REC Solar Panels Review
REC Alpha 380W | N-Peak 330W | TwinPeak Mono 325W – REC Solar Review
Though its head office is in Norway, REC builds all its panels in Singapore. They make great Tier 1 panels, like the REC Alpha 380W, N-Peak Series and REC Twin-Peak 300w, which we look into in this solar review. They also have a 25 years warranty and an office in Melbourne, Australia.
REC Alpha 360W - 380W
The Alpha Series is the latest panel from REC, arriving in early 2019. It has a capacity of up to 380W. There are 120 “heterojunction” cells that have been cut in half, that make up the actual solar panel.
It uses N-Type silicon, that give the panel a much lower degradation rate, and deals it with heat better than other solar panels using P-Type silicon too.
It can produce 217.14 watts per square meter, which makes the REC Alpha 380W, 26% higher in annual energy output compared to a usual 320W panel.
The REC Alpha is also solder-free, which aids panel life, by removing the possibility of cell damage from cracking. This also assists sustainability, as the solder free cell design reduces the lead content by 81%.
The REC Alpha Twin panel design is cut into two sections. This allows better energy production in shady conditions, and makes the most of the Sunlight. REC says that after 25 years it will still produce 92% of its original output. This an industry leading score.
N-Peak Series from REC Solar 305W-330W panels review
The REC N-Peak Series is a premium N-type mono solar panel. It employs REC’s now proven half-cut cell technology. This means superb quality, high power and top efficiency.
The REC N-Peak series is a 60-cell panel with output up to 330 watts. It has the most efficient crystalline cell technology in the industry. It gathers more sunlight providing more power.
One unique feature is the innovative “Twin” cell design layout. This is where the panel is basically split into two sections. This enhances its ability to operate in shady conditions.
When solar panels are first exposed to sunlight, they suffer from a slight loss in power output. This is called “LID” or Light Induced Degradation. This is the result of boron and oxygen elements reacting inside the panel structure. It results in a permanent drop of capacity. This is not the case with the REC N-Type panel!
The N-type technology in REC’s N-Peak cells prevents these two elements from combining, hence totally preventing LID. This is a major feature that means you always get the same power from the panel as the day it left the REC factory.
Super Strong Frame
Most other solar panels have a strength and durability factor of around 5400 Pa. The REC N-Peak Series has extra support bars across the back of the panel, increasing this to a whopping 7000 Pa. This is exceptional for a panel with a 30mm frame height.
TwinPeak 2 Technology More Watts Coming Your Way.
REC TwinPeak Series bring a new design that also increases output. This enables customers to get the most out of the space they have on their roof for solar. REC TwinPeak 2 raises the output of poly crystalline panels higher due to its famous twin panel format. The poly silicon cells on the Twin Peak 2 panels are laser cut too. This gives higher panel efficiency. In fact, this makes over 20 watts extra per panel than other poly type panels.
REC Solar Panels Come Out Of The Shade.
Due to the split sections on the panel, REC TwinPeak 2 panels have better output where shade is present. Even if half of the solar panel is shaded, the other half will still be making power.
Generally, this is not possible with other modules where power stops at the place where the panel is shaded. So these panels will still make power when other panels would totally shut down. The output efficiency of these panels is around 17.1%.
So How Did REC Solar Start?
REC is short for the Renewable Energy Corporation (REC). Founded in Norway by Bluestar Investments in 1996, REC makes its panels in Singapore. Constant growth has pushed REC now to 19th on the Bloomberg Tier 1 manufacturers list. Globally, REC panels have generated over 5GW of power, they also have an office in Australia too. Also, these panels are made in Singapore, not China.
The company has been in solar for quite a while. REC produced its first silicon wafer back in 1997.
It opened two new wafer plants in 2008 and followed by another the next year. Some problems arose that caused the company to close both plants in 2012. The company regrouped to the main manufacturing plant that was opened in Singapore in 2010, and remains today.
REC is a vibrant force in many markets around the world, and they are a well-known brand in Europe too.