SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels review

Our SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels review explores their technical features and pros and cons, and shares our views based on expert and customer feedback.

By Architectural Digest UK Reviews Team

October 19, 2023
SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels

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Founded in 1985, SunPower is an industry giant with over 1,000 patents in solar panel technology and over 18 million MWh of solar energy produced as of 2019. SunPower offers solutions for residential and commercial customers and has established a global presence, with its products available in 30 countries and state-of-the-art factories in the US, Mexico, Europe, Malaysia, China, and the Philippines.

The company developed the high-efficiency Maxeon Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) cells that are featured in their core product, the Maxeon 3 solar panel. This panel claims the highest efficiency and lowest degradation rates in the industry.

Fast facts about SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels

Key features

Upsides and downsides of SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels

Before deciding on which solar panels to purchase, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each model. Here are the upsides and downsides of the SunPower Maxeon 3 that we found during our research.

ProductOverall cost (14 panels)Cost per panel

Project Solar Evolution Elite


Price not given

Sharp Sunsnap ND-F2Q235


From £300

Sunpower Maxeon 3


From £355

How do SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels work?

Diagram of the cell structure of a SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panel
The construction of the solar cells in the SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panel makes it more efficient than traditional panels. (Image credit: SunPower)

The Maxeon 3 solar panels have a power output range of 355 W to 430 W and are built with monocrystalline Maxeon 3 cells in a 104 to 112 format (depending on power output). The Maxeon 3 cells are their high-performance IBC cells fabricated using high purity N-type silicon. This allows the solar panels to provide an industry-leading efficiency of up to 22.7% and a degradation rate of only 0.25% per year.

Unlike conventional solar panels, the back contact conductivity design includes a copper grid of conductors attached to the rear of the panel. The panels benefit from having no grid lines and so can absorb more sunlight, as shading caused by front exposed busbars (common in conventional solar panels) is eliminated.

The thick triple-redundant connectors and patented metal foundation make the panels more resistant to contracting and expanding due to temperature fluctuations. This results in an overall more durable panel that, based on field data, is four times more reliable than conventional solar panels.

With such an innovative design, it’s no mystery why SunPower’s Maxeon 3 are currently some of the best solar panels on the UK market in terms of efficiency and performance degradation. Coupled with their greater absorption of sunlight, this panel is ideal for homeowners with smaller roofs.

Additional options

A recent development by SunPower is the Maxeon 6 solar panels for the home, with alternating current (AC). The panels contain an integrated micro inverter that converts the direct current (DC) electricity generated to AC. You can choose to use this AC electricity in your home or export it to the National Grid.

How much do SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels cost?

SunPower’s Maxeon 3 solar panels are regarded as some of the most expensive on the market today. Below, we’ve compared the cost per panel (excluding installation) between the Maxeon 3 solar panel and two other competitors.

Product nameOutput rangeStarting cost (per panel)

SunPower Maxeon 3

355 W to 430 W



395 W to 440 W


JA Solar JAM60S20

370 W to 395 W


SunPower Maxeon 3 versus its competitors

In the table below, we compare the Maxeon 3 panels with the other best solar panels in the industry. The comparison shows that the Maxeon 3 panel provides the best efficiency while offering the second-best warranty, performance degradation, and maximum output.

ProductMaximum outputProduct warrantyPerformance warrantyPerformance degradation (% power output at year 25)Maximum efficiency

SunPower Maxeon 3

430 W

40 years

40 years



Project Solar Evolution Elite

415 W





JA Solar JAM60S20

395 W

12 years

25 years




440 W

25 years

25 years



Lifespan and warranty periods

SunPower provides an industry-leading warranty of 40 years on both product and performance for its Maxeon 3 panels, due to its innovative IBC cell design and patented metal foundation. The warranty includes repair, replacement, and even refunds for any defective panels. The company states that this 40-year warranty is limited to select countries, but you can rest easy knowing that the UK is one of them.

Based on research conducted by SunPower, the panels have a more than 40-year lifespan. Per the warranty period, the panels are guaranteed to produce a minimum power output of 88.3% in year 40. Another report issued by SunPower claims that based on 15 million panels sold over the last few decades, only 0.005% have been returned.

Solar panel maintenance

SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels installed on a roof with a family sitting in the garden below
Solar panels require very little maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. (Image credit: SunPower)

According to SunPower, the Maxeon 3 panels require very little maintenance. Still, care is necessary to achieve the best results from your solar panels.

Inspect your solar panels

Conduct a visual inspection of your solar panels at least once a year to check the electrical connections and any corrosion. We recommend contacting a professional to perform the inspection. If you live in an area with more extreme weather conditions, you should inspect your panels more regularly.

Clean your solar panels

SunPower states that cleaning your panels is not required but recommended. We suggest carrying out the cleaning with a professional during the yearly inspection. To clean your panels, use a regular garden hose, and clean during the morning or evening—do not perform the cleaning when it’s hot outside. Use a cloth or soft sponge with water for fingerprints, stains, and dirt. Do not use harsh cleaning materials, such as a brush or cleaning liquid, as this can damage your panels and void your warranty.

What the experts say

Let’s take a look at what experts have to say about the Maxeon 3 solar panels:

“SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels are an excellent option for homeowners with limited roof space, but they may not be the best option for homeowners on a tight budget. Its warranty length is impressive, but only if you are planning to remain in your home for the next 40 years. If you have a large home, a large roof, or are unsure whether or not you are going to remain in your home for another 40 years, there are more cost-effective options that offer great performance.”Federation of Master Builders

“It’s not cheap, but blue-chip investments rarely are. Nothing short of elite characteristics overall embedded within the Maxeon 3, [as it] upholds the distinguished reputation of this highly regarded module manufacturer. The Maxeon 3 is an ideal solar module solution for any project where high yields and sustainability are a strong consideration.”Solar Analytica report

“The financial issues faced by SunPower over recent years raised some concerns over the ability of SunPower to honour the long-term warranty commitments. Despite this, SunPower is still ranked as number one in the U.S. and many parts of the world by installers and customers alike. In other markets like Asia and Australia, SunPower does not have a huge presence, and the very high price of the Maxeon series can be difficult to justify when some other manufacturers are offering similar performance and quality at a slightly lower price. That being said, there is no other manufacturer that can match the new 40-year SunPower product and performance warranty.” —Jason Svarc via Clean Energy Reviews

Customer reviews

With a rating of 4.5/5 on Best Company and 3.6/5 on Trustpilot, SunPower has received mixed reviews, with the majority of clients praising the quality and performance of the product. The main negative points to note are based on the local installation teams and poor customer service. However, the company seems quite responsive in dealing with their unhappy clients. 

“My 11 panels are giving me plenty of great electricity, and I am happy with SunPower. No issues, and none with my rep/installer Peter Kim of Bella Hem.” —Robert Pennell via Trustpilot

“The concern I had took WAY too long to resolve—several months, and it actually is not fully resolved yet. I would never recommend this company, partially because their customer service is offshore and that makes it doubly difficult to get things accomplished.” —Corey Meyerson via Trustpilot

“[It’s] working like it is supposed to, so I am happy with it. I have been very pleased with the company so far. I haven’t had any problems. Installation went very good.” —Mark via Best Company

Our recommendation

The Maxeon 3 solar panels offered by SunPower provide the best performance and efficiency of any panel currently on the market, but they come with a high price tag. We highly recommend this model for anyone who isn’t concerned about price and needs a high-performing system that can generate reliable energy for decades to come. It is also the ideal panel for homeowners with smaller roofs due to its high performance and efficient absorption of sunlight.

How we chose the best solar panels in the UK

We conducted thorough research and compared some of the top-rated solar panels UK suppliers to help us offer an honest and informative SunPower Maxeon 3 solar panels review. To do this, we looked at costs, product quality, warranty terms, customer reviews, and expert opinions. This enabled us to develop our own view of SunPower’s solar panels system.

Frequently asked questions about solar panels

How do solar panels work?

Most residential solar panel systems utilise something called the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels are constructed of cells made with semiconducting materials such as silicon. When light hits the cells, photons in the electromagnetic radiation from the sun heat them up, which causes electrons to start moving. This movement creates an electric current, which is then captured by plates and wires within the solar panel in the form of a direct current (DC) electrical charge. An inverter connected to the solar panels converts the DC into alternating current (AC), which can then be used to power all of the electric appliances in your house.

Are solar panels worth it?

In short, yes—solar panels can be a worthwhile investment thanks to a number of factors, including a decrease in cost over the last decade, the savings that can be made on rapidly rising energy bills, income from excess electricity sold back to the grid via the Smart Export Guarantee, and advancements in solar panel technology that have made them more efficient using less space.

Do solar panels work in the UK?

While the amount of electricity that can be produced by solar panels varies in different parts of the UK—a system in the south of England will typically be more efficient than a system in Scotland, for instance—they do work well across the nation. It is said that if you can see outside without artificial light, your solar panels are working. This is because they do not need direct sunlight to work. This means solar panels work even in the rain, on cloudy days, and during the winter when it is snowing—all typical weather conditions seen throughout the UK.