The Most Efficient Solar Panels Available For Your Home in 2021

2021 has brought a new class of solar panels

Taiyangnews‘ released a report in January all about Advanced Module Technologies. While the list focuses on both residential and commercial modules, we’re mostly interested in the residential side of things. Some of the panels listed below aren’t available in the United States, never mind Massachusetts, and some of our favorite value panels also didn’t make the efficiency cut. That’s ok, we at Whaling City Solar are still interested to see what’s going on in the world with regard to solar panel manufacturing and how it affects the installations going up right now.

Today we’re going to outline and rank the top 5 highest efficiency panels made that we at Whaling City Solar have hands on experience with. Feel free to click the links as we go along and get lost in the black hole of solar panel specs and marketing materials!

#1 – 22.2% – Maxeon 5 by Maxeon – Specification Page – sold in North America via SunPower brand name. The product is focused on high end residential customers, and is generally premium priced. Highest wattage we can find out there, but lacking the premium black aesthetic appeal.

#2 – 22% – LG NeON R by LG – Specification Page. The most popular high efficiency residential solar panels available in the United States. Highly available and we install them here locally! Pricing is high but not the ultra-premium that the Maxeon’s demand.

#3 – 21.7% – Alpha by REC – Specification Page. One of my favorite solar panels because it balances efficiency, aesthetics and cost.  I even took the time to write an article about it, we install these regularly so be sure to ask to see pricing on them.

#4 – 21.2% – Maxeon 3 BLACK by Maxeon – Specification Page – sold in North America via SunPower brand name. Product is SunPower’s product focused on the aesthetic market where the panels are on the front of the home or visible area of the business. Premium price on these for sure.

#5 – 20.2% – PowerXT by Solaria – Specification Page. This popular module makes its name on it’s top of class aesthetics. They are so uniformly black you can’t tell the difference between these and a premium OLED TV screen up close. Matched with a stellar 20+% efficiency rating we love to install these whenever we know the solar array will be having a lot of eyes on it.


As professionals, it’s always fun to see a current snapshot of panel efficiencies because we know it will date itself quickly as the industry keeps evolving.

As a homeowner, you have a lot to consider when chasing the top tier of solar panels made in the world.  Efficiency, physical footprint, aesthetics, price, etc. the list goes on.  Are you working with an installation company that will dive into the details with you?  You should be.  Grab a time on our calendar and we’ll talk about the pros and cons of as many options as you have time for.

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Wish you could evaluate solar for yourself without the high pressure sales visit?

Just let us know what you’d like to see up there on that empty roof.