4.5 1 5 3
Heat Performance 5 4.5 2 4
Aesthetics 4 5 4 4.5
Warranty 5 5 3 5
25 Year Power Guarantee 4.5 5 2 3
Warranty Reliability 5 3 5 5




Overall Rank 32 28.5 24.5 29

Technical Comparison

Pansonic vs SunPower vs LG

Panasonic HIT 330W SunPower X22 360W LG NeON2 330W LG NeON R-Series 360W
Nameplate (STC) Watts 330 360 330 360
Tested (PTC) Watts 311.3 334.4 306.3 337.6
PTC/Nameplate Ratio 94.3% 92.9% 92.8% 93.8%
Area (sqft) 18 17.5 18.4 18.6
Tested Performance 17.3 Watts per sqft 19.1 Watts per sqft 16.6 Watts per sqft 18.2 Watts per sqft
Estimated Installed Cost ≈ $3.00 / watt ≈ $3.70 / watt ≈ $2.90 / watt ≈ $3.30 /watt
Power: Heat Coefficient 0.258% per °C 0.29% per °C 0.37% per °C 0.30% per °C
Product Warranty 25 Years 25 Years 12 Years 25 Years
Year 1 Power Guarantee 97% 98% 98% 95%
Year 25 Power Guarantee 90.76% 92% 84.8% 87%

The Results

In our Professional Opinion

 

HE Solar LLC’s Pick: Panasonic HIT 330W

The Panasonic HIT Solar Cells have a proven history of reliability and efficiency. HIT Solar Cell Technology was developed by SANYO and has been in mass production for 20 years. Panasonic acquired SANYO and began making solar panels for the North American market.

We personally feel that Panasonic, LG, and Sunpower are all making great solar panels. In our experience, the Installation Quality is the main variable when it comes to system performance. This is why solar systems require proper design, wire termination, and installation practice performed by Licensed Electricians.

We switched from SunPower to Panasonic in 2017 as our main Solar Panel offering. Panasonic’s combined quality, bank-ability , and competitive cost made it an obvious choice. In our opinion the only downside of the Panasonic panel when coming from SunPower was the overall aesthetic. Panasonic has visible busbars on the front of the panel. SunPower avoids this by using copper backplates. However, this is only visible up close.

For Example, we recently added Panasonic to an existing SunPower array for a customer that could not pass up the lower cost of Panasonic solar panels. In our opinion the aesthetic difference is a minor factor when viewed from a normal distance.

Solar array that has Sunpower and Panasonic solar panels

 


 

Honorable Mention

There are instances where we recommend solar panels other than Panasonic. If you are ready to get started give us a call at 512-921-6763 or fill out a quote submission. Below are scenarios where we recommend considering other solar panels:

Max Efficiency: SunPower 360W, for consumers with no budget-caps or a need to make the most out of a small roof. The SunPower Solar Panels Austin Market is now facing competition by the introduction of LG’s R Series Solar Panels.

Low Budget: LG NeON2. Solar Power systems are a large investment and sometimes a system design is dictated by a budget. LG NeON2 panels cost a bit less than Panasonic and can stretch your dollar a bit further.

 

Consumers can use the tables below to come up with their own pick. Lab testing can be found by visiting Go Solar California.

Don’t get to caught up in product specification when choosing between premium products. After all, the installation will make or break the system. Learn more about what makes a HE Solar LLC installation the deciding factor when choosing a solar contractor.