The Equinox: SunPower's new home solar solution

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SunPower Equinox

More and more often, new technology in the solar industry is geared toward making installations as aesthetically pleasing as possible. This was SunPower's motivation for their Equinox home solar energy solution, which was first introduced in 2016.

This solar solution is an all-in-one packaged system where SunPower makes every component. It's designed to be as sleek as possible on rooftops by hiding parts of the solar panel system that are otherwise visible in most installations. Typical solar energy systems may include panels, inverters, and monitoring from separate manufacturers. In an Equinox system, every component of the system is from SunPower.

In June 2018, SunPower announced that their Equinox systems are now compatible with energy storage. They join a growing list of solar companies beginning to offer battery storage as a solution for homeowners.

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Components of Sunpower Equinox

A few major pieces of equipment make up the SunPower Equinox home solar solution.


SunPower produces a variety of solar panels. Their models are very popular among homeowners because of their high quality. Today, SunPower has some of the most efficient panels on the market. While most solar panels see an efficiency range of 14 to 18 percent, SunPower manufactures panels with more than 22 percent efficiency. The company can also boast lower degradation rates than typical solar panels, allowing an Equinox system to produce the maximum amount of solar energy over its lifetime.


A SunPower Equinox system's panels are AC modules, meaning that microinverters are integrated into the panel rather than as a separate component. A microinverter converts the direct current (DC) electricity to alternating current (AC) at the panel site instead of at an inverter elsewhere on the property.

Microinverters offer higher efficiency than conventional string inverters. They are also more suitable for complicated installations than a string inverter because they allow solar panel systems to perform more effectively in suboptimal circumstances. With a string system, if a portion of your solar panel system is shaded for part of the day, the entire system's performance will be affected. This is not the case with microinverters because each panel has its own inverter, which performs independently.

Monitoring software

SunPower's monitoring software is known as EnergyLink. This software provides instant performance data for an Equinox system. It allows you to visualize the solar production of your system over time, as well as an estimate of bill savings and carbon dioxide emission reductions. You also can view this data from your computer, phone, or tablet.


SunPower dubs their Equinox racking technology as InvisiMount. This mounting hardware can be used on most roofing types, including tile. The InvisiMount Hardware is called so because of its aesthetics; SunPower purposefully installs this hardware so that it's not easily visible, making for very sleek installations.

When SunPower first released the Equinox system, they did not manufacture batteries. In June 2018, SunPower announced that these systems could be installed with two popular home battery options: the Tesla Powerwall and sonnen eco batteries. SunPower now manufactures the SunVault storage system, designed to pair perfectly with the Equinox system.

All three batteries are lithium-ion options, but one or the other may be better suited for you, depending on your needs. One of the most significant differences between the two batteries is the sizes the companies offer. Sonnen batteries come in various sizes to meet varying needs, from 5 kilowatt hours (kWh) up to 20 kWh. The SunVault system comes in two sizes, offering either 13 kWh or 26 kWh, while the Powerwall only comes in one size and has a 14 kWh capacity. Prices of the battery will also differ depending on the manufacturer and the size of the battery you choose. Not including the installation cost, the sonnen eco starts at about $10,000 for their smallest model. Purchasing and installing a Tesla Powerwall will cost you anywhere from $9,600 to $15,600, and SunPower has not released price information about their SunVault system.

It's worth noting that both sonnen and Tesla battery options are not exclusive to SunPower. Many dealers and installation companies can install these batteries. SunPower noted that with two solar battery options, their dealers will choose which battery option they want to install primarily, or they can install both. Customers will also select which battery to install with their solar panel system. SunPower does recommend that you pair their SunVault system with the SunPower Equinox.

If you're considering moving forward with a SunPower Equinox system, here are a few factors to help with your decision.


One of the primary advantages of having an Equinox system is the warranty. SunPower is known to have an industry-leading warranty with bumper-to-bumper coverage for 25 years on both the performance and materials warranty of their panels. With the Equinox system, the panels,  microinverters, and racking material all have a 25-year warranty backed by SunPower. (The outlier in the 25-year warranty offering is the EnergyLink monitoring software, which has an industry-standard 10-year warranty.)

The benefits of the SunPower Equinox system aren't just limited to the longevity of the warranties; having a single warranty provider can make potential servicing of the system easier since you don't have to deal with multiple companies.

However, if you're considering installing a storage option with your Equinox system, remember that the battery's warranty is specific to the manufacturer rather than SunPower. Both sonnen and Tesla offer a 10-year warranty for their battery option.


The SunPower Equinox solar panels

Another benefit of installing an Equinox is the aesthetics. SunPower has designed its Equinox system to be as sleek and unobtrusive as possible. With everything from the InvisiMount racking to the AC integrated panels, SunPower strives to hide as many parts of the solar panel system as possible. SunPower also provides the option of all-black panels with their Equinox systems if you want a more seamless appearance. This could be a good option if you're putting the panels on the front of your home or have a strict homeowners association (HOA) that would be more agreeable to the sleekness of a SunPower Equinox system.


Efficiency is another significant advantage an Equinox system will have over its competitors. As mentioned, SunPower has some of the highest efficiency panels on the market, allowing homeowners to maximize solar production on their roofs. High-efficiency panels are the way to go if you have limited roof space and can't fit enough panels to cover 100 percent of your electricity need. If you are in the market for high-efficiency panels, SunPower isn't your only option to consider. Manufacturers such as REC and Panasonic also make premium panel models that reach efficiencies above 21 percent.


All that being said, a SunPower Equinox system isn't for everyone. One of the downsides of a SunPower system is the cost. Their panels are typically more expensive than other panel options on a cost-per-watt basis. In the EnergySage Marketplace, SunPower prices range between $3.14 per watt to $3.56 per watt. On the other hand, the national average cost per watt is closer to $2.76 per watt. If you don't need high-efficiency panels to generate all of your electricity needs or are considering a ground mount system because of abundant yard space, then you may want to look at other options that will have a lower upfront investment.

EnergySage partners with hundreds of installers, including SunPower dealers. By shopping for solar on the EnergySage Marketplace, you can receive quotes with SunPower equipment and other comparable high-efficiency panels. If you're specifically interested in an Equinox system, note it on your account so our SunPower dealer partners can quote according to your preference. If you'd like to start your solar shopping with a quick estimate of what solar can save you, try our Solar Calculator.

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