You’ve done a fair amount of research into this solar power thing and discovered a considerable price difference between what has been identified as the best solar panel technology available and some fairly average stuff referred to as Tier-1. Therefore, is it worth paying thousands more for the for some the popular high performers or is there a more affordable option which could be just as good?

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Make and model:  REC N-Peak.

Variants: 315W/ 320W / 325W / 330W

  Reinforced strength, N-Type mono cells, Performance.

  Wind load rating.

Unless you enjoy throwing hard earned money down the toilet, avoid anything labelled Tier-1. If a business or person has had to resort to labelling a solar panel Tier-1, there are actually no superior qualities worth mentioning and the warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Now consider REC Solar’s latest release, the REC N-Peak. Could this finally be the happy medium we’ve all been searching for?

As a respected name within the solar panel manufacturing industry and equipped with a new higher watt class, the 6 essential criteria of design, durability, efficiency, performance, guarantee and affordability must still be assessed.

Note: 

To see how the REC N-Peak ranks in the Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria be sure to view the scorecard at the bottom of this post!

Design.

REC N-Peak Series Solar Module Image

2019 will see more half cell designs than ever before. Uncharacteristic of previous REC Solar panels, the REC N-Peak has incorporated an N-Type mono PERT solar cell (not PERC) which will also adopt the advanced half cell design. Similar to past REC Twin-Peak variants, the REC N-Peak offers advanced optimisation from specific shading exposure by splitting a conventional panel design into two identical mirrored sections and integrating a modified bypass diode layout.

A new and improved minimalist ultra slimline 30mm black anodised frame is now included. A design aspect sure to appeal to those concerned about aesthetics. Black and white back-sheet variants are available, although, a white back-sheet will always outperform a black back-sheet in almost any given environment.

Download the REC N-Peak datasheet here:

REC Solar

N-Peak Series - Design
  • N-Type Monocrystalline cell.
  • 5 front bar contact.
  • PERC enhanced.
  • Glass-laminate (White).
  • Innovative.
  • InterSolar award.
  • DNV-GL certified.

Durability.

Even with a new reduced frame dimension, consider the REC N-Peak the strongest REC Solar module yet and potentially one of the more durable solar modules available due to a reinforced frame design. Integrating 2 support bars through the middle of the panel ensures protection from loads up to an outstanding 7000 Pa (IEC Standard: 5400 Pa). Additionally the support bar design further increases durability against bending and deformation over time.

Beyond additional strength, the REC N-Peak presents excellent resistance against salt mist (coastal), ammonia (agriculture) and above average protection against extreme temperature changes (desert conditions) or humidity as identified below.

REC N-Peak Series Solar Module Image

REC Solar

N-Peak Series - Durability
  • Snow load 7000Pa.
  • Front wind load 2400Pa.
  • Rear wind load 2400Pa.
  • Damp heat testing 2000Hrs.
  • Thermal cycle testing 200+Hrs.
  • PID Free.
  • Salt mist resistance certification
    IEC 61701 (Severity 6).
  • Amonia resistance certification
    IEC 62716.
  • 35mm hail impact at 23m/s.

Efficiency.

Opposed to P-Type mono silicon, N-Type is the most efficient mono-crystalline cell technology available. Incorporating N-Type mono silicon cells is major upgrade from REC, as it’s the foundation of the solar module being now able to achieve efficiencies up to 19.8%. An excellent efficiency made even more respectable when considering a temperature coefficient of only -0.35%C (Tier-1 Average -0.40%C). 

REC N-Peak Series Solar Module Image

REC Solar

N-Peak Series - Efficiency
  • 19.5% Maximum module efficiency.
  • -0.35%°C Temperature coefficient.
  • 0/3% Power tolerance.

Performance.

A performance guarantee now aligned with the higher performing solar modules available and an excellent backing by the manufacturer for the technology. The REC N-Peak shall degrade at only 2% in year-1 and 0.5% each year thereafter resulting in an above average energy retention of 86% by year-25. The Tier-1 average remains at 80%.

REC N-Peak Series Solar Module Image

REC Solar

N-Peak Series - Performance
  • 2.5% degradation in the 1st year.
  • 0.5% degradation per annum.
  • 25-year linear performance warranty.
  • Parts & service performance warranty.

Guarantee.

REC offer a certified installer program which unlocks a 25-year product guarantee for the REC N-Peak models. A 5-year upgrade from non-registered installers (20-years) and a good reason to purchase the REC N-Peak through the registered channels for an outstanding warranty by industry standards.

REC N-Peak Series Solar Module Image

REC Solar

N-Peak Series - Guarantee
  • 25-year warranty.
  • Parts & service warranty.
  • Authorised installer network with additional end-user benefits.

Affordability.

A robust and high performing solar module at a price alternative manufacturers will find difficult to compete with when considering the above average incorporated product criteria. The REC N-Peak is priced very competitively for the features and warranty of which is offered.

As a gauge, REC N-Peak solar panels are available online from:

USD 0.60 per watt  |  AUD 0.80 per watt  |  EURO 0.50 

Excludes taxes, shipping and installation.

Source – Google

REC N-Peak Series Solar Module Image

REC Solar

N-Peak Series - Affordability
  • Superior technology score (4.2).
  • Approximately $0.61 per watt USD ex.

OVERALL.

Forget the basic poly vs mono debate when it comes to the REC N-Peak Series. Overall, the REC N-Peak Series is a well rounded solar panel which out-specifies a majority of monocrystalline technologies available Further proof that innovative InterSolar Award wining solar panels endure the test of time.

REC Solar

N-Peak Series - Overall
  • Design 4.6
  • Durability 3.8
  • Efficiency 4.0
  • Performance 4.4
  • Guarantee 4.8
  • Technology 4.3
  • Affordability 3.9

Insight:

How was the score for the REC N-Peak range of solar panels calculated? By utilising the Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria V2.3 >

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