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  • Writer's pictureAdam H. Cooke

2022 SunPower Solar Information | Premier Improvements Solar | CT Home Solar

SunPower, an American company that produces high-quality, tier 1 solar panels, is a spinoff of Maxeon Solar Technologies. Its products are widely regarded as some of the finest available.

Production Capacity and Output

SunPower had a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts for solar cell manufacturing and 1.9 gigawatts for solar panel manufacturing at the beginning of 2018.

The company shipped 2.5 GW modules in 2019, which represents an 80% increase over 2018.

The current production capacity isn’t known, but it was expected to increase significantly under Maxeon. Maxeon Solar Technologies stated in April 2021 that it would use its existing facilities to rapidly ramp up 1.8GW of new capacity and then add another 1.8GW to a new facility.

Manufacturing locations

The headquarters of SunPower are located in San Jose, California. After a while, they stopped manufacturing in the United States. However, they resumed production at a plant that they purchased from SolarWorld Americas to avoid Trump's tariffs on solar panels. In January 2021, SunPower declared that it would close its Hillsboro plant. Maxeon now manufactures all SunPower panel models except the Performance (P-Series) Series.

Maxeon has manufacturing capabilities in Mexico, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

Company History

Richard Swanson was responsible for Swanson’s Law. SunPower was established in 1985. According to Swanson's Law, solar panels cost 20% less for every doubling in production. It has been consistent, despite fluctuations in prices. I am optimistic that the effect will continue.

SunPower is the oldest solar panel manufacturer in existence, having survived for 37 years.

In November 2019, SunPower declared that it would split off much of its solar panel manufacturing to a new company, Maxeon Solar Technologies. The process was completed in August 2020. Now, panels other than the P Series are sold under the brand "SunPower Maxeon".

Panel Reliability

Although this number is no longer valid, SunPower previously stated that their panel failure rate was only 1 in 37,000. It's possible it will be even higher, though I do know that some panels have been repaired under warranty. The large majority of the panels they used were under 25 years of age at the time. This doesn't necessarily mean that there is a 1 in 37,000 chance that a panel will fail during the 25-year warranty, but it does suggest that they are reliable.

SunPower Maxeon Solar Panels Resist Heat Effects

SunPower panels experience a much lower efficiency loss due to heat than average panels. The coefficiency of SunPower panels ranges from -0.29% to +0.37%/degC, depending on the model. While the average is around 0.4%. This indicates how much their output decreases for every degree Celsius that the panel temperature rises above 25 degrees. The panels can heat up to 65 degrees in the sun, which is why it can be more than the ambient temperature.

SunPower Panels Tolerate Partial Shade Well

Partial shade can result in a significant decrease in solar cells' performance. One poorly performing solar cell can affect the performance of all others. So even one bird's poop can have a big impact. SunPower employed several technologies to reduce its impact and this has been continued by Maxeon manufacturing.

SunPower panels connected to string inverters will still cause performance problems for other panels. This can be solved by using DC optimizers, or microinverters in place of a string-inverter.

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