In Blog, Solar for Beginners, Solar Panels

Solar Panel MC OfficeReal data from our solar panel test in Brisbane

It has been almost seven months since I updated the data of my solar panel test results. Since we are about to add a new line-up of solar panels, it thought it was time to update the test results. We’ve had a fairly hot January and February in 2016, so the panels temperature co-efficient is put under pressure. Although QCells was the latest to be added to the line-up, all panels have had six to 12 months for their initial degradation period, and results should be close enough to make a fair comparison.

The screen shot below is updated regularly for transparency.

This screen shot was taken on the 18/6/16, from 1 weeks worth of data. The results below have not yet been updated. To get a comparisons to a 250W panel, divide the KWH of the panel by the watts of the panel (eg 265W for the Q cells). Then multiply the figure by the watts of the panel that you want to compare (EG 250 for the Jinko)

Test Results 18 June 2016

Panels – in order of cost

  1. LG 300W mono     –    tier 1 Q2 2015 Bloomberg
  2. QCells265w poly   –    tier 1 Q2 2015 Bloomberg
  3. Trina 250W poly    –    tier 1 Q2 2015 Bloomberg
  4. Rene 250W poly    –    tier 1 Q2 2015 Bloomberg
  5. Jinko 250W poly    –    tier 1 Q2 2015 Bloomberg, PQ panel
  6. Risen 250W poly    –   tier 1 Q2 2015 Bloomberg, PQ panel
  7. ZN Shine poly        –    tier 1 Q2 2015 Bloomberg
  8. BlueSun 250w poly
  9. APS (Eurosolar) poly

PQ panel refers to the Australian Solar Council’s Positive Quality programme.

Solar Panel Test Results – in order of performance

(results are as production PER WATT.)

  1. LG     300W    –    102.7 percent
  2. Risen 250W    –    100.2 percent
  3. Jinko 250W    –    100 percent
  4. QCells 265W  –    99.5 percent  (slightly newer panel than the rest)
  5. Rene 250W    –    99.4 percent
  6. ZNShine250W-    99.4 percent
  7. Trina 250W    –    95.3 percent
  8. BlueSun250    –    92.9 percent
  9. APS  250W    –    91.1 percent

This solar panel test was made on a single panel purchased with no information of the testing intent.

Parameters and previous results are set out here:

My take on the solar panel test results

LG perform a bit better on the solar panel test. You will pay a lot more for that, but if you have a limited roof space, it makes sense.

Risen, Jinko, QCells, Rene and ZN shine are equivalent. Half a percent here or there on my test is negligible. The fact that Risen and Jinko are both PQ panels and come second and third for performance was interesting.

Trina concerns me, as it does in Photon testing.

Blue Sun and APS speak for themselves.

If you have any comparison results that you would like to share or a panel that you would like us to include in our next test, leave a comment below.


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14 Comments on Solar Panel Test Results

Mark C said :administrator Report 6 years ago

Hi Jamie. Arize solar is a phoenix of EuroSolar. Sunboost is another. Arize just registered this year after Eurosolar went bust. Have a Google about Eurosolar and ACCC etc. My advice is don't go anywhere near them. If you get a 6kW system for under $5000, alarm bells should be ringing.

    Jamie said :Guest Report 6 years ago

    Hi mate, Arise solar are offering a 6.05 kw system with ZN shine tier 1 panels and a 5kw solax inverter for $3590, do you think this would be a good purchase?

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    Mark C said :administrator Report 6 years ago

    Hi Will, I have been, but It's difficult to compile the data in a meaningful way. I'm realising the build of a panel and the company supporting it is much more important than short-term production comparison. I'm not getting significantly poorly performing panels like i did with BlueSun and APS panels in my last test. Longi is just another Chinese panel. It's probably ok, But it's not nearly as good as LG, Sunpower or Qcells. I'm not a fan of Trina at all because of build quality I have seen.

      Will said :Guest Report 6 years ago

      Hi Mark, Have you been continuing with this test? Interested to know how these panels have been performing and their reliability. Also, what do you think about the Longi panels? I understand they are very new to the Aus market but the product data sheets suggest they are competing toward the higher end of the market. Their performance warranty is one of the best. Just not sure if they are fair dinkum and the panels are as good as they want us consumers to believe. I am on the market for a 6.6 Kw system on 5kw on our new house. Been considering LG, SunPower, Q Cells and Trina. Just stumble upon the Longi. Cheers, Will

      • 3305
      Mark C said :administrator Report 6 years ago

      Hi Eric. Personally, I wouldn't get the insurance extended. That always seemed like a strange promo from Winaico. But each to their own!

        Eric said :Guest Report 6 years ago

        Thanks Mark, I have ended up getting Winaico 310W PERC panels at 6.2kW so hopefully it will come up great. Do you recommend getting the Winaico insurance extended out to 7 years? Eric

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        Mark C said :administrator Report 6 years ago

        Hi Eric, Yes I have Winaico testing on the roof. It's just performing average - nothing special. I really like the guys at Wianaico, but to me, their panel prices are too high for a middle of the range panel.

          Eric said :Guest Report 6 years ago

          HI Mark, Just wondering if you have any Winaico panels in the test results by any chance? as I am currently in the market to install WInaico's 285w PERC panels for my 5kW system. Ta Eric

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          Mark C said :administrator Report 7 years ago

          Hi Bruce, There wasn't much of a difference in the testing. Winaico was running marginally worse than a lot of the panels, but that doesn't count for much with an individual panel test. Just last week we set 25 different panels (including Winaico) up to run on 1000 VDC to see if I can get an accelerated degradation on any panel. I wouldn't expect that to happen with Winaico. The LG 300W uses 3M tape, and it seems the GCL uses 3m tape (because I can't see the silicone) also but I haven't confirmed that yet.

            Bruce said :Guest Report 7 years ago

            I was hoping you would put up a Winaico WST-275P6 PERC as promised on your review page. Would be keen to see your test assessment of that one. Related question: which of your test panels use 3M tape?

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            Plu42jiKoyh said :administrator Report 8 years ago

            Hi Alan, I have a 260W Phono panel on my roof. I've always liked Phono panels. The one on the roof seems to be performing up there with Winaico, REC, and Canadian. The Phono panels I have seen always seem to be well built - eg, clearly automated and not hand finished. It's a good choice for a Chinese tier 1 panel. From what I hear they are good with warranty claims too. We've been compiling data recently but had some small glitches with our tests. We will have our latest test results out in early January.

              Alan said :Guest Report 8 years ago

              Hi mark. Just wondering if you have any recent test results on phono solar panels mainly the 265w poly panels

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              Plu42jiKoyh said :administrator Report 8 years ago

              Hi Sarah, I don't really hear much about Tindo panels in Brisbane. I don't have any data. No doubt they are an ok panel, but as I understand, they are just a basic panel that is more expensive because it is assembled in Australia.

                Sarah said :Guest Report 8 years ago

                Hi Mark, Just wondering if you've got any data on Tindo panels and if not whether you could include these in your testing? Thanks Sarah

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