Solar Panel Manufacturers

By combining years of experience in the solar industry and feedback from hundreds of solar professionals, we have put together a list of the best quality and most popular solar panels from the worlds leading manufacturers.

As highlighted in our guide to choosing a quality and efficient solar panel, when it comes to selecting panels, the higher cost panels from the leading manufacturers generally offer improved quality and increased reliability. Solar panels from the best manufacturers listed below have proven to out-perform and outlast most cheaper panels with many of the lesser-known ‘cheap’ manufacturers failing to honour warranties, going bankrupt or being de-listed from the Clean Energy Council’s list of approved solar panel suppliers.

Best Solar Panel Manufacturers

Here is our short list of the best quality and most reliable panel manufacturers on the Australian market based on company history, quality, real world performance, service, and feedback from solar industry professionals. This list is generally applicable to most regions with established solar industries including Europe and Asia, however in Japan, Panasonic has a strong position, and in North America, SunPower would take the top spot.

  1. LG

  2. SunPower

  3. REC

  4. Winaico

  5. Q Cells

* Tindo solar is currently the only Australian solar panel manufacture and is highly regarded by installers and customers alike. However, the limited production volume means they can be difficult to source outside south Australia.

Best Value Solar Panel Manufacturers

Based on feedback from solar professionals, below is our list of the best ‘value’ solar panel manufacturers. With a long history in research and development, Trina Solar, Jinko Solar, SunTech and Canadian Solar are some of the oldest and best known manufacturers, while LONGi Solar has more recently become the worlds largest manufacturer of monocrystalline cells by volume.

  • Trina Solar

  • Jinko Solar

  • Canadian Solar

  • LONGi Solar

  • SunTech

Other Reputable Manufacturers

Below is a short list of other well known manufacturers which generally offer a balance of good value, quality, and service. Panasonic is a premium manufacturer, but only available in North America and Japan. The complete list of our top 10 panel manufacturers and the Australian made Tindo solar panels are shown in the detailed solar cell technology review article including:

  • Panasonic

  • Hyundai Solar

  • Phono Solar

  • JA Solar

  • Risen Energy

  • Seraphim

Solar Panel Manufacturers

1. LG

LG is regarded as one of the world’s leading manufacturer’s with a premium range of quality, reliable, high performance panels. LG are one a very few manufacturers to offer both a 25 year product and 25 year performance warranty on the Neon 2 and Neon R panels, which both ultilise high grade, long lasting, N-type cells.

LG’s range of premium panels are very popular in Australia, USA and Europe and incorporate many industry leading technologies. The LG Neon 2 panels were the first to use multi-wire busbars together with high performance N-type cells and are one of the most popular high-end panels available in Australia.

  • Power rating* (W): 320W – 375W

  • Efficiency (%): 19.3 – 21.7%

  • Price range: Med – High $$$$

2. SunPower

Sunpower, now known as Maxeon Solar, is a world leader in high efficiency IBC solar cells and offer an industry leading performance warranty of 92% retained capacity after 25 years, plus a 25 year manfacturers product warranty.

The new Maxeon series panels use the high performance IBC N-type cells which are the most efficient solar PV cell technology available today. Although, they do come at a premium price and are not widely used in Australia. The more cost-effective P series panels from SunPower are gaining popularity for both residential and larger scale commercial installations. In North America Sunpower panels are very popular and one of the most trusted brands available.

  • Power rating* (W): 340W – 400W

  • Efficiency (%): 19 – 22.6%

  • Price range: Med – Very High $$$$$

3. REC

REC manufacture high quality, cost effective panels which have proven to be very popular among installers, in particular the TwinPeak range. As of January 2019 all REC TwinPeak and N-peak panels come with an standard 20 year product warranty and improved performance warranty with reduced degradation making it one of the best warranties on the market.

The REC TwinPeak panels were the first to use half-cut cells in the split module format providing higher efficiency and improved shade tolerance. The N-Peak series panels and recently released Alpha series high efficiency panels utilising N-type Heterojunction half-cut cells, now position REC among the industry leading manufacturers in high performance solar.

  • Power rating* (W): 290W – 355W

  • Efficiency (%): 18 – 21.7%

  • Price range: Med – High $$$

4. Winaico

Winaico is a relatively small volume manufacturer offering a premium range of high quality panels which are reasonably priced. The well known Winaico M6 PERC panels come with a 15 year manufacturers warranty and are well regarded and trusted by installers, having a very good track record for long term reliability and performance in the harsh Australian conditions.

Winaico’s attention to detail, extremely strong frame design and unique corner inserts also put them ahead of most other manufacturers. The new 340W panels with high grade mono PERC cells are due to be released early 2020.

  • Power rating* (W): 310W – 340W

  • Efficiency (%): 18.8 – 19.4%

  • Price range: Med – High $$$

5. QCELLS

Hanwha Q cells is a well known, high volume panel manufacturer offering a wide range of quality panels for all applications. The latest Q cells G6+ Duo panels are backed by a new 25 year product warranty and improved long term performance warranty with 83% rated output after 25 years.

Q cells offer a very wide range of panels from entry level standard 60 cell panels using reliable mono and polycrystalline cells, to the highly efficient half-cut mono PERC cells used on the Q.Peak Duo G5 and G6 range with 5 or 6 busbars to achieve up to 20.2% efficiency.

  • Power rating* (W): 275W – 360W

  • Efficiency (%): 17.8 – 20.2%

  • Price range: Med $$$

6. Trina Solar

Trina solar is one of the worlds largest solar panel manufacturers and are investing heavily in new generation of low-cost, high efficiency panels. The well known Trina Honey range of panels from Trina solar are considered great quality and very good value for money, in particular the Honey M (monocrystalline) range of panels which are now available in the more efficient half-cut 120 cell format up to 340W.

Trina Solar offer a very diverse range of panels from cost effective polycrystalline panels, efficient half-cut monocrystalline panels, and advanced bifacial panels.

  • Power rating* (W): 280W – 340W

  • Efficiency (%): 16 – 19.4%

  • Price range: Low – Med $$

7. JinkoSolar

JinkoSolar is the largest Chinese solar panel manufacturer by volume and produce a wide range of cost-effective and reliable panels. The Jinko engineers work closely with the Australian UNSW solar research center of excellence and have achieved several efficiency records over the years through their continuous research and development in new PV cell technology.

The Eagle 60 (poly) and Eagle PERC 60 (mono) range of panels from JinkoSolar are one of the most popular low cost panels on the market with a good track record, and good support from local offices.

  • Power rating* (W): 280W – 340W

  • Efficiency (%): 16 – 19.4%

  • Price range: Low – Med $$

8. Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar is fifth largest solar panel manufacturer in the world and produce a wide range of cost effective, reliable panels. Canadian have generally produced more cost effective polycrystalline cells and developed some advanced high efficiency panels based on the half-cut polycrystalline cell design. However, more recently Canadian have shifted to developing more efficient mono-PERC shingled cell panels like the HiDM and BiKu modules.

The CS6K and KuPower range of polycrystalline panels from Canadian Solar are well regarded, cost effective panels backed by good support from local offices.

  • Power rating* (W): 270W – 340W

  • Efficiency (%): 16 – 20.1%

  • Price range: Low – Med $$

9. LONGi Solar

LONGi solar has grown rapidly over the last few years to become not only one of the largest Chinese solar panel manufacturers, but the largest monocrystalline cell manufacturer in the world. LONGi produce a wide range of cost effective and reliable panels which only use monocrystalline cells. In fact, part of the industry shift towards more efficient mono and mono PERC cells was due to the massive investment by LONGi in large scale mono wafer manufacturing.

The Hi-MO3 and Hi-MO4 mono PERC range of panels from LONGi Solar use the common 120 split-cell format and are becoming one of the more popular high-efficiency, low cost panels on the market.

  • Power rating* (W): 310W – 350W

  • Efficiency (%): 18 – 19.6%

  • Price range: Low – Med $$

Performance and Durabilty Testing

The many advancements in solar cell technology has lead to huge price reductions over recent years with many new low cost, more efficient solar panels being released by the leading Chinese manufacturers. To ensure ongoing quality there are several leading, independent, testing organisation which help verify long term performance and reliability.

Summary of top performers from PVEL – A leading independent solar panel testing service.

Popular Solar Panels

In addition to the best manufacturers there are a few models which are favorites among our specialists and many Australian installers due to a combination quality, efficiency, performance and value for money. These panels are also proving very popular in the US and much of Europe, in particular the range of modules from Sunpower, REC, LG and Q-cells.

LG NeON 2

LG Neon 2 panels use high efficiency mono N-Type cells with advanced rear side absorption technology similar to PERC cells, along with 12 ‘Cello’ thin wire busbars to further improve efficiency and performance. The Neon 2 range from 325W to 335W power rating are now covered by a leading 25 year product warranty and above average performance warranty of 86% retained capacity after 25 years. LG panels also have frames with very high wind load ratings which make them one of the strongest panels on the market.

SunPower P19 Series

The SunPower P series panels have become a popular choice for larger scale commercial installations due to the high quality and performance. Unlike other SunPower panels which use higher grade, more expensive IBC cells the P series uses a shingled cell design which is a much more cost effective design. The shingled cells are partially shade tolerant and less prone to micro-cracking which can be an issue with panels using conventional full-size square solar cells. Despite being based on standard P-type silicon SunPower still offers a 25 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Winaico M6 PERC

The Winaico Mono PERC panels, available from 310W to 340W, are highly regarded by installers due to the extremely high build quality, great service and 15 year manufacturers warranty. Winaico is a smaller manufacturer with a great reputation for reliability and performance supported by the outstanding real world results at the Australian Desert Knowledge testing facility. The Winaico range of panels feature high strength frames using extra deep aluminium extrusions and unique corner inserts for maximum rigidity.

REC TwinPeak 2 Mono

REC’s renowned TwinPeak range of panels with PERC cell technology use half-cut mono cells in the split module format with the upper and lower sections combining at a centre junction box. The half size cell format increases efficiency and improves performance especially in partially shaded conditions. The new generation N-peak panels from REC take the half-cut panel design the next level utilising advanced high purity N-type silicon cells.

Q Cells Q.Peak Duo

Hanwha Q cells previously known as Q cells founded in 1999 are rapidly re-gaining popularity as a medium to high-end panel option for many solar installers as the the company releases advanced new modules including the new Q.Peak Duo range of split cell modules with 6 bus-bars and up to 19.3% efficiency.

Jinko Solar Cheetah PERC

The Cheetah PERC 330W monocrystalline panels from JinkoSolar use the modern split-cell format and have quickly become one of the most popular low cost panels available on the market, offering a good combination of quality, efficiency and affordability. The mono PERC cells use the common Passivated Emmiter Rear Contact (PERC) technology offering up to 19.85% efficiency and are warranted against degradation caused by PID and LeTiD effects.

Trina Solar Honey SplitMax

The new generation Trina Honey M Splitmax range of panels are rapidly gaining popularity among installers due to the high performance multi-busbar (MBB) split-cell format. This is fast becoming the industry trend for lower-cost, high efficiency panels. Trina panels offer both quality and good value for money from a large, trusted manufacturer together with a standard 10 year manufacturers warranty. The Honey M plus split-cell range are available from 320W to 340W, with up to 19.9% efficiency.

Most efficient Solar Panels

Comparison chart of the most efficient solar panels on the Australian market in 2019.