REC Solar Panels – The European giant

Founded in Norway in 1996 REC Solar is currently the largest European solar module manufacturer.
Despite being founded later than most of its European competitors like Solar World and SolarWatt,
REC Solar has managed to outgrow them and become a globally renowned solar module producer.
Although not yet among top 10, REC is successfully competing with the “big boys” with 1.4 GW of
production annually.

In the past decade there has been an increased demand for European-made solar modules as many
solar energy developers and private customers have realised that cheaper Chinese-made modules are
not always worth the initial savings. Even though REC Solar manufactures it’s modules in Singapore,
the company has managed to retain its leading position in module quality. According to REC Solar,
only up to 400 out of every 4 million produced modules might come back as claims, which accounts
to 0.01%.

Why should you use REC Solar Panels?

When considering which solar module to choose for a specific project, private or utility scale,
determining factors can usually be grouped into 4 categories – product characteristics, price, company
reliability and approach to customer (flexibility, lead time, etc.). In terms of price REC Solar can be
placed somewhere in the middle. This balance is caused by REC’s relatively large production capacities,
high product quality, location of the company as well as its choice to work only with Multi-crystalline.
This makes REC’s modules perfect both for small-scale residential applications as well as multiMegawatt
solar farms.

REC – Polycrystalline Solar Panels only

The company’s choice to stick with Multi-crystalline PV technology is still perfectly reasonable, but it
might be a good strategy to start thinking about incorporating Mono as well. Current global PV
demand forecasts predict that Multi-crystalline/ Polycrystalline will retain at least 50% of the global
market through 2018 and maybe 2019, but after that Monocrystalline will most likely take the lead.
While Poly and Multi technologies have always been leading in cost-effectiveness, Mono is catching
up fast. Having in mind that Monocrystalline technologies have more room to grow in terms of
efficiency it becomes clear that they will soon be taking over. Of course it is important to mention that
REC Solar has perfected its Multi-crystalline products and therefore is able to offer an excellent price
to performance ratio. The PEAK and TWINPEAK module series can offer up to 275 W and 285 W
respectively. Standard PEAK is comprised of 60 Multi-crystalline cells while TWINPEAK series use 120
half-cut cells, allowing it to squeeze out that extra 10 W per module. Another advantage of the halfcut
cell technology is the module’sincreased immunity to partial shading. For large – scale applications
REC offers larger TWIN PEAK 2 modules with half-cut PERC cells and a power output of up to 300 W.
Both product series are available in silver (aluminium) and black frames.
A downside for a potential customer would be a lack of choices for types of solar modules. These
choices include Monocrystalline modules for higher energy yield. Glass-glass modules for durability,
longevity and better overall performance over longer periods of time. Bifacial is another new trend
that solar PV developers are increasingly looking into, therefore, it’s inclusion would allow REC Solar
to attract even more clients.


Another evident opportunity of improvement would be the number of bus bars for the PEAK module
series. REC’s PEAK modules currently only have 3 bus bars, while a lot of solar module manufacturers
have already transitioned or are in the process of moving to 4 bus bars for their modules. The inclusion
of an additional bus bar reduces the distance the free electrons have to move before they reach the
electrode, thus increasing the energy yield of the solar cell.
Due to the 3.2 mm glass on the front REC’s solar modules exhibit higher than average durability. While
the market standard for standard modules is 2400 Pa REC’s modules offer 3600 Pa. While this is not
the most important aspect in the majority locations where solar PV is widely used, hail, heavy snowfall,
storms and installation accidents can always happen. The antireflective aspect of the glass increases
energy yield and reduces heating of the module.
While it’s not something extraordinary, the split junction box in REC’s modules allow for a higher
energy yield and a reduction in negative effects due to module heating. This is especially important to
warmer climates and locations with intense sunlight.
In terms of warranty, REC Solar offers a market standard of 10 years and promise a linear power output
for 25 years. Annual power output loss of 0.7% means that after 25 years REC solar modules would be
producing about 82.5 % of the original power output. While this is not the best result in the whole
Solar PV field, for Multi-crystalline technology it’s considered to be a high-end characteristic.
While one should always evaluate the company itself, there are no red flags in REC’s case. For a
company of this size, experience and reputation failure to deliver is never an option. For your
convenience REC solar will provide its own accredited installers who will make sure that there are no
mistakes on the system installation side. Having in mind that REC Solar has been working since 1996
and has been increasing its production capacity by at least 10% annually, one can be assured that it
will stay operational throughout the whole module warranty period.


Additionally, a company of this size is surely capable to provide delayed payments and other financial
instruments dedicated to ease the purchase of REC’s solar modules. Therefore, moneywise REC Solar
is a much better choice than smaller local producers both in terms of price and payment conditions.
And last but not least – flexibility and customer approach, both of which are crucial for positive
customer experience. With more than 600 installations worldwide, REC Solar can offer both, customer
support for smaller projects and turnkey development for large solar farms.
To sum up, REC Solar is a safe, reliable, medium priced option both for small-scale and utility-scale
projects. One will hardly be able to find a better price and performance ratio for high-quality European
solar modules.