Solar Panel owners tell us about the solar panels they have bought from JA Solar, LG, Panasonic, REC, Sharp and Sunpower.
Solar panels can be an incredibly effective way to cut your electricity bills as well as your carbon footprint. They are a long-term investment as they will be on your roof for 20 years or more, so choosing a decent brand and the right solar pv (photovoltaic) system for your home is important.
To help you pick a solar panel brand we reveal the most popular ones among Brand Digest Zimbabwe members, and what owners think of them.
We surveyed 1,116 Brand Digest Zimbabwe members who have solar panels in June 2021, and also conducted an in-depth study with 27 owners about buying, using and maintaining their solar panels.
If you have already chosen your solar panel brand, read owners' tips to make the most of your solar panels.
The Most Popular Solar Panel Brands:Brand Digest Zimbabwe members we surveyed owned solar pv panels from more than 23 different brands. The most commonly owned and currently available are:
- Sharp (7%)
- LG (3%)
- Sunpower (3%)
Canadian Solar, Hyundai, JA Solar, Panasonic, REC, Solarworld and Suntech were also popular.
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- JA Solar Solar Panels: JA Solar makes a range of solar pv panels for homes and commercial buildings, including smart solar panels and panels which can generate electricity from both sides (bifacial). It's based in Shanghai, China.
- Sunpower Solar Panels: Sunpower has been making solar panels for 35 years and says its solar panels have high efficiency and are more reliable than other options. Among the six popular brands listed on this page, it's one of only two to offer 25-year product and service warranties.
- LG Solar Panels: LG might be best-known for its TVs, but it also brought its 50 years of electrical technology experience to solar panels. Its solar panel range included high-efficiency panels, matt black panels and solar panels which generate electricity on both sides (bifacial). It was one of few to offer both 25-year product and service warranties on some of its solar panels. However, LG has announced that it would cease manufacturing solar panels at the end of June 2022. The company said it will maintain support for existing solar panel customers “for a period of time after the business’s closure”.
- Panasonic Solar Panels: Panasonic's choice of solar panels included smaller and slimmer panels for small or complicated roofs, matt-black panels and higher efficiency panels. It has been making solar pv panels since 1975, under the Sanyo brand until 2012. In 2021 Panasonic announced that it was planning to stop making solar pv panels by the end of the fiscal year 2022, although it will continue to sell third-party-made modules under its brand.
- Sharp Solar Panels: Sharp sells solar panels for homes, businesses, farms, factories and fields. It says its 60 years of experience means that its solar panels can withstand harsh conditions without their performance suffering. You can choose matt black panels if you'd prefer not to see the traditional silver squares.
- REC Solar Panels: The Renewable Energy Corporation (REC)'s range of solar panels includes a choice of finishes (with silver lines or matt-black), panels that can generate electricity even when partly shaded, and a lead-free panel.
*Specification information is based on the most efficient domestic monofacial (i.e. one-sided) solar panel we could find online for each brand in June 2021.