When choosing solar for your home or business, you want the best. But how do you know which brand and installer is best? Well, there are a lot of facts and figures you can wade through on your own. Or, you can save time and follow the example of America’s top scientific minds at NASA by choosing the same solar panels they trust to power their experiments.
So what solar panels did NASA choose?
If you follow our blog, you probably already know the answer. But for those of you that don’t, the scientists at NASA have continuously chosen SunPower solar panels as their preferred, commercially-available, grid-free energy source. They have actually been part of the SunPower family since 1997.
Why did NASA choose SunPower back in 1997?
NASA or “The National Aeronautics and Space Administration” was created in 1958 to move humanity’s understanding of the stars and skies forward (3). That means it needed solar energy solutions that could stand up to extreme temperatures, high winds and even outer space (1). And, that’s what led NASA to SunPower in the late 90’s.
They needed a way to fuel their “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (or UVAs) while they were in flight. Solar power was considered the best in-air fuel option and it was SunPower panels that helped these early drones get off the ground. They even powered the UVAs to a record-breaking height of “80, 201 feet” (1).
What makes SunPower’s panels superior?
Unlike the conventional solar panel competition, SunPower has successfully manufactured and mass-produced solar panels with efficiencies as high as 22.5%.That’s an industry-leading efficiency percentage! And, SunPower even provides an industry-leading solar panel warranty of 25 years to match (2).
Other solar brands can’t and won’t promise as much as SunPower because they aren’t as confident in the durability of their products. In fact, SunPower solar is so confident they actually advertise their panel failure rate—“Only 1 in 20,000 SunPower panels fail” (4). No other brand is that transparent. It is this level of faith in their panels and honesty with their customers, that makes SunPower panels the perfect solar panel partner for NASA.
**Of course, certain NASA projects call for custom-made solar panels built and designed by NASA scientists. But these are prohibitively expensive and not available on the mass residential or commercial markets. **
What projects has NASA used SunPower panels for?
In 2013, NASA put SunPower solar panels on their Greenland Rover or the GROVER. GROVER stands for “Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research” (1). The machine’s mission is to help researchers understand how ice sheets gain and lose mass. As the climate is too harsh for human life, the machine requires solar power to refuel as it works autonomously on the ice via GPS (1).
That’s why SunPower solar is so key to NASA’s research efforts. When no one is around to refuel their tools, SunPower solar panels are there. In 30 mph winds and below-zero temperatures, the SunPower panels on GROVER are collecting and transforming sunlight into clean, renewable energy (1).
If SunPower’s good enough for NASA, why not your roof?
Solar is a big investment and like every big investment you want to make the safest bet. And, the safest solar bet you can make is on SunPower—the solar that has been tested by the harshest elements and endorsed by the best minds in science.