Chinese solar panels: why they are some of the best in the world

Chinese solar panels: why they are some of the best in the world

Did you know that the world’s best solar panel – Sunpower Maxeon 5 – is made in China?

Sunpower Maxeon 5 panels hold the world record for solar panel efficiency and are used on NASA spaceships and space stations. They’re the best solar panels money can buy – and they come with the very best product and performance warranties you’ll find anywhere.

Is this just a one-off?  Or are there other high quality solar panels being made in China?

The answer is yes, there are a number of high quality solar panel brands manufactured in China.  But, of course, there are some poor Chinese solar panels that you certainly wouldn’t want on your roof.

This article explains how to tell a good solar panel from a bad one – and demonstrates that some of the very best solar panels in the world are made in China.

Do the homework

Like anything you buy, you need to check out the company behind the product as well as the product itself and, of course, the after sales support.  That’s where talking to a solar expert at Solar Run can help. We’ve done the research on the best solar panels and know what’s what.  So if you’re thinking about getting a good quality, reliable solar system – get in touch!

China: a solar world leader

With 80 per cent of worldwide solar panel production coming out of China, there are literally hundreds of solar panel brands made in China.

China’s market leading position in solar isn’t a coincidence.  Back in the early 2000s, the Chinese Government decided to bet hard on renewables and invested heavily in subsidising their burgeoning solar panel manufacturing industry.

The tech know-how to build these Chinese solar manufacturing giants came in part from Australia.  Ironically, the founder of one of China’s biggest solar panel manufacturing companies – Dr Shi Zhengrong – was trained in Australia at the University of New South Wales.

Rather than starting a solar company in Australia where he thought the cost based was too high, Dr Zhengrong decided to head back home to China and start up there.  Other smart solar tech types he trained with followed him and, from there, the Chinese solar manufacturing industry took off!

Chinese solar panel price hike
Chinese solar panel price hike

Economies of scale

Due to the Chinese Government’s massive investment in renewables, domestic demand for solar panels in China is enormous.  An eye-watering 50 per cent of all Chinese solar panel production is for the Chinese domestic market.

China is pushing the boundaries of solar panel manufacturing in terms of economies of scale, automated production processes and panel efficiency improvements.

With big money resting on solar for the future of China’s energy security, you can imagine that Chinese investment in solar panel R&D is huge.

What this means for solar customers in other parts of the world – including Australia – is that many of the solar panels coming out of China are impressive both in terms of their quality and value for money.

So how can you tell if a Chinese solar panel is any good?

There four main things to check to tell if a solar panel brand is any good:

  • Panel efficiency rating
    • This is the rate at which a solar panel transfers sunlight, via photovoltaics, into electricity. 19 per cent efficiency is the minimum you should expect, some panels are as high as 21-22 per cent but you will pay more for this. Examples of top quality Chinese manufactured solar panels with high efficiency ratings include
  • Length of product warranty
    • 10 years is the absolute minimum for a solar panel product warranty. When you shop around you’ll find that some solar panels come with much longer product warranties, like SunPower with its 25 year product warranty and , with a 15 year product solar panel warranty.  Both SunPower and Edging PV solar panels are made in China and are amongst the best solar panels you can buy.
  • Panel performance warranty
    • This is a measure of the degradation of the panel at the end of 25 years. The standard is around 82 per cent at the end of 25 years, compared to the day 1 power output capacity.  The best solar panel – Sunpower Maxeon 5 – has a 92% panel performance warranty which is the best in the business!
  • Bloomberg Tier 1 Rating
    • Whilst not a measure of panel quality as such, the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Tier 1 list is a measure of the financial strength of the company that makes the solar panels. Given that solar panels come with a performance warranty of 25 years, you want to be sure that the solar manufacturer is financially sound and likely to be in business should you need to make a warranty claim.
    • It’s important to know that the position of the solar company on the Tier 1 list doesn’t reflect on their quality. For example SunPower is number 38 on the BNEF Tier 1 list and they’re the best solar panels money can buy. The main thing to check is that the solar panel manufacturer of the panels you intend to buy is somewhere on the Tier 1 list – the actual position doesn’t matter.
    • You’ll find that most solar panel manufacturers on the BNEF Tier 1 list are Chinese companies – for instance

Summing up

Many of the world’s best solar panels are made in China. The scale of research and development amongst Chinese solar panel manufacturers is phenomenal.

China is fully committed to transitioning its economy to renewable energy and it sees solar power as a key to bringing this strategy to fruition.  In other words, this means they aren’t mucking around when it comes to making quality solar panels.

As a solar panel customer, this is good news for you. The best Chinese solar panels offer excellent quality combined with reliable performance at a reasonable price.

There are a lot of solar panel brands on the market and it can be time consuming to check them out yourself.

We’ve done the research, so take a shortcut and talk to one of our solar experts today.  We’ll find the best solar panel brand that’s ticks the boxes when it comes to your budget and quality expectations.

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