SunPower solar panels in the UK

SunPower Solar panels in the UK

by Solar Selections on June 28, 2012

The world record for solar panel efficiency goes to SunPower‘s solar panels: 24% cell efficiency (sunlight  –> usable electricity in laboratory conditions) and 19.6% conversion efficiency (sunlight –> usable electricity in real-life conditions) with the SunPower E19 / 320W solar modules. SunPower prides itself in its hard-earned reputation for world-leading technology and excellent customer service. SunPower panels are commonly used in residential solar, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), commercial-scale solar power, and utility-scale solar installations.

SunPower Solar Panels: World-leading 19-20% efficiency

-SunPower monocrystalline solar panels: E19 and E20 series-

Monocrystalline solar cells have a reputation as the most efficient kind of solar photovoltaic (PV) cell, and the first query from many Solar Choice and Solar Selections customers is, “Are monocrystalline solar panels better than polycrystalline solar panels?” In the Solar Choice blog we have previously discussed the issue of efficiency and solar technology, and pointed out that more important than efficiency or technology type is the quality of the brand of solar PV panel in question. The question of durability, quality, and the credibility of the manufacturer trump nominal efficiency every time. The technology utilised in SunPower’s monocrystalline solar panels does indeed enable high efficiencies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all monocrystalline panels can reach such high efficiencies–in fact, the average is more in the range of 14-16%.

E19 and E20 are SunPower’s signature lines of solar panels use monocrystalline silicon technology. Their names stand for their nominal efficiencies–19% and 20%, respectively. These numbers are the highest that can be found on the solar panel market, and it is only with care and precision in design and engineering that SunPower was able to achieve these impressive figures. The company takes pride in its accomplishments, and has a reputation that is hard-won and well-earned.

-SunPower E19 and E20: Key Attributes and Points of Difference-

-SunPower E19 and E20 lines for solar and residential solar power-

SunPower-e19-series-Australia-263x300 SunPower E19 series – Industry-leading 19% efficiency

SunPower’s E19 series solar panels 238 watt (W), 72-cell panels, while the E20 series is available in either a 327-W, 72-cell panel, or a 333W, 96-cell panel. The 72-cell panels are generally used in residential solar applications, while the 96-cell panels are more likely to be used in large-scale commercial applications.

-As noted above, SunPower panels have the highest efficiencies of any solar photovoltaic panels on the market. This means up to 50% more power per unit area than you would expect to get from conventional designs. This in turn means potential reduced installation costs because fewer panels are required to get the same amount of power.

-Dependable, sturdy design means you can count on your panels continuing to operate over the years through all types of weather. Tempered front glass over the PV cells and an anodised alloy frame mean that the units will be slow to corrode or degrade.

-Transformerless inverter compatibility means that SunPower panels can be used with the solar inverters with the highest efficiency: A winning combination.

-Positive Power Tolerance of +5% for E20 modules: Some solar panels have a power tolerance of +3%/-3%, which means that the panels you install may actually have a lower output than their nameplate capacity. With SunPower’s E20 series, the nominal capacity is guaranteed to be met or exceeded. (E19 panels have a tolerance of +5%/-3%.)

-10 year limited product warranty, 25 year limited performance warranty.

-Product Specifications/Electrical Characteristics-

SunPower E20 series solar panel datasheet (pdf)

SunPower E19 318W solar panel datasheet (pdf)

SunPower E19 238W solar panel datasheet (pdf).

-SunPower Technology: What is Maxeon cell technology?-

SunPower-maxeon-cell-technology-diagram SunPower Maxeon solar cell technology. Unlike conventional cells (which use busbars), electricity is collected at the rear of each cell, thereby maximising surface area for sunlight collection.

Maxeon is SunPower’s patented solar cell technology that enables the company’s reputation for world-leading efficiency. Most crystalline solar cell technologies have metal busbars–strips of electronically conductive material–that sit on the face of each solar cell. Instead of having such busbars, electricity generated when SunPower panels capture photons from the sun is transferred to a conductive plate at the rear of each cell. This means that more of each cell’s surface area is used in the capture of sunlight, which in turn means higher efficiency.

Another feature which has enabled SunPower to make the headway that it has with its panel efficiency is the way that individual cells are shaped. They can be tiled closely within the solar module frames, which means a greater number in a smaller area. SunPower panels also employ an anti-reflective glass which helps to trap in sunlight and maximise power output.

-Other Information about SunPower Panels-

-Other products by SunPower-

SunPower also has an E18 series panel, which has efficiencies of around 18%.

Ford Motor Co and SunPower recently formed a strategic partnership to offer photovoltaic carport charging stations for electric vehicles.

-Component standards met/awards-

-All E19 series SunPower solar panels are MCS certified

-PV Cycle– SunPower participates in PV Cycle’s voluntary take-back PV recycling program

-CE mark– SunPower panels are compliant with European Union regulations

-TUV Certification means that claims made by SunPower about their solar panel specs have been independently verified by TUVRhineland


25 year solar cell performance warranty

10 year workmanship warranty

(Your installer may also offer additional warranties for the entire system.)

-About SunPower-

-Company Headquarters-

Global Head Office: San Jose, California, USA

UK Head Office: Berkshire

-Factory locations-

Malaysia and the Phillipines

-History in the Solar Industry-

SunPower is one of the oldest players in the solar power industry, starting around 25 years ago. Founder Dr Richard Swanson first conceived of the company during the 1970s oil crisis. Later, in the mid-1980s, when a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, SunPower was incorporated after Swanson won grants from the US Department of Energy to research solar power and secured financial backing from venture capitalists. By the mid-1990s, SunPower had installed 10 megawatts of capacity in various locations through the US and Europe. SunPower panels can now be found around the world.

Images and brochures via SunPower

© 2012 Solar Selections Pty Ltd




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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Fernandes July 11, 2012 at 2:09 am

Am interested in purchasing 12 x SunPower E19 pv panels and a Sunny Boy SB3600TL inverter. I want to import these into Australia via a freight forwarder in Belvedere, Kent.
Could you be able to give me a quote for the panels and the inverter separately?
Once the consignment lands in Australia, then I believe I can claim the VAT back.
John Fernandes


admin July 12, 2012 at 11:46 am

Hi John,

We do not deal with distribution. However, our head office Solar Choice, based in Sydney, will be able help you find the most competitive Sunpower quotes in Australia. Please visit


The Solar Selections Team.


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