The best solar panels for homes in 2024

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Updated

best solar panels for your home in 2024

 

SolarReviews’ top picks for the best solar panels of 2024 are Qcells, Silfab Solar, and JA Solar based on several criteria, including quality and performance, the company’s bankability, and cost.

We’re the experts when it comes to the best home solar panels. Our research team has decades of experience in the solar industry, which helped us create the most comprehensive list of the best solar panel brands in 2024.

Our list was compiled by analyzing 30 top solar panel brands. Any brand on our best solar panels list will make an excellent addition to any home. The right one for you depends on your specific energy needs.

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Our picks for the best home solar panels in 2024

According to our solar experts, the best solar panel brands available today are:

  1. Qcells: Best overall solar panels
  2. Silfab Solar: Best warranty solar panels
  3. JA Solar: Best value solar panels
  4. Jinko Solar: Best solar panel performance
  5. Canadian Solar: Best availability

Download the full 2024 best solar panels list and methodology.

1. Qcells: Best overall solar panel

Qcells was voted best overall solar panel brand with an Elite rating from SolarReviews’ experts. Qcells panels have efficiency ratings up to 22.5%.

Qcells is one of the most popular names in residential solar, thanks to quality equipment and great pricing. SolarReviews research shows that 66% of solar installers now offer Qcells panels, so you have a high chance of receiving a quote for them.

Why we chose Qcells

Qcells secures the top spot in our 2024 rankings of the best solar panels for good reason. The cutting-edge Q.TRON panels stand out as the brand’s highest-performing module, with a maximum efficiency rating of 22.0%! Qcells was voted the best overall solar panel brand with an Elite rating from SolarReviews’ experts. Qcells panels have efficiency ratings up to 22.5%.

Beyond performance, Qcells boasts a stellar reputation and has committed to investing in domestic solar manufacturing despite being a South Korena company. Even better? Qcells panels are reasonably priced.

Whether you opt for the powerful Q.TRON panels or the reliable Q.PEAK DUO series, Qcells offers panels that will meet your needs. All Qcells panels come with 25-year product and performance warranties. Because parent company Hanwha is profitable, you can trust it’ll be around to honor the warranty down the line.  

You can learn more from our expert Qcells review or see what real customers have to say about Qcells.

Pros and cons of Qcells solar panels

Pros Cons
Quality panels Not as powerful as some competitors
Great price  

25-year power and performance warranties

 
U.S. manufacturing location  

2. Silfab Solar: Best solar panel warranty

Silfab Solar was voted best overall solar panel warranty brand with an Elite rating from SolarReviews’ experts. Silfab panels have efficiency ratings up to 22.1% and an estimated cost of $2.70 per watt.

Silfab Solar is a privately owned company with headquarters in Canada and two large U.S. manufacturing facilities in Washington state. The Silfab Elite and Prime panels are sleek in design and perform well.

Why we chose Silfab Solar

Landing the number 2 spot on our 2024 list of best solar panels is Silfab Solar, a standout manufacturer offering an impressive 30-year performance and 25-year product warranty. These warranties exceed the industry’s 25 and 12-year standards, respectively.

While there are panels with longer warranty periods, such as Maxeon's 40-year coverage, we found that the high price point often outweighs the benefits of an extended warranty. Silfab, however, maintains an affordable price point, even with a leading warranty.

Beyond warranties, Silfab distinguishes itself as one of the top American solar panel manufacturers, delivering good-performance panels. The Silfab Prime and Elite panel series have maximum efficiency ratings exceeding the latest addition to their lineup, the Prime NTC, which utilizes industry-leading TOPCon solar cell technology to enhance efficiency and output.

Discover what our experts say about Silfab Solar panels and explore real customer experiences with Silfab as their solar choice.

Pros and cons of Silfab Solar panels

Pros Cons
30-year performance warranty Higher-performing models available
25-year product warranty Being a private company makes it difficult to analyze financial performance

Manufactured in the U.S.

 
Sleek appearance  

3. JA Solar: Best value solar panel

JA Solar was voted best overall solar panel brand with an Elite rating from SolarReviews’ experts. JA Solar panels have efficiency ratings up to 22% and have an estimated cost of $2.65 per watt.

Why we chose JA Solar

Fourth on our list is JA Solar, a Chinese solar brand known for its low prices and reliable products. At an estimated cost of $2.65 per watt installed, JA panels stand significantly below the national average solar installation cost of $3.00 per watt, earning them the title of the best value panel in our ranking. 

Though one of the cheapest solar panels we reviewed, JA Solar’s Tier 1 status signifies the company’s profitability. While there may technically be cheaper solar panels on the market, few can match the reliability and brand reputation of JA Solar.

The combination of affordability and reliability makes JA Solar a compelling choice for homeowners looking for a cost-effective yet dependable home solar system. 

Curious about JA solar panels? Read our full review on JA Solar.

Pros and cons of JA Solar panels

Pros Cons
Good performance Past investigations for circumventing tariffs
Bankable company Not as common as other brands

U.S. manufacturing location

 
Low price  

4. Jinko Solar: Best solar panel performance

Jinko Solar was voted best overall solar panel brand with an Elite rating from SolarReviews’ experts. Jinko panels have efficiency ratings up to 22.53% and have an estimated cost of $2.86 per watt.

In 5th place is Jinko Solar, one of the biggest solar manufacturers in the world. Jinko Solar is best known for its low prices and dependable solar panels.

Why we chose Jinko Solar

We crowned Jinko Solar the best-performing solar brand because its recent offering, the Eagle 54 G6 panel series, has impressive specifications and has proven itself through rigorous third-party testing.

While all major brands subject their solar panels to basic testing, not all can withstand additional assessments. Third-party tests conducted by entities like PV Evolutions Lab (PVEL) provide deeper insight into how a panel will operate in the real world.

The Eagle 54 G6 passed nearly every test PVEL threw at it,  showing it can handle temperature and humidity changes and mechanical stress and isn’t susceptible to certain types of degradation. This success in PVEL tests provides confidence that these panels will perform well once installed on your roof and continue for years.

Explore the comprehensive details of Jinko Solar panels in our in-depth review, or discover what satisfied customers have to say about their Jinko Solar experience.

Pros and cons of Jinko Solar

Pros Cons
Good performance Past investigations for circumventing tariffs
Bankable company Not as common as other brands

U.S. manufacturing location

 
Low price  

5. Canadian Solar: Best availability

Canadian Solar was voted best overall solar panel brand with an Elite rating from SolarReviews’ experts. Canadian Solar panels have efficiency ratings up to 21.5% and have an estimated cost of $3.23 per watt.

Canadian Solar has been in the game since 2001. Since then, it has cemented itself as one of the top industry brands known for its reliability and is used by installers nationwide.

Why we chose Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar has long been a favorite choice of solar installers and landed in fifth place on our list, thanks to its industry success, financial performance, and low price. As one of the highest scorers in our market share category, it earned the title of best solar panel availability. Canadian Solar is an easy-to-find brand through local installation companies.

Although it isn’t known for its record-breaking specs, the company’s reputation among industry professionals speaks for itself, and it still earned a SolarReviews’ Expert Rating of Excellent, meaning it will make a great addition to your roof.

Our full Canadian Solar panel review breaks down everything you need to know about the brand, and customer reviews can give you insight into how satisfied homeowners are with Canadian Solar.

Pros and cons of Canadian Solar

Pros Cons
Highest efficiency panels on the market Not manufactured in the United States
Excellent value for money 15-year product warranty

Reputable brand

Degrades faster than competitors

Best solar panel runner-ups

LONGi, Panasonic, REC, Maxeon, and SEG Solar solar panels side by side

We reviewed 30 solar panel brands for this analysis and narrowed it down to 10 finalists. Here are the remaining five best solar panel brands of the year. 

  • LONGi Solar: LONGi Solar has been in the solar business for decades and is one of the largest global solar manufacturers. Headquartered in China, LONGi scored perfectly in our company's financial performance category. While the company lacks a standout high-performance module, its panels maintain a reliable standard. Also, unlike other large legacy brands, LONGi still offers average warranty terms instead of extended coverage. 
  • Panasonic: Panasonic, a leader in home electronics, is also a top name in the solar industry. Its solar panels and battery both made it on our “best of” lists because of their top quality and great performance. However, the company falls behind regarding U.S. investment and doesn’t manufacture its own panels. 
  • REC Group: Like Panasonic, REC has incredible panels. Their design and performance make them a compelling choice for any homeowner seeking the best. While exceptional, REC panels may not be as budget-friendly as some other brands. Investing in REC panels can be a smart choice if you receive a quote that aligns with your budget.
  • Maxeon: Maxeon is known as a top brand regarding efficiency, but it’s also one of the most expensive panels money can buy. If you’re looking for premium quality and want the best of the best, Maxeon is a great choice. Plus, you get an industry-leading 40-year performance and product warranty! Just be prepared to pay top dollar. 
  • SEG Solar: SEG Solar has been offering high-performance solar panels at an affordable price since 2016. Although SEG isn’t the most familiar name, it’s on Bloomberg’s Tier 1 solar list, and its panels stood up well to PVEL’s additional testing.

Compare the best solar panels of 2024

All of the solar panels on our list have an Excellent or higher rating from SolarReviews’ experts, so any of them would make a great addition to your home. But, there may be one that better suits your specific needs. The following table gives you a quick glance at how our top 5 panel brands stack up:

Brand Estimated cost per watt* Highest power output Highest efficiency rating
Product warranty
Performance warranty**
Industry average $3.00 400 W 19% - 21% 12 year 25-year, 0.50% annual degradation rate
Qcells $3.09 430 W 22% 25-year 25-year, 0.33% annual degradation rate

Silfab Solar

$2.70 430 W 22.1% 25-year 30-year, 0.30% annual degradation rate
JA Solar $2.60 440 W 22% 12-year 25-year, 0.55% annual degradation rate
Jinko Solar $2.86 440 W 22.53% 25-year 30-year. 0.40% annual degradation rate
Canadian Solar $3.23 445 W 22.8% 15-year 30-year, 0.35% annual degradation rate

*Estimates based on 2022 cost data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Solar Energy Industries Association, and online solar distributors. Actual price will vary between installation companies.

**Lowest degradation rate offered by the company. Actual degradation rate and warranty terms vary by model.

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2024 solar panel trends

When analyzing the top brands for this list, we noticed a few trends that are likely to continue throughout 2024. 

  • Performance isn’t as important as it used to be. Premium brands used to dominate the top spots of lists like this. Still, companies like JA Solar rose to the top not because they make the most powerful products but because they make reliable panels at a reasonable cost. Value brands are slowly gaining market share and will likely continue to do so. 
  • TOPCon is top dog. Many solar panel brands started adopting TOPCon solar technology in 2023 and will likely continue in 2024. TOPCon solar cells can generate electricity quite efficiently and have closed the gap between the performance of premium brands and value brands even further. But, TOPCon cells have been reported to have issues with corrosion and increased degradation, so 2024 could be the year to tell us if the technology will be here to stay, 
  • More brands are announcing domestic manufacturing facilities. The Inflation Reduction Act encouraged solar manufacturers to increase their manufacturing and assembly presence in the U.S. Companies taking advantage of this got higher scores in our ranking. Still, it will be interesting to see how many of these plans come to fruition. 

What to look for when shopping for solar panels

When you’re comparing solar quotes, there are a few things to look out for to get the best solar panels possible:

Factor Definition Industry average
Solar panel type There are three main types of solar panels: Monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film Monocrystalline
Power output The power output rating of a panel describes how much power a solar panel can produce in ideal conditions 400 W

Efficiency rating

Efficiency rating measures how much sunlight a solar panel can turn into electricity 19% - 21%
Temperature coefficient The temperature coefficient is the rate at which power output drops as a solar panel gets hotter. -0.3% to -0.5%/ °C
Warranties A product warranty covers damages to panels caused by manufacturing or workmanship. A performance warranty ensures a panel will perform at a certain level over time. 12-year product warranty, 25-year linear performance warranty with a 0.50% degradation rate

Solar panel type

1. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most popular and efficient solar panels. They are black in color and are used in most modern residential solar installations. 2. Polycrystalline solar panels are mid-tier in price and performance and have a blue color. 3. Thin-film solar panels are the cheapest option but have the lowest efficiency. Thin-film panels require a lot of space to generate the same electricity as mono or polycrystalline panels.

There are three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.

Today, almost all home solar panels are monocrystalline because of their superior performance and comparable cost to other solar panels. Monocrystalline panels consist of solar cells made from a single silicon crystal, allowing electrons to move easily through the cell and increase efficiency.

In contrast, polycrystalline solar panels feature cells made of multiple silicon crystals, limiting electron movement. Due to their less powerful structure, polycrystalline panels are rarely used in modern home solar installations.

Thin-film solar panels, characterized by their construction from thin layers of various materials, are nearly 300 times thinner than conventional solar panels. While their slim profile makes them easy to install, their efficiency is lower, requiring more space to generate the same amount of energy as monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels.

Power output

"The power output, or wattage, of a solar panel is the amount of power it can produce under Standard Test Conditions (STC), a lab setting designed for consistent testing. Most solar panels installed in 2023 have a power output between 370 and 400 watts.

When you install high-wattage solar panels, you need fewer solar panels to generate the electricity needed to power your home. The average home needs between 15 and 19 panels to cover its electricity usage, but it will vary from home to home!

How many solar panels do you need for your specific home?

Efficiency rating

Solar panel efficiency indicates how effectively a solar panel can convert sunlight into electricity. Panels with higher efficiency ratings can harness more sunlight, translating into more usable power than panels with lower efficiency ratings.

Today, most solar panels have efficiency ratings between 19% and 21%, offering excellent performance for most homeowners. These panels tend to strike a balance between efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

These high-efficiency panels can generate more electricity in a smaller space, making them ideal for homes with limited roof space. However, it's essential to note that the enhanced performance often comes with a premium price tag. Homeowners considering super high-efficiency panels should be prepared for a higher upfront investment.

Temperature coefficient

The temperature coefficient describes how a solar panel’s output decreases as surface temperature increases. That’s right - solar panels generate electricity from the sun, but they operate worse the hotter they get, but the losses are pretty minimal.

The average temperature coefficient is -0.3% to -0.5%/ °C. For each degree the panel’s surface temperature goes above 25°C, the power output drops by 0.3%. 

When choosing solar panels, aim for temperature coefficients within this average range. The lower the temperature coefficient, the better the panels will withstand temperature variations. Panasonic stands out with one of the best temperature coefficients at 0.26%, showcasing superior performance even in changing environmental conditions.

Solar panel warranties 

Solar panels typically come with two warranties: a product warranty and a performance warranty.

A solar panel product warranty safeguards against defects that may have arisen during manufacturing. While the average product warranty lasts 12 years, many reputable solar brands now provide extended 25-year product warrantings.  

A solar performance warranty outlines how a panel is expected to perform over time. As solar panels age, their power output naturally decreases. The average performance warranty spans 25 years and outlines the rate at which a solar panel degrades, usually 2% after the first year and 0.50% annually for the remainder of the warranty period.

If the panel degrades at a rate faster than 0.50% per year, it won’t produce as much energy as other panels on the market over time. Try and find panels with a degradation rate of 0.50% or lower. Longer product warranties and lower degradation rates contribute to solar panels' long-term reliability and cost-effectiveness, making them an ideal choice for homeowners.

Why choosing the right installer matters more than choosing the best solar panel

When it comes down to it, many companies today are producing extremely high-quality solar panels that will reliably make energy for decades to come. 

What truly matters is choosing the right solar installer. The company you choose is the key player in your solar journey—they'll be on your roof, drilling through shingles, running wires, and the ones you'll turn to if issues arise. Selecting a company that will be around to support you is crucial.

We recommend opting for a local solar company with at least five years of experience, its own crews, and a track record of consistently positive customer reviews. Local installers typically possess a deep understanding of solar in your area, offer fair prices, and provide top-notch customer service.

The trust you place in your installer extends to the equipment they carry. Reputable installers are likely to offer high-quality equipment. If you’ve picked the right installer, you should feel confident in what they’re installing on your roof.

Get and compare solar quotes from multiple installers to get the best deal on a solar installation!

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Methodology: How SolarReviews rates the best solar panels

SolarReviews’ team of solar experts has over two decades of experience in the solar industry. Using that expertise, we’ve created a way to rate solar panel brands based on more than just how the panels perform and how much they cost. We also look at the company’s financial performance and its availability. Solar is a long-term investment, so you want to know about the equipment that is accessible, and that is sold by a company that supports you for the long haul.

1. Value (25%) 

The value of a solar panel is evaluated by looking at the wholesale cost per watt of a brand’s flagship solar model. The lower the price-per-watt, the more points were awarded. 

2. Module quality (20%)

When comparing solar panels, our team identified panel efficiency and temperature coefficient as two of the most important specifications. Panels with high-efficiency ratings received more points. Panels with the lowest temperature coefficient were awarded more points than those with higher temperature coefficients. 

3. Company financial performance (20%)

Company financial performance is the best indicator of whether a company will be around to provide customers with support in 25 years. We reviewed available financial statements and profitability, among other factors, to determine overall financial performance. 

4. Investment in the U.S. (15%)

Investing in the U.S. shows a company’s commitment to the solar industry. Also, consumers are becoming more conscientious of where they purchase goods from. To reflect this, we awarded points to companies with headquarters or regional offices in the United States and points for U.S. manufacturing and attendance at American trade shows and events.

5. Warranty (10%)

Points were awarded based on the length of both the product and performance warranties, with longer warranties receiving the most points. Performance warranties were also evaluated by degradation rate, with lower degradation rates receiving higher scores. 

6. Dealer network quality (10%)

It doesn’t matter how great a solar panel is if homeowners can’t access it. To reflect a brand’s availability, we reviewed market share data from California’s Distributed Generation Statistics database for solar installations 20 kilowatts or less in size in 2022 and awarded points accordingly.

 - Author of Solar Reviews

Catherine Lane

Written Content Manager

Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews, where she has been at the forefront of researching and reporting on the solar industry since 2019.

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