Updated 3 weeks ago

What Are the Best Solar Panels for Homes in 2024?

Written by Catherine Lane , Edited by Gianna Cappuccio , Fact-checked by Ben Zientara

Find the best solar panels near you

Installing solar panels is a significant investment, so it’s no surprise that you want the best equipment installed. The right solar panel for each home is different depending on your need, but Qcells, Silfab Solar, and JA Solar are some of the best solar panels of the year.

To make your solar installation journey a little easier, our team of solar experts reviewed solar panel brands to find the best one for every need. We looked at the quality and performance of panels, the financial status of the brand, and the costs to pick six of the best solar panel brands on the market today.

Our picks for the best home solar panels in 2024

According to our research, the best solar panels available today are:

  • Best overall solar panels: Qcells

  • Best solar panel warranty: Silfab Solar

  • Best value solar panel: JA Solar

  • Best solar panel performance: Jinko Solar

  • Best availability: Canadian Solar

You can learn more about our picks for the best solar panels in our video from solar expert Ben Zientara:

Find trusted solar companies that carry the best solar panels near you

1. Qcells: Best overall solar panel

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%.

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 there’s a good chance you could run into a quote for them.

Find out how much Qcells solar panels will cost you

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.

Find out how much Silfab Solar solar panels will cost you

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.

In third place is JA Solar, a brand known for its low prices and good quality panels.

Find out how much JA Solar panels will cost you

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.

Find out how much Jinko Solar panels will cost you

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.

Find out how much Canadian Solar panels will cost you

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.

Ring chart showing the proportions of the total solar panel brand score in 2024 that each factor represents

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.

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Written by Catherine Lane Solar Industry Expert

Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews, where she has been at the forefront of researching and reporting on the solar industry for five years. She leads a dynamic team in producing informative and engaging content on residential solar to help homeowners make informed decisions about investing in solar panels. Catherine’s expertise has garnered attention from leading industry publications, with her work being featured in Sola...

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