When choosing solar panels, one important factor to consider is their country of origin. Today, most solar panels are made in China, but US-made solar panels have also won the hearts of American customers for their quality, efficiency and, of course, being American. Let’s take a look at the best US made solar panels, explore the applications, factors influencing their efficiency, and what to look for when choosing solar panels.
5 best US made solar panels
Choosing that perfect panel isn’t an easy task, so we’ve done the hard work for you and present the top 5 best solar panels for home and business.
1. Solaria 400W Solar Panel PowerXT – Stylish choice for home and business
The Solaria 400W Solar Panel PowerXT is suitable for both home and business. The panel gives high power output with an efficiency of 20.2%. After 25 years of operation, the panel still keeps 86% of its original capacity. Besides, it is well prepared for extreme weather conditions and demonstrates excellent shading tolerance.
2. Mission Solar 415W Solar Panel 144 Cell – The look and the power
Mission Solar 415W Solar Panel not only gives a commercial-level power output, but also looks amazing. It is perfect for any application. The panel shows an efficiency of 18.9%, has 6 busbars as well as PERC cells. The model has the best degradation rate compared to other Mission Solar panels: it loses only 0.58% of its power per year, so you’ll still get about 84% of its rated power output after 25 years.
3. Silfab Prime SIL-370 – Time for home
Silfab Prime SIL-370 is the very basic option for home by Silfab. The all-black design looks very nice and stylish. The 120 half-cut cells ensure panel’s durability, higher performance and better shading tolerance. The panel is ready for any extreme weather conditions: it can withstand even 210 mph winds. Silfab Prime is backed by a 12-year product warranty, extendable to 25 years, and a 30-year performance warranty. After 30 years of operation, the panel keeps 82.6% of its power output.
4. Mission Solar Panel 420W 72 Cell – Time for business
Mission Solar Panel 420W is the best model for commercial and utility installations – the panel provides from 405W to 425W depending on the model you choose. The PERC technology and five buses provide >19% efficiency.
5. Silfab Commercial SIL-490 – Dream big
The Silfab Commercial SIL-490 is a powerful module that gives 490 watts with 20.9% efficiency. It is a nice option for both small and large business projects. The half-cut cells ensure high durability and improved shading tolerance. The panel comes with a 12-year warranty extendable to 25 years and a 30-year product warranty.
How to use US made solar panels?
Solar panels have a broad spectrum of applications across various sectors. Here are just a few examples.
- Residential use: One of the most common applications of solar panels is in residential settings. Homeowners can install solar panels on rooftops or in their yards to generate electricity and lower electricity bills. The United States offers incentives such as tax credits and rebates to encourage residential solar installations.
- Commercial and industrial installations: Beyond residential use, solar panels are widely used in large solar arrays and can be installed on the rooftops or vacant land of factories, warehouses, and office buildings. With these installations, businesses can significantly reduce their energy costs and direct this money for innovation and growth rather than utility bills.
- RVs and boats: Solar panels can then be used to power various appliances and systems within the RV or boat, such as lights, fans, refrigerators, and even entertainment devices. The integration of solar power reduces the reliance on traditional fuel sources and generators, providing a quieter, cleaner, and more sustainable energy solution.
- Utility-scale solar farms: On a larger scale, utility companies are increasingly investing in solar farms, sprawling installations that span vast tracts of land. These solar farms generate significant amounts of electricity, contributing to a cleaner energy mix and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
What does the efficiency of US made solar panels depend on?
Solar panel efficiency is a crucial aspect that determines how effectively sunlight is converted into electricity. It typically ranges from 13% to 23% and depends on the following factors:
- Cell type: Solar panels come in different types, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline panels, made from a single crystal structure, tend to be the most efficient – 18–23% – and have better performance in low-light conditions, while polycrystalline panels are 3% less efficient but 20–25% cheaper. Thin-film cells are the least efficient – 10–13% – but flexible and lightweight, making them suitable for unconventional installations.
- Panel type: Bifacial panels can capture sunlight from both sides, enhancing overall efficiency over 27%. However, you have to set them up correctly to maximize the reflectivity of a surface beneath.
- Technologies used: The technologies used when building a panel, for example, half-cut cell design, PERC cells, multibusbars, can significantly increase its efficiency.
What should I look for when choosing US made solar panels?
Choosing the best US-made solar panels requires careful consideration. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind:
- Efficiency and performance: Consider the efficiency ratings of the panels. Higher efficiency panels will generate more electricity in the same amount of sunlight, maximizing your investment.
- Warranty: A strong warranty is indicative of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s durability and longevity. A standard solar panel warranty covers 25 years, but the specifics can vary.
- Customer reviews: Reading customer reviews can provide insights into real-world experiences with the panels, helping you make an informed decision.