Sharp solar panels: how they compare to other top brands
Individual panel prices
Prices of DIY kits
Installed system prices
Sharp is a brand with a long history of producing high-quality products, including solar panels. Sharp has been making solar photovoltaic (PV) products for 60 years, and they highly tout their experience and the countless places their solar products are used.
But recent competitors have come onto the scene from countries around the world and taken over much of the market. Have Sharp solar panels kept up with current technology from their competition? Let’s find out.
Sharp Energy Solutions Corporation currently offers several models aimed at the commercial and residential markets, with power output ratings from 310 to 445 watts.
Like many of the top solar panel brands in the world, Sharp uses crystalline silicon solar cells (almost entirely monocrystalline silicon, with one polycrystalline option still available for large-scale ground installations).
Because “keeping up with the Joneses” is highly important in the solar market, Sharp’s top-performing modules use half-cells and advanced wiring to ensure they can continue making energy even if up to half of the panel is shaded.
Here’s a look at Sharp’s most popular photovoltaic modules:
Sharp solar panel model NUAC310. Image credit: Sharp
The NUAC310 is a basic medium-performance solar module with 60 monocrystalline PERC solar cells. The panel is 18.9% efficient and can produce 310 watts of power under standard test conditions (full sun).
Like other solar panels from top companies, the NUAC310 comes with a 25-year linear power output guarantee so you can be sure you’re getting a product that is meant to last.
Sharp solar panel model NUJC370. Image credit: Sharp
For homeowners looking to squeeze as much solar energy as possible from their rooftop PV systems, Sharp offers the NUJC370; its highest-powered residential solar panel. This upgraded model has a conversion efficiency of 20.0%, and several changes to its design that increase power production capacity.
Upgrades from the basic model include more efficient cells cut into 120 half-cells instead of 60 full-sized ones, and a split-panel design that allows each half to function independently.
Dividing the cells improves efficiency by reducing power losses from resistance and heat, while wiring the panel into two halves means it can produce full power from one half even if the other half is fully shaded.
Sharp's half-cell technology. Image credit: Sharp
The NUJC line of solar modules also comes in a version that uses a black backsheet to give the panels a sleek black look, but results in a 10-watt decrease in power output.
The varieties available and technology improvements made keep the Sharp Corporation competitive with other top brands like REC Solar and Q CELLS.
Currently, Sharp only sells solar modules in Asia, Europe, Japan, the Middle East, and the UK through its network of solar installer partners. If you want a Sharp solar power system in the United States, you’re pretty much out of luck.
|High-quality materials and technology||Not sold in the U.S.|
|Has a long history, stands by their products||Not the absolute best in terms of efficiency|
|Lots of variety||Short product warranty|
As indicated above, Sharp solar panels are competitive with other top solar brands in the world. They use current technology to produce panels that meet the industry standard for power production and efficiency. In addition, Sharp’s 15-year product warranty and 25-year power production guarantees are in-line with offerings from other top brands.
Sharp is responsible for countless megawatts of solar power plants around the world (even in space), and they make high-quality products for home and commercial use.
That said, Sharp solar panels are not the absolute best in the world. Modules from SunPower, LG and REC Solar set higher standards for efficiency, and Panasonic, LG, SunPower and more offer product warranty periods of 25 years.
However, because Sharp solar panels are not available for purchase in the United States, you should consider buying solar panels that are similar in terms of efficiency, warranties, and cost, from brands like Q CELLS and Jinko Solar.
Some solar installers use inflated estimates of utility price growth to make it seem like savings will be higher than they likely will. It’s time to stop.