Panasonic solar panels: a consumer guide
With excellent efficiency and one of the best warranties in the industry, Panasonic solar panels can be a great choice.
Panasonic is a big company that is best known for its consumer electronics, but it’s also one of the most popular brands of solar panels.
With panel efficiency exceeding 22% and a 25 year warranty that includes labor, Panasonic solar panels are positioned at the “premium” end of the market and compete with other high end manufacturers such as SunPower and REC Group.
Though popular, Panasonic has made some changes to its solar division that have created some confusion among consumers. This article will discuss those changes and give you a deep dive into the Panasonic solar product lineup.
Panasonic has outsourced its manufacturing, but is still in the solar panel business
In 2022, Panasonic ended solar panel manufacturing at its factories in Malaysia and Japan. This follows a decision in 2020 to end its manufacturing partnership with Tesla at the gigafactory in Buffalo, NY.
Going forward, Panasonic will be using OEM partners to manufacture panels under the Panasonic brand. In other words, the company will be outsourcing its solar panel manufacturing. The OEM partners will continue to use Panasonic’s technology, but the factories won’t be operated by Panasonic.
This means that Panasonic EverVolt solar panels using PERC and heterojunction technology will still be available, and the company will continue to develop new products. In fact, the company announced new 430 watt all-black EverVolt panels in September 2022.
According to Panasonic research and development, manufacturing, quality control and other operations will be a partnership between the Panasonic Eco Systems division and its manufacturing subcontractors.
The Panasonic EverVolt solar panel product lineup
Panasonic’s current solar panel lineup is called EverVolt, and includes conventional and all-black models. EverVolt replaces the previous HIT series, which is now discontinued.
EverVolt panels range in efficiency from 19.2% to 22.2%, making them competitive with the highest efficiency panels in the industry.
EverVolt panels have an excellent temperature coefficient, which means they perform well in high temperatures. They also come with a 25 year warranty that includes labor costs if the equipment is installed by a certified Panasonic installer.
Here are the key specifications for Panasonic EverVolt panels:
|Panasonic EverVolt specifications|
|Power output (STC)||350-430 watts|
|Power output (PTC)||330-400 watts|
|Temperature Coefficient (Pmax)||between -0.34%/°C and -0.26%/°C|
|Backside (wind) load||4,000 Pa|
|Frontside (snow) load||7,000 Pa|
|25 year power warranty||86-92%|
|Warranty||25 year product and power. Includes labor when installed by a Panasonic Authorized installer.|
The specs vary according to the model: the EverVolt lineup includes 10 panels in all-black and conventional versions that vary between 350 and 430 watts. You can view full details for each model on the Panasonic website, but I’ll give a quick overview of some of them below.
EverVolt panel efficiency
For reference, the solar panel that currently has the highest efficiency on the market is the SunPower M-Series 440, which is rated at 22.8%.
The best EverVolt panel falls short of that, but it comes awfully close: the EverVolt 430W HK Black Series is rated with an efficiency of 22.2% and a power output of 430 watts. This panel was just announced at an industry convention in September 2022, so this model represents the bleeding edge of Panasonic’s technology. According to the company, this new 430 watt panel will be availble in Spring 2023.
At the other end of the spectrum is a 350 watt EverVolt panel rated at 19.2% efficiency. This is still very good, and is actually better than the most efficient panels available from some other manufacturers.
EverVolt temperature coefficient
Another solar panel specification that is useful to know is temperature coefficient. This figure shows you how much power loss you can expect as a panel gets hotter. It’s expressed as a loss in efficiency for every one degree Celsius increase in temperature.
The Evervolt panels vary between -0.34%/°C and -0.26%/°C, which means that they lose as much as 0.34% or as little as 0.26% efficiency for every one degree increase in temperature.
The low end of this is very good. In fact, it exceeds the performance of the SunPower M-Series, which has a rating of −0.29%/°C. This means that the best Panasonic EverVolt panels are a little more resistant to heat than SunPower panels.
All-black and conventional panels
Panasonic’s EverVolt panels are available in standard color and all-black versions. For situations where your panels are mounted in a location that may affect the curb appeal of your home, all-black solar panels often visually blend into a roof better, especially with dark shingles.
Technologies used: heterojunction, half-cut cells, and PERC
All current Panasonic EverVolt solar panels use half-cut cells. This technology helps to improve panel efficiency and performance in the shade.
In addition to half-cut cells, EverVolt panels also use either heterojunction or PERC technology.
Panasonic originally acquired heterojunction technology from Sanyo and for a few years was the only manufacturer to use it. The patents have since expired, but Panasonic remains committed to the technology.
Heterojunction cells work by incorporating a layer of thin-film silicon that allows the cells to capture more light, increasing the efficiency of the panel. The highest efficiency panels in the EverVolt lineup use heterojunction cells.
Other EverVolt models use PERC (passivated emitter rear cell), which is another technology used to improve efficiency.
Panasonic warranty: 25 years including labor
All Panasonic solar panels come with a 25 year product and power warranty.
Power warranties guarantee that the efficiency of a solar panel won’t degrade past a certain percentage of the original output. In the case of EverVolt panels, the 25-year power warranty is as high as 92%. This means that after 25 years, the panel is guaranteed to still produce 92% as much power as when the panel was new.
This is a really good power warranty: it matches SunPower’s warranty, which is also 92%.
The product warranty, which covers manufacturing defects, is also 25 years. Many solar panel manufacturers offer only a 10 or 12 year product warranty, so this is also good relative to the industry.
If your system is installed by an authorized Panasonic installer, you get an even better warranty called “TripleGuard” that includes the labor costs of replacing the panel. Only a few manufacturers offer labor coverage in their warranty, so this is a nice bonus.
Panasonic EverVolt panels: pros, cons, and where to buy
With high efficiency, a great warranty, and excellent thermal performance, Panasonic’s EverVolt series is a great choice if you’re looking for a high end solar panel.
There are a few cons: higher price is expected with any premium panel. On average, you can expect to pay roughly $0.10 per Watt more for high performance panels. (That means if you have a 7 kW system, premium panels roughly add an average of $700 to the price.)
Some might consider Panasonic’s change in manufacturing to be a disadvantage, but other companies, including SunPower, also use OEM manufacturing.
If you’re looking for Panasonic panels for your project, it’s best to find an authorized installer so that you can get the full “TripleGuard” warranty that includes labor.