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Say Hello to REC Solar!

04/11/22

  10:45:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 752 words  
Categories: Commercial Solar, Residential Solar, Ranting, Non-profit solar

Say Hello to REC Solar!

In light of the unanticipated departure from the solar market of our prior module manufacturer, we needed to go do some research and identify a new module to recommend to our clients.  After a month of research, and some time getting certified, we are now ready to rollout our new go-to product: REC Alpha Pure modules!  Here’s why…

REC Alpha Pure module

Run on Sun’s module of choice: the REC Alpha Pure

First of all, this black-on-black module will look great on our clients’s homes and businesses!

That is a 400 Watt module, slightly taller than our prior 380 Watt modules, but an inch narrower. Frankly, the added power/efficiency and the sharp esthetics were definitely points in REC’s favor.

We also were attracted to their avoidance of lead-based solder in their modules, meaning that when the time comes for them to be retired - decades from now! - they are less toxic than other modules on the market.

Wow that Warranty!

But what really wowed us the most was their warranty, covering Performance, Product and Labor.  Let’s take those one at a time.

  • Performance - of course, every solar module comes with some sort of performance warranty.  After so many years, the product will produce some percentage of its nameplate value.  For some panels, that prediction is 85-90% of nameplate after 25 years.  On our prior product, it was 90.8%.
    REC beats them all with a whopping 92% performance after 25 years!
  • Product -  REC offers a 20 year product warranty that gets extended to 25 years when you choose a Certified REC Installer (more on that in a minute).  Clearly, REC believes in the quality of their product, particularly when supported by Installers who know what they are doing!
  • Labor - REC offers a labor warranty (again, when you choose a Certified REC Installer) that pays the installer to make the swap if ever needed - something most manufacturers do not offer at all!

Taken together, that is one of the best warranties in the industry!

Performance

Warranties are great, but hopefully you will never need to rely on one.  Rather, you want a product that outperforms the competition, day in and day out!  After all, that is what drives your return on investment, and in the performance space REC really shines.

One real world measure of performance is the PTC to STC ratio.  All solar modules have a nameplate rating: a module might be nameplate rated at 380 Watts (our prior module) or 400 Watts - the REC Alpha Pure.  That rating is measured under Standard Test Conditions - or STC - which are conditions seen only in a lab and certainly not on a roof.  So years ago, the CEC came up with something called the “PV Test Conditions” - PTC for short - that are meant to better capture what is happening on your rooftop, particularly at the higher temperatures found in the real world.  Taking the ratio of PTC rating to STC (or nameplate) rating gives you an idea of how well the module will actually perform.

On our old 380 Watt modules, the PTC rating was 352.1 Watts for a ratio of 92.6% - certainly a respectable number.  But REC has it beat handily!  The PTC rating for the 400 Watt Alpha Pure module is 381 Watts, producing a ratio of 95.25% - a 2.6% advantage for REC!  That translates into better performance at temperature, all day, everyday.  And that means greater savings for you!

Of course, REC is happy to highlight all of the great features in this truly innovative product, so take it away:

Certified Better

We mentioned that the REC Product warranty extends from 20 to 25 years, and the Labor warranty comes into play if you go with an REC Certified Installer.  Readers of this blog will not be surprised to discover that given how much we love certifications - think NABCEP for 12 years, and Enphase for Ensemble and IQ8 - we immediately signed up to get ourselves certified.

REC certified

By gaining certification, we open up to our clients REC’s extended warranties - providing you with additional value at no cost to you.  In addition, you have the assurance that we have taken the time to learn about this wonderful product and how to install it in such a manner that you will enjoy many years of uninterrupted performance.  You can check out our certification here!

Managing the Solar Coaster…

So the Solar Coaster continues with its ups and downs, but we feel like we have arrived in a great place with REC, and look forward to providing their wonderful products to our clients for many years to come.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments!

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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