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The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black solar panels pack cutting-edge technologies and winning innovations with pleasing aesthetics. In addition, the solar panels have a minimal environmental impact and include a 25-year product, performance, and labour warranty. The question is, are they the best solar panels for you?
REC, or Renewable Energy Corporation, is a Norwegian company created in 1996. Today, it’s one of the largest manufacturers of solar panels in Europe. The firm is owned by the China National Bluestar Group and has headquarters in Singapore and offices in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the United States.
REC’s Alpha and Alpha Black series of solar panels have become increasingly popular and are deemed very efficient options that can compete with many excellent brands in the market.
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The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black is an efficient and innovative lead-free solar panel. Its gapless cell layout utilises the entire surface of the panel to capture more sunlight, while its sleek design can turn these panels into a stylish rooftop feature – making this model one of the best solar panels in the market.
- Range: 410W-430W
- Efficiency: 22.2%
- Warranty: 25 years
- Cost per panel: From £300
- Gapless cell layout: The panels have a compact design with an increased area for sunlight.
- Lead-free: REC has removed lead from all components for less environmental impact.
- Power density: 219 watts/m².
Pros and cons
Here’s what we consider to be the best aspects of the REC Alpha Pure Series solar panels:
- Cutting edge technologies: REC Alpha Pure Series solar panels feature heterojunction cell technology, which boasts no power loss and higher power density, so panels generate more energy from the same area, and advanced cell connection technology, which improves the flow of electric current.
- Seamless and stylish appearance: The 410W All Black is thin, and the wires are barely visible. The cells are uniformly black, making this panel about as stylish as a solar panel can be.
- Premium extended solar panel warranty: 25-year triple warranty (product, performance, and labour).
There are a couple of downsides, however:
- Higher costs: REC Alpha Pure Series solar panels are more expensive than some competitors in the same range.
- Relatively low power output: The REC Alpha Pure Series modules don’t go beyond 450W, so they may not be the right option for anyone looking for a high-power panel.
How the REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black works
The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black is the newest addition to REC’s solar panel lineup and its best-performing solar panel so far. The product offers remarkable efficiency and an impressive power density of 219 watts/m² (compared to an average of 175 watts/m² for the average solar panel).
These panels feature an innovative gapless cell layout that increases the surface used to generate power. This means that the panels have an additional row of cells, increasing the Alpha Pure Series’ efficiency from 21.7% to 21.9% (the Alpha series uses the standard 120 cell format, and the Alpha Pure can fit 132 cells). REC has also introduced advanced cell technology with more wiring that improves the electrical current flow.
One of the REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black’s main features is its heterojunction cell technology, or HJT, which is a hybrid technology of amorphous solar technology and crystalline silicon, which REC says is the next step in the HJT half-cut cells evolution. The panel also offers high energy coefficients, so you produce more energy for the same area, even as the temperature rises. For example, the Alpha Pure series panels can deliver about 16% more power when compared to other conventional panels installed on a roof.
REC’s panels are divided into two halves which enables them to produce more energy in shaded conditions. This award-winning technology allows the panels’ two halves to work independently from each other. They can be compared to two smaller twin panels linked together and wired in parallel. This layout can lead to higher overall energy yields (especially when parts of the panel are in the shade) and reduce internal resistance for increased reliability.
The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black solar panel has a seamless, stylish appearance with thin wires that are barely visible and a uniformly black-coloured surface. The glass is 3.2mm solar glass with anti-reflective surface treatment, and the backsheet is a highly resistant black polymer. The frame is anodised aluminium, and the panels measure 1821mm (h) x 1016mm (w) x 30mm (d).
Is the REC Alpha Pure Series 410W environmentally-friendly?
REC Alpha Pure Series solar panels have a completely lead-free design, something that separates the Alpha Pure design from many other products in this range. REC has done a great job removing lead from all panel components, including connectors and box soldering. This innovative design makes the REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black more environmentally-friendly and less prone to cell damage and microcracks.
The manufacturing process REC uses to create the Alpha Pure series of solar panels also drastically reduces carbon footprint. Recent studies from Deloitte SA Singapore show REC is leading the way in the solar photovoltaic industry – not just when compared to fossil fuel energy sources but also to the standard solar industry values. The company definitely has an advantage over its competitors, as these panels are an excellent option for environmentally-minded customers.
Maintaining the REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black
The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black solar panels can work well in high temperatures (they have a temperature coefficient of -0.26%/C) and are very durable – as they have gone through rigorous testing standards.
This solar panel uses a superstrong 30mm frame with support bars that protect the cells and the glass from bending under heavy loads. The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black supports loads of up to 7000Pa or the equivalent of 250mph winds. Because the Alpha Pure series eliminates invasive soldering, there is also a reduced risk of damage and microcracks.
Overall, REC has an excellent reputation and a proven track record of low failure rates (out of 4 million solar panels REC manufactures each year, only about 400 come back with a product warranty request). The company also claims to hold testing standards that are three times more severe than other manufacturers in the industry.
REC panels are generally recognised as top performers and highly reliable in extreme environmental conditions. The best solar panels need to be trustworthy and resilient, so these extra steps make REC products an excellent choice for commercial and residential rooftops worldwide.
What does the REC Alpha Pure Series cost?
The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black costs around £300 per panel (retail price can vary depending on the provider), which makes it one of the most expensive solar panels you can find on the market.
However, although the Alpha Pure 410W Black is more expensive than some of its competitors in a similar range, it is also one of the most efficient solar panel models out there. Additionally, it’s worth keeping in mind that the REC Alpha Pure solar panel comes with a 25-year warranty – considerably longer than its competitors.
If you’re looking for a budget solar panel, the REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black might not be your best choice (even though its effectiveness makes it an excellent choice long-term). However, if you’re shopping for a top-end market contender, this panel is highly efficient and can lead to reduced costs over time.
Keep in mind that you will need to also budget for installation. Prices will vary depending on the installer, so you should always compare different quotes.
Price comparison with similar solar panels from other manufacturers:
|Manufacturer||Cost per panel|
|REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black||From £300|
|LG 400W LG Mono NeonH Plus Black V6||From £250|
|Trina Solar 395W Vertex S Mono Black Frame||From £133|
REC Alpha Pure Series warranty
REC has been offering a base 20-year warranty since 2019. However, the REC solar installer certification program adds an additional five years for a total of 25 years of coverage for all its solar panels. This includes labour, maintenance, and product warranty – provided you use REC installation services.
After this period expires, the panels still maintain 92% of the original rated output (which means the REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black loses only about 0.25% of its output annually). This places the REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black well above other similar panels, which have an average output at end of warranty Term of between 80% to 87%.
How the REC Alpha Pure Series compares
The Alpha Pure series has put REC on the same level as some of the best solar panel manufacturers in the world.
The Alpha Pure Series All Black, in particular, is the most advanced product in REC’s product line (and the 410W, the most powerful one the company manufactures). When compared to the other efficient solar panels in the market, these offer a better tolerance to high temperatures and high shading – and some of the highest efficiency overall.
The Alpha Pure can be considered equivalent to the following solar panels from other manufacturers:
- LG 400W LG Mono NeonH Plus Black V6: These panels have a smaller rating (400W) and lower efficiency (20.4% versus 22.2% for REC)
- Trina Solar 395W Vertex S Mono Black Frame: Trina’s panels are also a little less efficient (21.1%) and a peak power of 295W.
- SunPower A-Series Residential Panels: The SunPower 390-420W offers a slightly higher efficiency (22.5%) although the nominal power only goes up to 420W (REC’s panels reach 430W).
- EverVolt EVPV370 | EVPV360: These panels offer a module efficiency of 21.2% (for 370W) and 20.6% (for 360W).
- NoON R Prime Solar Panels: The 390W High Efficiency LG NeON R for Home has an efficiency of 21.5% (at 290W).
The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black shows amazing endurance and provides excellent value for money, making it a great choice for residential and commercial properties.
What the professionals say
“Not the first HJT solar module created. However, the REC Alpha Pure (descended from the REC Alpha series 2019) is potentially the most influential. Refining an already impeccable design that further enhances Efficiency characteristics, the REC Alpha Pure series earns a Solar Analytica Editors Choice Award for 2022 as a superior product within the industry.”
“REC is a good brand and Alpha series is just great – a little pricey, though. We see no reason not to recommend REC’s products with its amazing efficiency and high quality.”
“With a solid track record and low failure rates, the REC Twinpeak range of panels has been a reliable choice and a regular favourite among customers and installers, especially when partial shading is an issue.”
What customers say
“So far very happy, they are performing very well, having upgraded from an older system we can see the difference already.”
- Mike and Kyram – Green Choice Electrical
“High end solar panels with huge output & long warranty – peace of mind with these panels.”
- Al – I Want Energy
“It is early days, but we have been impressed with the amount of power generated even on rainy/cloudy days. We have been self sufficient since the system was turned on.”
- Judith – Sunstak
The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black is an excellent environmentally-conscious solar panel that uses cutting-edge technology to deliver peak performance. The Alpha Pure panels are compact and elegantly designed; they use no lead, are extremely thin yet held by a sturdy frame, and have an excellent temperature coefficient. They are also easier to transport and install, and the All Black series uses all-black materials for cells, frames, and backsheets.
REC already had a solid track record and low failure rates, but the Alpha Pure series has solidified the company’s leading position in solar power technology. However, these premium, stylish panels come at a slightly higher price – even though they lead to greater performance and more significant savings over time. This is why the panels can be an excellent choice for a variety of properties, particularly those looking for a stylish rooftop set-up.
We conducted our research by analysing more than 500 customer reviews as well as dozens of reviews by energy efficiency and solar panel experts in the UK. We then used a scoring system based on the considerations that customers would take into account when choosing a solar panel system for their homes and evaluated the REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black against its ability to deliver against these factors, out of a total score of 100.
During our research, the total score was comprised of:
- The power rating of the solar panel for a total score of 10 points;
- The efficiency of the solar panel for a total score of 15 points;
- The pricing of the solar panel per panel for a total score of 10 points;
- The length of the warranty for a total score of 10 points;
- The level of service and support for a total score of 5 points;
- Durability of the solar panel for a total score of 15 points;
- The design of the panel for a total score of 5 points;
- The overall performance of the solar panel for a total score of 15; and
- Online online ratings and reviews for a total score of 15 points.
More on solar panels
Read our guide to the best solar panels in the UK in 2022 or learn about how solar panels work. You can also find out if the economics add up for you in our guide which asks: are solar panels worth it?