Solar Panels Live’ Top 10 Best Solar Panel Brands Of 2023
We place special focus on the price-to-value ratio of each manufacturer’s products, as well as the financial performance of each company because these brands must balance extensive sales with the ability to be around and service their customers for years to come.
This year’s rankings feature notable changes as previous name brands modified how they operate, some corporations departed the industry, while other large international companies suffered substantial defeats in the U.S. market.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 best solar brands of 2023 in the United States of America:
The Top 10 Brands
|Brand||Rank||What's good||What's not-so-good|
|Qcells||1||Made in the United States of America, 25-year product and performance warranties, the largest market share and product availability in the U.S. residential market, subsidiary of a powerful worldwide business group||Not the most efficient or effective modules.|
|Canadian Solar||2||Some modules are manufactured in North America, with a 20-year history, 25-year product and performance warranties, and outstanding value for money.||Not the most efficient or effective modules.|
|Maxeon SunPower||3||The most efficient modules money can buy, with an outstanding warranty.||Some SunPower-exclusive modules are quite expensive for somewhat greater performance, and Maxeon is not lucrative on its own.|
|REC Group||4||The second most efficient module, with the best temperature coefficient and an outstanding warranty.||High prices and recent company acquisitions may have an impact on production quality.|
|Jinko||5||Partially manufactured in the United States, very efficient modules for the residential market, and an excellent value.||The guarantee is not as good as that of other leading brands.|
|JA Solar||6||High-quality modules at an affordable price.||In comparison to the greatest manufacturers, the warranty is somewhat weak.A smaller, more expensive corporation that does not publish financial information.|
|Silfab Solar||7||Made in the United States, 30-year performance and 25-year product warranties, and new advanced technology on the way.||A smaller, more expensive corporation that does not publish financial information.
|Mission Solar||8||Made in the United States, 25-year product and performance warranties, and reasonable price.||Not the most efficient.|
|Hyundai Solar||9||The company has a long history, a 25-year track record, and a 15-year product warranty, as well as a very powerful corporate group.||Not the most efficient.|
|Phono Solar||10||High-efficiency modules, a successful corporation with Chinese government support, a solid reputation, and a long history.||Warranty is mediocre in the industry, with little distribution in the United States.|
More Information On Each Of The Brands
Qcells (formerly Hanwha Q CELLS) of Korea does not produce the most technologically advanced solar panels on the market. However, the company produces high-quality modules and services in the US market better than any other brand.
Qcells said in early 2023 that it would significantly boost its solar material production in the United States, including the ingots, wafers, and cells that comprise the early stages of the module manufacturing process. In Dalton, Georgia, the company now produces 1.7 GW of modules each year, with ambitions to increase that capacity to more than 8 GW in the near future.
This addition should complement the company’s existing market-leading services. Qcells solar panels were utilized in around 25% of solar installations in California in 2022 (the state accounting for 40% of all household solar installations in the country), up from 16% in 2021.
The current flagship model in the US market is the Q.PEAK DUO BLK G10+, which uses 120 half-cut PERC solar cells and produces between 350 W and 370 W under typical test settings (STC). Qcells provides 25-year product and performance guarantees to residential customers in the United States. These modules function admirably and outperform industry averages in terms of performance and durability.
Speaking of longevity, the company’s long history as a subsidiary of Hanwha (one of the world’s most powerful corporate groupings) and plans for domestic expansion say eloquently about its dedication to long-term success. The previously mentioned growth over various Georgia locations will help it maintain its lead in the home solar industry, and its entry into energy storage with the Q. HOME CORE line will open up new avenues for the brand to generate public exposure and revenue.
Canadian Solar ranks second in this year’s rankings, owing to its 20-year track record of market success, financial performance, and value for money. The company’s products are created in China and Canada, but there have been speculations that it is considering opening a production site in the United States in the future.
At this point, Canadian Solar has avoided the issues that have stopped other leading Chinese-made brands from selling panels in the United States under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. This is a fluid issue, and US Customs may look into additional Chinese producers in the future.
The HiKu6 and HiKu Black series are now the best Canadian solar panels for home usage. These modules feature 108 half-cut PERC cells to provide up to 420 W of STC output, and they are now backed by a 25-year quality and performance warranty from Canadian Solar.
Maxeon has long manufactured some of the world’s highest-efficiency solar modules, which also happen to be the least prone to degradation over time. They certainly are a notch above, with their great performance in low light, very low-temperature coefficient, and little annual degradation.
Unfortunately, that level of performance and quality comes at a cost. In terms of dollars-per-watt, Maxeon modules are near the top of the market, selling at a significant premium that frequently outweighs the benefits of their higher performance (i.e., a 20 to 30% premium for 5 to 10% relative gains in efficiency and output).
SunPower installers used to be the sole source for the company’s interdigitated back contact (IBC) modules in the United States, but that has changed slightly this year. Maxeon and SunPower inked a new exclusive contract on January 5th, 2023, but exclusively for Maxeon 6 panels, which are white labeled as SunPower M-Series solar panels. Maxeon 3 series solar panels are now accessible for the first time to other North American installers, distributed by Greentech Renewables, and backed by an industry-leading 40-year warranty.
It will be fascinating to watch how Maxeon’s growth into the broader United States market translates into market share. The firm lost $285 million between Q4 2021 and Q3 2022 (and hasn’t made a profit since splitting from SunPower in 2020), but it expects a considerable increase in demand in the coming years as its Mexican facility ramps up manufacturing of the 3 Series Modules. We’ll keep an eye on it to see if it can turn things around.
REC, a Norwegian business now controlled by Mumbai-based mega-conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited, ranks fourth for 2023. REC manufactures heterojunction and TOPCon solar cells, as well as modules that compete with Maxeon in terms of performance, quality, and endurance. In reality, REC outperforms Maxeon in terms of temperature coefficient.
REC has also taken over the production of Panasonic’s high-performance heterojunction modules. Again, these super-high-efficiency panels are more expensive, but their long-term performance speaks for itself.
In 2023, REC’s N-Peak 3 Black modules will be available in the United States, as will sales of REC’s renowned Alpha Pure and Twinpeak product lines. REC, like other leading module manufacturers, has lately matched its 25-year performance promise with a 25-year product warranty for its best modules.
With top-tier technology and a great track record of performance, REC solar panels remain a preferred choice for individuals who want the finest money can buy. Still, we’ll be on the lookout for any significant changes in factory expansion plans under the new management.
Jinko Solar, a huge Chinese company with a significant presence in the United States, rounds out the top five. Every year, the company manufactures 400 MW of solar panels in Jacksonville, Florida, accounting for approximately 9% of its yearly production capacity.
Jinko is one of the world’s top solar manufacturers, with over $6 billion in revenue reported between Q4 2021 and Q3 2022—an increase of more than 24% over the previous year. The Eagle 66TR G4, which offers approximately 21% efficiency and made this year’s PVEL top performance list, is one of its best residential modules.
We’ll be waiting to see if Jinko extends its domestic manufacturing in the aftermath of the IRA, and if it can boost its market share in the United States. According to California data, the brand’s products were installed in around 2% of household solar systems in 2022.
JA Solar, perhaps best known for its supersized utility-scale solar modules, is a massive (and massively profitable) Chinese corporation, with sales increasing by more than 35% in 2022 compared to 2021.
JA’s share of the home solar market has expanded by leaps and bounds in the last year, much like its revenue. Its devices are currently used in 2% of house installations in California, up from 0.4% a year ago. The brand is poised to become a household name in the United States, with a 2 GW manufacturing facility set to open by the end of 2023.
The 54- and 60-cell modules using half-cut mono PERC cells are JA’s bread-and-butter products for the domestic market. They deliver wonderfully and provide fantastic value for money.
JA Solar is a Chinese firm subject to taxes and duties, although its products face lesser levies than others, thanks in part to lengthy testimony and documentation given to the Department of Commerce. As a result, the company’s products are noted for their low pricing, making them a great alternative for low-cost installations in a market with few options.
Silfab, ranked seventh in our rankings, is a North American manufacturer of solar panels that have proven particularly popular in the age of tariffs and trade restrictions. Silfab’s Prime and Elite solar panel lines are good in their own right, and the company appears to be set to continue producing high-quality modules and developing them in the future.
To that point, the firm has committed to continue growing its production facilities in the United States and is collaborating with Endurans Solar to pioneer a new technique for manufacturing back-contact solar modules that is both ecologically responsible and aesthetically pleasing. Meanwhile, its current products are covered by 30-year performance warranties and 25-year product warranties.
Mission Solar is a solar module manufacturer situated in the United States that is owned by the Korean conglomerate OCI Company Limited. We appreciate an American company, and Mission is proud of its legacy of producing solar modules in San Antonio, Texas.
We still don’t have visibility into the brand’s financial performance—parent company OCI is publicly traded and publishes financial statements that don’t break down the profitability of its solar division. If Mission can demonstrate strong financial performance, it may be able to move up a notch or two in the rankings.
Mission, like practically every other brand on this list, now provides 25-year product and performance warranties on its modules. The company’s current top home solar panels are made up of 66 mono PERC solar cells and can produce up to 400W STC at 19.9% efficiency.
Hyundai solar panels are manufactured by Hyundai Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of the Korean conglomerate Hyundai Heavy Industries. The XG series, which has 120 half-cut cells and offers outputs ranging from 350 to 375 W based on overall module efficiencies ranging from 19.2% to 20.6%, is the company’s current flagship module.
Hyundai solar module sales account for a very minor percentage of the home solar market in the United States. Nonetheless, anyone contemplating these modules for their home should be encouraged by the company’s long history and financial success. Hyundai is a big corporate group with the deep finances required to ride the solar industry’s ups and downs.
Phono Solar takes the final spot in our 2023 manufacturer rankings. The company, which was founded in 2007, is a subsidiary of the Chinese government-controlled SINOMACH Group. The company’s products aren’t as well-known in the United States as some of the others on this list, but they’ve been there for a long time and we’ve never heard anything negative about them.
Phono’s best solar panels, TwinPlus and TwinPlus Pro, have modules with efficiency much exceeding 21%. That’s a fantastic figure, and when combined with the brand’s pricing, which is around typical for the industry, it’s a significant reason why Phono is on our list.
Now that we’ve discussed each of the top ten brands, here’s some information on the data we gathered and processed to create the 2023 solar panel brand rankings:
|Points (out of 50)||Ranking factor||What is covered?|
|15||Value||Estimated wholesale per watt cost|
|10||Company financial performance||Publicly traded, financial statements available, operating revenue, positive net profit, year-over-year revenue growth Efficiency, temperature coefficient, and inclusion on the PVEL Top Performers list in 2022 are all factors to consider.|
|10||Module quality||Efficiency, temperature coefficient, and inclusion on the PVEL Top Performers list in 2022 are all factors to consider.|
|5||Warranty||Years of product and performance warranty coverage|
|5||Investment in the U.S.||Headquarters or offices in the United States, production capacity in the United States, and participation in trade exhibitions|
|5||Dealer network||The ratio of share in the market|
A Short Look Back At 2022 To See How We Landed Here
The solar industry had a banner year in 2022. President Biden took unilateral action to promote solar in June, and the Inflation Reduction Act was soon passed in August. These two government initiatives are the most significant moves forward in the history of the US solar sector. The repercussions are already being seen, as some of the corporations listed below have announced new manufacturing sites in the United States, and there is talk of reopening raw materials manufacturing.
Solar panel manufacturers have reaped major benefits from an increase in global demand for solar as governments set aggressive emission reduction objectives and seek greater energy independence. Some of the companies on this list will see revenue growth of more than 50% year on year in 2022, while established players will be more bankable than ever. There has never been a better time to be a maker of solar panels.
The solar business faced problems in 2022, as it has every year since the outbreak began. There were supply shortages, tariffs, trade wars, and problems with specific Chinese modules in US ports.
Nonetheless, all of our challenges and victories have resulted in a new high-water mark for the industry. All of the brands in our rankings have the potential to become household names as the sector begins to serve the millions of U.S. residents and small businesses that have yet to install solar panels.
Leading Brands That Did Not Make The Final List
Sharp observers of the solar sector will have noted a few notable exclusions from the list above. Longi and Trina, two major Chinese solar companies, produce goods that are on par with some of the greatest names on the list.
Both companies are extremely profitable and will probably exist for a long time. LONGi’s products alone account for more than 14% of home installations in California in 2022, and the business’s solar panels have the greatest efficiency of any manufacturer on this list, at 21.8%. Trina also provides modules with efficiency levels of up to 21%. They would have taken the first and seventh positions in this list if they had been included.
Both companies have been found to dodge US tariffs, and both have had their products seized by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) due to fears that they contain items made employing forced labor. Because of the seizures, LONGi and Trina have ceased exporting items to the United States.
Finally, Think About The Future
With Qcells’ $2.5 billion investment in its U.S. manufacturing base kicking out the year in style, 2023 promises to be jam-packed with major news. We’ll be looking forward to see how many more corporations announce significant new investments in domestic manufacturing. We’ll also be on the lookout for announcements about raw material sourcing, which will most certainly come as a result of the IRA incentives.
We’ll also be watching to see how the major Chinese corporations react to the AD/CVD rulings and whether they can effectively get their products through US Customs and into the hands of installers.
Finally, we’ll keep a watch on many of the above-mentioned firms when they begin shipping their new energy storage solutions. Any firm that effectively combines solar, storage, and smart load management in an inexpensive, streamlined system that most homes want will undoubtedly be at the top of our list for many years to come.
Approximately 92% of U.S. houses do not yet have solar panels, implying that the sector has a big possibility to grow, and the top contenders of the future are being decided today therefore, the above list of top 10 best solar brands of 2023 will help you.