REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black solar panels review

The REC Alpha Pure Series 410W All Black is an innovative and efficient lead-free and high-power option and one of the best solar panels in the market.

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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Technical information

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

Key features

  • 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 panels have a gapless cell layout that increases the active area to capture more sunlight.

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).

The REC Alpha Pure series have a premium look fit for homes and businesses.

The REC Alpha Pure series have a premium look fit for homes and businesses. (Image credit: REC)

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.”

“High end solar panels with huge output & long warranty – peace of mind with these panels.”

“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.”

Final recommendation

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. 

Solar panel FAQs

After around 30 years, the efficiency of solar panels begins to decrease, meaning that they generate less electricity. Most manufacturers claim that their panels can still produce around 90% of their output potential after 25-30 years, and many offer guarantees that performances won’t drop below 80% within the warranty period. This can be as long as 25 years. 

With correct care, your panels could still be performing well for 40 years or more before you have to think about replacing them.

The main disadvantage of solar energy is the initial investment. The average cost of solar panels for a typical UK house is around £6,500 – although this is cost is falling. However, this does mean that, with the rising price of electricity, the return on your investment can be achieved in a much shorter time frame than previously.

Solar energy is also dependent on the weather. If you live in an open location with plenty of bright days, your panels will be more productive than a region that experiences less daylight. In this case, investing in a heat pump might be a better prospect for generating energy.

Solar panels need sunlight in order to generate electricity, so output ceases at night, and any unused energy is wasted. In order to avoid this wastage, it’s worth considering adding a battery to your solar system. Batteries can store your unused electricity for use later, for example at night.

Cloudy days will still allow your solar panels to generate energy; however, the output will be less that on sunny days. The general rule is that if it’s light enough to see outside, your panels will be working efficiently.

In order to maximise your savings, you’ll want to use as much of your ‘freely’ generated electricity as possible. But there will be days when you just don’t need to use it all. Storing excess energy in a battery optimises your solar system’s performance, and means you can use it later. However, batteries can cost between £1,200 and £6,000, depending on the capacity you require, and have a life expectancy of around 15 years before their storage capacity starts to decrease. The prices of solar batteries are slowly dropping, making them a more attractive investment if your panels generate more electricity than your household uses. 

In principle, houses can be run purely on solar energy if your system is powerful enough to handle your family’s needs. However, when evaluating panel performance there are so many variables to consider, it’s worth being prepared to use a percentage of electricity taken from the National Grid.

There are two main types of solar panel. Polycrystalline (poly) panels are made by melting multiple silicone crystals together. The pricier, but more efficient panels are made from a single silicone crystal, and are known as monocrystalline (mono) panels. Poly panels are usually black in colour, whereas the mono option appears to shine blue.

Solar panels can make a positive difference to the value of your home. The offer of reduced electricity bills and an energy efficient home is a big incentive to any potential buyers, with research by Zillow suggesting that solar panels can add around 4% to the value of your home.

Installing solar panels can save you over £1,000 per year on your energy bills. But the exact amount that you can save will depend on a few things. The size of your solar panel system is one of the driving factors in how much you’ll save, that and your electricity consumption. Your house’s location also affects savings, this is to do with your roof’s angle and whether your house is south-facing or not.

The time it takes you to break even from solar panels varies, but the average break-even time is around six to seven years. It used to take far longer to break even from solar panels investments, but luckily that time has decreased in recent years. 

Our methodology 

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?


Rachel is a seasoned writer who has been producing online and print content for seven years.

As a home tech expert for Independent Advisor, Rachel researches and writes buying guides and reviews, helping consumers navigate the realms of broadband and home security gadgets. Rachel also covers home tech for The Federation of Master Builders, where she reviews and tests home security devices.

She started as a news and lifestyle journalist in Hong Kong reporting on island-wide news stories, food and drink and the city’s events. She’s written for editorial platforms Sassy Hong Kong, Localiiz and Bay Media. While in Hong Kong she attended PR events, interviewed local talent and project-managed photoshoots.

Rachel holds a BA in English Language and Creative Writing and is committed to simplifying tech jargon and producing unbiased reviews.