GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Solar PV – Is SunPower worth the extra money?

Bruce_Davis | Posted in General Questions on
After much research, it seems the top three solar PV brands are SunPower, LG & Panasonic.  I’ve eliminated the Panasonic as it does not have a labor warranty.  SunPower & LG both have full 25 year warranties.  It seems Sunpower X21-335w Black has some advantages over LG Neon 2 Black 320w in performance specs, but the actual benefits are hard to ascertain.  The upcoming LG Neon R Black would be more comparable in specs but is not yet in production.  The SunPower warranty is slightly better than LG’s.  Both would use Enphase iQ7 microinverters.
SunPower makes a big deal about the copper backing that makes it more resistant to microcracking.  Supposedly, the competition is vulnerable to any impacts, mishandling, etc. which can cause non-visible and/or undetectable damage to the cells.  The salesman had me demo both cells for breakage.  They both seemed to break pretty easily in my hands.  I ruined the demo.
The big difference is price.  A 12k system for SunPower is $48,000 vs $38,000 for LG.  After 30% tax credit, the difference is about $7,000.  Anybody have any advice on SunPower vs LG; is it worth the extra money?  Thanks.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    In my experience, PV modules are incredibly durable. (I have a PV module from 1980 that still works fine. It is 38 years old.)

    These days, PV modules are commodity items. Most customers choose a brand based on price.

    I'm still a little wary of microinverters that are installed on the roof. I like my inverter to be wall-mounted on the ground floor, in a mechanical room -- somewhere where the inverter operation can be tested. If I were interested in buying a PV module that comes with a microinverter, I would pay close attention to the warranty.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |