REC Group Overview:
REC (short for Renewable Energy Corp.) is a global solar company founded in 1996 in Norway. While its headquarters still remain in Norway, it has grown to have an operational facility in Singapore, and numerous regional facilities across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. Their mission is providing customers with affordable solar power, and remain committed to high quality, innovation and environmentally responsible. They offer products to homes, businesses and power plants depending on the needs of the individual customer.
They have been pioneers in solar since 1996, being the first company to introduce half cell technology, which increases generation of energy. In the early 2000’s being the world’s largest producer of multicrystalline silicon wafers used to make solar cells, which are the base of solar panels, and every since 2010 have been growing exponentially, offering 4 kinds of high tech solar panels that are “built with quality in mind” according to reviewers. They have an expert team of over 2000 employees worldwide, including Chief Executive Jan Ecco Bicker and Chief Operating Officer Wee Kay Hwa, who holds a degree in Mechanical production Engineering.
REC Services and Products:
REC offers several types of solar panels, over 3 series that service a variety of needs, selling to homes, businesses and power plants. This includes:
- REC Alpha Pure R and REC Alpha Pure: This is REC’s newest model, and is one of their highest performing makes. It uses heterojunction cell technology, offering some of the highest energy coefficiency and less overall power loss. The Pure R offers 410-430 Wp and the Pure offers 385-410, delivering around 20% more than conventional solar panels, which typically run at 320 Wp at the higher levels. Pure R can be heavier and wider than the Pure, so the use of either depends on individual needs. They offer a guarantee of a minimum of 92% power performance after 25 years. They are lead free, without gaps, and with increased wires to create this higher energy power output,
- REC N-Peak 2: N-Peak 2 is designed for high efficiency and power output to maximise usage of smaller spaces. It uses a n-type monocrystalline solar panel, which consists of a thin p-type silicon with boron layer over a much thicker n-type silicon with phosphorus layer. As a n-type panel, they are not susceptible to light degradation, prolonging the life span and maintaining the value of the product. This product offers extra support bars for further durability, and are guaranteed to be at 86% power performance after 25 years. There is the N-Peak series and the N-Peak Black series, the black offering a sleaker look if desired. They work at 360-375 Wp.
- REC TwinPeak 4: TwinPeak 4 are a p-type monocrystalline solar panel, using Czochralski grown cells and wafers. It is a positively charged system, and has held the largest portion of the solar market for the last four decades. This model has a reduction in internal resistance for increased power and reliability. This design splits the standard Alpha Pure model into two dual panels, allowing for continued energy production in shaded energy, allowing for higher energy yields, as the two panels act separately. It has a lower power output than other models, but still higher than average solar panels at 360-375 Mp, offset by the increased time they solar panels generate electricity. Users report that this is effective, saying “[the product] produces electricity on overcast days”.
REC offer additional benefits and extended 5 year warranty to their products if you use a REC certified installer for the project, not that it is needed, as reviewers say after they are “very happy”, even “12 months” after the installation.
REC Energy Costs:
Like any solar panel business, the price of REC’s products depends on the individual needs of the project. However, REC’s products are priced competitively compared to market price, averaging at $0.6-$3 per watt depending on model, compared to $3 average cost in the market. Additionally, as REC’s products have a higher efficiency, their products are an overall better cost price. They have panels in a variety of price ranges, each individual module is likely to cost between £95 and £265 depending on the series and power output, but this does not include the price of installation, as REC sells their products independently.
REC do have REC approved installer companies that offer additional benefits in warranty, though you do not have to use REC approved installers. You can find certified installers on their website, and compare prices in your location. Reviewers say they are worth the price, calling them “affordable” and “the most exquisite solar panels”, backed by their innovative technology that is at the forefront of sustainability.
Having solar panels installed not only reduces your monthly energy bills, but also adds a long term increase to the market value to your property or business at a minimal investment, with high returns. In addition, you can offset any initial start up costs by utilising local incentives, such as the 26% federal tax credit available in the United States. It is worth researching your local availability for incentives, as it varies globally.
REC has unparalleled reviews, from households, businesses and experts of the industry, describing them as “highly respected, the most famous European brand with over two decades of solar experience backing them”. In that time, they have maintained their prestige as cutting edge, being the first to use half cell technology. Their Alpha series is some of the most advanced technology available, through their heterojunction cells, using an amorphous protective layer which reduces electron loss, creating their signature high performance.
They promise long lasting efficiency, from 18.6% all the way to 22%, with warranty of up to 25 years on product, performance and labour when using a REC certified installer with their REC Protrust warranty. However, the statistics show it really is not needed, as only 1 in 10,000 REC solar panels malfunction. They still offer a 20 year warranty on performance and product if you do not use one of their installers, a testament to their commitment in their quality of product. Reviewers have said their customer service is “excellent”, rating them 5/5 stars. They are “prompt” and keep customers “well informed” during their solar journey, inspiring confidence and security in the investment. They create long lasting partnerships, with technical experts in every region for after sales service.
To maintain the peak performance of REC solar panels, it is vital to keep them clean. They are designed for high quality with minimal maintenance, however pollen and debris will affect this. They are manufactured with normal rainfall with aid in the cleaning of the panels if installed at the correct angle, which is another reason REC recommends you hire an installer certified in their training. Debris should not harm the panels, so after the removal the product will return to its signature performance capability.
If further cleaning is required, there are a few steps to keeping safe:
- Look for damage in the panels: REC panels rarely malfunction, and reviewers comment on how “sturdy” the panels are, but damage can occur. Risk of electrocution greatly increases when the panels are wet, so assess the panels before cleaning, and dry immediately after.
- Time: It is best to clean REC panels in the early morning, and use ambient temperature water, as to avoid the panels reaching a working temperature. Ideally, use de-ionised water (meaning water with minerals removed), or if this is not possible use tap water, rainwater or diluted alcohol.
- Safety at height: ensure that any ladders used during the process are secure, and keep yourself stable when you are up the apparatus.
- Cleaning: Do not use steam cleaners, high pressure hoses, metallic sponges or any scrapers on the panels. Any use of such will invalidate the warranty, and damage the panels.
REC Energy Overall:
REC is a fantastic solar company, with a range of panels at varying price points. Reviewers call them “durable”, and they are recognised as a “Top performer” industry wide. They will continue to advance clean energy in the future.