The REC TwinPeak 2 is the Norwegian solar panel manufacturer’s flagship product. It is an innovative, multi-crystalline, all-black solar panel system that offers high efficiency at an affordable price.

REC TwinPeak is quickly becoming the go-to panel for homeowners seeking performance, reliability, and lower electricity bills. It also helps that it sports a stylish black-on-black solar system array. 

REC Solar is one of the few manufacturers with a navigable, user-friendly website where you can view its various product lines. In fact, as the predominant solar panel provider in Norway, you can rest assured knowing the country, known for its engineering prowess, chooses REC solar as its go-to solar power company. 

So what separates this company and its product, the TwinPeak 2 solar panel system, from the competition? That will be the subject of this review.

We’ll cover the REC TwinPeak 2, its performance, and critical features, and top it all off with our expert opinion on whether you should get these solar panels or not.

Let’s dive right in!

solar panel under blue sky

What is the REC TwinPeak 2?

REC’s most popular module, the innovative TwinPeak 2, is an all-black solar panel system. It’s a split panel, split cell, higher efficiency, and multi-crystalline feat of European engineering.

REC claims that their relatively cheaper panels provide:

  • Better output in the shade (when there’s no sun),
  • More power per square meter than any standard 60-cell panel, and
  • Maximum aesthetics. 

To begin with, the REC TwinPeak 2 panel achieves a panel efficiency of 21.9%, making it one of the most productive residential panels on the market – or a class leader, as they call it in the solar panel industry. 

The REC TwinPeak 2 panel utilises various technologies which are simply not present among its peers. This level of innovation has allowed REC to remain one of Europe’s most-used panels over the years. 

REC has also considered Australia’s coastal environment by making their panels resistant to corrosion, meaning they won’t rust and deteriorate if installed close to the sea. 

black and white solar panels

Renewable Energy Corporation, or REC for short, is a Norwegian company that recently moved its manufacturing operations to Singapore. 

Originally, REC was named Fornybar Energi AS and was founded in 1996 by Dr Alf Bjørseth, a physical chemist. In just a few short years, REC became a world leader as a silicon wafer production company. 

It has since been acquired by Elkem Group, a silicon and chemicals company. REC dominated the European market for decades and, as we mentioned, is still considered a top choice for homeowners.

In 2010, the company relocated to Singapore, where it has remained since. REC is regarded as one of the industry leaders in high-quality, innovative panels such as the TwinPeak 2.

REC currently produces around 1.3 Gigawatts of solar power every year; classifying the company as a ‘medium-sized’ manufacturer in the solar industry, but large enough to supply panels to the Australian market twice over

blue solar panel

REC TwinPeak 2 Solar Panel Range 

The TwinPeak 2 has five different variants of its solar panels:

  • 275 W: with an efficiency of 16.5%,
  • 280 W: with an efficiency of 16.8%,
  • 285 W: with an efficiency of 17.1%,
  • 290 W: with an efficiency of 17.4%, and
  • 295 W: with an efficiency of 17.7%.
white and brown building during daytime

REC TwinPeak 2 Solar Panel Technical Specifications 

Check out the TwinPeak 2’s technical specifications in the table below:

Cell type:120 REC HC multi-crystalline 6 strings of 20 cells
Glass:0.13″ (3.2 mm) solar glass with anti-reflective surface treatment
Back sheet:Highly resistant polyester polyolefin construction
Frame:Anodised aluminum (available in silver or black)
Junction box:IP67 rated, 3-part with bypass diodes 12 AWG (4 mm²) PV wire, 35″ + 47″ (0.9 m + 1.2 m)
Connectors:Multi-Contact MC4 PV-KBT4/PV-KST4 12 AWG (4 mm²)
Nominal operating cell temperature (NOCT)44.6 °C (± 2°C)
Temperature coefficient of PMPP(-ve) 0.39 % / °C
Temperature coefficient of VOC(-ve) 0.31 % / °C
Temperature coefficient of ISC0.045 % / °C
Operational temperature:-40… +185 °F (-40… +85 °C)
Maximum system voltage:1,000 V
Design Loads:(+) 75.2 lbs/ft² (3,600 Pa) (-) 33.4 lbs/ft² (1,600 Pa)
Refer to installation manual
Max reverse current:20 A
Max series fuse rating:20 A
Dimensions:65.9 x 39.25 x 1.5 (1675 x 997 x 38 mm)
Area:17.98 ft² (1.67 m²)
Weight:40.8 lbs (18.5 kg)

Nominal Power – PMPP (Wp)275280285290295
Watt Class Sorting – (W)0/+50/+50/+50/+50/+5
Nominal Power Voltage – VMPP (V)31.531.731.932.132.3
Nominal Power Current – IMPP (A)8.748.848.959.059.14
Open Circuit Voltage – VOC (V)38.238.438.638.839
Short Circuit Current – ISC (A)9.39.399.499.589.65
Panel Efficiency (%)16.516.817.117.417.7
Values at standard test conditions STC (airmass AM 1.5, irradiance 1000 W/m², cell temperature 25°C).
At low irradiance of 200 W/m² (AM 1.5 and cell temperature 25 °C) the module will be at least 94% STC efficient.

Nominal Power – PMPP (Wp)206210214218223
Nominal Power Voltage – VMPP (V)29.229.429.629.830
Nominal Power Current – IMPP (A)
Open Circuit Voltage – VOC (V)35.435.635.83636.2
Short Circuit Current – ISC (A)7.527.597.687.757.85
NOCT (Nominal Operating Cell Temperature): 800 W/m², AM 1.5, windspeed 1 m/s, ambient temperature 20°C.

Source: REC TwinPeak 2 datasheet.

What is the REC TwinPeak 2 Solar Panel’s Power Output?

The power output for the TwinPeak 2 solar panel varies depending on the model you choose. The nominal power rating ranges from 275 W – 295 W.

The nominal current output of these solar panels ranges from 8.74 to 9.14 A, again based on the variant you choose.

What is the REC TwinPeak 2 Solar Panel’s Efficiency?

These solar panels once had a 17.1% efficiency which has been refined to a staggering 21.9% panel efficiency. This means you can use fewer panels to achieve a greater output while reducing the overall solar panels’ cost.

Such an incredible conversion ratio has rightfully earned this brand a solid reputation. It undeniably makes these solar panels a market leader in terms of energy efficiency in Australia.

brown brick house with solar panels on roof

What is the REC TwinPeak 2 Solar Panel’s Temperature Coefficient? Will it Perform Well in Australian Weather?

These solar panels have a nominal operating cell temperature (NOCT) of 44.6 °C (± 2 °C). Moreover, the temperature coefficient of PMPP is -0.39 %/ °C, while the temperature coefficient of VOC is -0.31 % / °C. Lastly, the temperature coefficient of ISC is 0.045 %/ °C.

The operational temperature range of the solar panel is between -40 to 85 °C. The highest and lowest temperatures ever recorded in Australia were -23 °C and 50.7 °C, respectively. In other words, this solar panel can function perfectly in Australia throughout most weather conditions.

What is the REC TwinPeak 2 Solar Panel’s Country of Origin?

The REC was founded in Norway in 1996. However, it moved its operational headquarters to Singapore back in 2010.

Will the REC TwinPeak 2 Solar Panel Look Good on My Home?

Absolutely, the black-on-black solar panel aesthetic has an understated appeal that accentuates or blends seamlessly with any rooftop.

white and black wooden house under white sky during daytime
gray concrete house

REC TwinPeak 2 Solar Panel Key Features

  • Half-cut Solar Cells

Most standard solar panels include 60 silicon cells in total, but the REC TwinPeak 2 instead has manufactured a panel with 120 half-cut cells

This is achieved by using a laser cutter to split the cell of the panels. 

This reduces the overall resistance within each cell, increasing the panel’s power output, resulting in a more energy-dense panel and a more robust solar system. This in turn allows you to create a solar panel with a higher power rating.

The wires connecting cells can occasionally cause massive power losses during energy production. Half-cut cells contain less current than their whole counterparts, causing less resistance throughout the panel. 

Half-cut cells have been shown to boost the power output of a module by 5 – 8 watts. It’s no surprise that the market for half-cut cells is expected to increase from 20% in 2020 to over 60% in 2030.

  • PERC Technology

PERC, which stands for Passivated Emitter Rear Cell technology, has become an increasingly popular option among top-quality manufacturers for increasing power output. 

In essence, PERC panels are equipped with a mirror-like reflective surface on the rear of the cell. 

solar panels on green grass field

This enables light particles that the panel couldn’t absorb when they first came into contact with the silicon cell to be reflected back up towards the absorbent layer

PERC technology makes the panel more efficient and in turn, achieves a higher power output

All TwinPeak 2 panels are equipped with this feature, which is why they are able to achieve such efficiency; 17.1% of all the light that hits a solar panel is absorbed and its energy is transferred to electrical power.

  • Four Busbars

For a solar panel to actually produce electricity, the free electrons within the panel must travel towards a copper wire, where they become a current. 

This copper wire is called a busbar and is designed to separate the solar cells and conduct DC power generated by the cells towards the inverter. 

In a standard solar panel, there are only two busbars to be found. However, the TwinPeak panel uses four busbars. 

As a result, the cells have less distance to travel before they are conducted by the copper wires, improving energy flow and the overall reliability of the panel itself.

  • Split Junction Box

Lastly, the product’s fourth innovation comes in the form of three junction boxes—instead of the usual two. A junction box is where the four busbars meet, and also where the solar panel is placed within the circuit. 

A junction box has a positive and negative input to indicate the circuit’s flow. 

Using multiple junction boxes, the TwinPeak 2 panel is equipped with increased heat dissipation and better reliability overall. 

This is because the task of collecting and sending the power to the inverter is distributed among three components. 

These various improvements make REC panels some of the most reliable and efficient solar panels in the world.

black and white concrete building

What is the REC TwinPeak 2’s Warranty?

REC TwinPeak solar panel modules include a 25-year performance warranty (one of the longest performance warranties in the industry) and a 10-year product warranty. 

The maximum reduction in efficiency is expected to be around 0.7% per annum, starting from a 97% efficient panel when it was first installed.

solar panels on brown field under white clouds during daytime

If you install solar panels through installers who are accredited with REC, you will be rewarded with an additional 2-year warranty, as REC know they can trust the installer to perform the installation without damaging their panels.

For customers in the Australian market, REC Solar has an office in New South Wales. You can visit them for any warranty-related concerns.

Is the REC Twin Peak 2 a Tier 1 Solar Panel?

Absolutely. Currently, REC Solar is listed in the top 25 Tier 1 solar companies. These companies are in the top echelon of solar power, offering greater energy potential for lower cost and more extended product warranties.

Tier 1 solar companies set the standard for excellent customer service. Their products have great longevity, favourable reviews, and offer easy-to-avail warranties that can be claimed worldwide.

Is the REC TwinPeak 2 a CEC-Approved Panel?

Yes! The REC TwinPeak 2 is approved for sale and installation in Australia by the Clean Energy Council (CEC).

The CEC is a governing body in Australia that licenses everything related to renewable energy (especially the solar industry), including solar inverters, solar installers, battery storage, off-grid installation, electricity export, etc.

This body ensures that all the panels being installed are (in most cases) cost-effective, don’t endanger the life of the customer, and can be safely connected to the grid.

Is the REC TwinPeak 2 Safe and Reliable?

The REC TwinPeak is as safe as a solar panel can be. It’s resistant to both fire and salt mist and comes equipped with a PID-resistant circuit. It even offers ammonia resistance. Moreover, it has several different ISO classifications that further illustrate its universal quality and reliability.

To date, it has achieved the following different product certifications:

  • UL 1703, Fire classification Type 2,
  • IEC 61215,
  • IEC 61730,
  • IEC 61701 (Salt Mist – Severity Level 6),
  • IEC 62804 (PID Free),
  • IEC 62716 (Ammonia Resistance),
  • ISO 11925-2 (Ignitability Class 1),
  • UNI 8457/9174 (Class A),
  • ISO 9001:2015,
  • ISO 14001, and
  • OHSAS 18001.

As long as you have the panels installed correctly, the likelihood of a security hazard is minimal. This assumes that you follow all the instructions in the product manual and don’t install the panels in an unsafe or suboptimal location.

In situations like this, it’s best that you employ professional installers; saving a small sum by hiring amateurs or attempting to install the panels yourself isn’t worth risking your life.

black solar panel under red and gray clouds

Advantages and Disadvantages of the REC TwinPeak 2

Here are the advantages of the REC TwinPeak 2:

  • Half-cut cell technology that offers better power compared to standard 60-cell modules.
  • PERC achieves a greater efficiency that leads to higher power rating modules.
  • These modules are rigorously tested and are incredibly safe.
  • The decade-long product warranty is nothing short of a testament to their long-term performance.
  • These modules are cost-effective and can be used to build an off-grid system.
  • They offer excellent shade tolerance, thanks to their innovative design.
  • The frame has a very high tensile strength, withstanding over 7,000 Pa.
  • The broad operational temperature range gives you very robust modules that can operate well in most weather conditions.

As for the REC TwinPeak 2’s disadvantages, the primary drawback is:

  • Price: As an industry leader, REC panels can cost up to $3.6/Watt, which can add up to a hefty initial investment if you are aiming for a large setup.

REC TwinPeak 2 Installation

The TwinPeak 2 includes an installation manual that must be strictly followed at all times to prevent personal injury and damage to the equipment.

The area of each panel is 1.67 squared meters. On average, you will need between 19-23 solar panels, which requires an area of roughly 31.73 – 38.41 m2 on your rooftop. The exact location can vary due to factors such as sunlight access.

If you feel that your rooftop is too small for this setup, you can try installing the panels in a location that receives ample sunlight, like the side of your house or even your backyard.

These TwinPeak 2 models feature a unique shade tolerance technology that ensures consistent output, even in low iridescence conditions. This makes them one of the most affordable panels on the market.

REC TwinPeak 2 Compatibility with Inverters

The TwinPeak 2 is compatible with a solar inverter. You will need to install solar inverters in order to utilise the electricity that your panels produce.

The electricity generated by solar panels is in direct current (DC). However, most appliances in our homes use alternating current (AC). As such, Inverters convert DC power into AC power so that solar panels can be used to power up our appliances.

This is a necessary step for switching to renewable energy.

Is the REC TwinPeak 2 Worth it for Your Home? Our Opinion

If you’re looking for a run-of-the-mill, standardised panel, then avoid the REC Twinpeak 2. However, if you’re seeking a module that pushes the envelope and experiments with new technologies, then look no further. 

The REC TwinPeak 2 takes full advantage of innovative functions like split panels, increased busbars, PERC, and multiple split junction boxes to achieve remarkable efficiency gains. 

And despite pushing the boundaries, REC ensures that your system is secure, delivering a panel with the lowest warranty claims rate in the industry

If you happen to be the 1/10,000 customers that receive a faulty product by freak occurrence, REC will provide a 12-year warranty when your system is installed through an accredited installer.

While it’s true that the REC TwinPeak 2 is on the costly side (especially for residential setups), it also offers more power. If you connect it to batteries via an inverter, you might achieve full grid independence (and earn a surplus for any solar rebates).

All-in-all, REC Solar is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to solar modules, and its TwinPeak 2 solar panel is no different. If you have the financial capacity to do so, then these top-of-the-line solar panels are certainly worth your investment.

Next Steps…

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