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JA Solar Panels Review of Company,Prices,Comparision – Are they any Good

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JA Solar Panels

Updated on: 15/10/2014

JA Solar is the one the largest solar cell and panel producers in the world. The company which originally started out as a pure play  solar cell producer in the world has transformed itself into a successful panel producer as well with an annual solar cell production capacity of 2.5 G W, module production capacity of 1.8 GW , and wafer production capacity of 1 GW. The company has one of the lowest costs in processing of solar cells from solar wafers. The company is primarily a supplier of solar cells to most solar panel producers in Europe and Asia.With headquarters in Shanghai China, the company also has a strong customer network across USA, Europe, Germany and Tokyo.

JA Solar faced a large loss in customer orders, especially from European companies for its solar cells, back in 2011 when solar panel prices fell sharply. It is more of a  upstream supplier of solar products to solar companies, rather than an end distributor of solar panels. However today JA Solar is a vertically integrated company and has diversified into making solar panels of its own and in partnership with other companies. The company did not have a good brand name or distribution of solar panels, but is now concentrating more on distribution and branding.

JA Solar Company

JA Solar was founded on 2005, and was publicly listed on New York’s NASDAQ stock market (ticker symbol: JASO) in  2007. The company sells its products to solar manufacturers worldwide, who assemble and integrate solar cells into modules. The company has two  solar cell manufacturing facilities, one located in Ningjin, Hebei Province, and the other in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province.

JA Solar manufactures solar wafers, solar cells and solar modules making it semi integrated. JA Solar has also diversified into manufacturing and installing solar systems becoming a solar EPC Players. Yangzhou JA Solar PV Engineering Co. Ltd, subsidiary company of JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd is engaged in the solar PV system projects. It has built solar projects in Beijing, Qinghai, Jiangsu, Hebei, Gansu, Xinjiang in China, and Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Korea.

JA Solar Panels Features

JA Solar primarily sells solar panels as an OEM Solar Panel Producer which means that it sells its solar panels to companies who put their own brand names on solar panels produced by JA Solar. The company also sells polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels.

The company’s solar panels are of the standard variety without anything to distinguish it from the competition. The company uses its own solar cells which are regarded highly in the solar industry though. All solar panels come with standard features,common to all like:

  1. Standard waterproof junction box, with bypass diode
  2. 10-year quality guarantee and 10 – 25-year power output guarantee
  3. IEC,CE and UL Certifications
  4. Crystalline silicon cells – high efficiency
  5. Strong mechanical resistance because of low iron tempered glass
  6. Certifications – ISO, TUV, UL, JET, KTL, ETL, SGS, CQC, MCS and ISO 9001:2008 Certificate of Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2004 Certificate of Environmental Management System, OHSAS 18001:2007 Certificate of Safety Management System awards.

Types/ Classification of JA Solar Panels

For convenience, JA Solar modules are classified into Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline silicon module, Modules for USA Market, High Efficiency, Smart and Fast Installation Module.

1) JA Solar Monocrystalline Silicon Panels

It sells solar panels in a wide variety of configurations. The solar panels sold are:

  • JAM6 48 200-220 (48 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM6(R) 48 205-225 (48 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM6(R) 72 305-325 (72 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM5 (R) 72 200-220 (72 cells, 126×126 mm)
  • JAM6 (R) 60 260-280 (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM6 72 300-320 (72 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM6 60 250-270 (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM6(BK) 60 245-265 (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM5 (L) 72 195-215 (72 cells, 125×125 mm)
  • JAM5 (L)(BK) 72 190-210 (72 cells, 125×125 mm)

2) JA Solar Polycrystalline Silicon Panels

The different polycystalline solar panels are available in a wide variety of configurations. The solar panels sold are:

  • JAP6(DG) 60 235-255(3BB) (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAP6 60 245-265 3BB (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAP6(BK) 60 240-260 3BB (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAP6 72 295-315 3BB (72 cells, 156×156 mm)

3) JA Solar Module for USA Market

There are three solar modules customized for the USA market:

  • JAP6(BK) 60 240-260 3BB (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAP6 60 245-265 3BB (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAP6 72 295-315 3BB (72 cells, 156×156 mm)

4) Highly Efficiency Module

Available in two makes and with 60 cells and 156×156 mm:

  • JAP6 60/260-280/4BB/RE (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM6(L) 60 275-295/PR (60 cells, 156×156 mm)

5) Smart Module

Available in four makes and with 60 cells and 156×156 mm:

  • JAM6(TG)-60/250-270 (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAP6(SE)-60/245-265/3BB (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAP6(TG)-60/245-265/3BB (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM6(SE)-60/250-270 (60 cells, 156×156 mm)

6) Fast Installation Module

Available in two makes and with 60 cells and 156×156 mm:

  • JAP6(FA)-60-250-2703BB (60 cells, 156×156 mm)
  • JAM6(FA)-60-250-270SI (60 cells, 156×156 mm)

For more technical specifications, visit the company’s website here.

JA Solar Panels Comparison and Prices

JA Solar Panels are not known internationally as the company is more focused on selling its solar cells, being one of the biggest solar cell suppliers in the world. However the company is shifting  its focus towards the solar panel space now. JA Solar Panels are of good quality at decently low prices and are better solar modules than sold by other low cost Chinese companies. The company does not have a great service presence so you are currently better off buying solar panels from Suntech or Trina Solar. However if you get a good deal on prices which means that the solar panels are cheaper than the other established solar panel manufacturers from China than you might want to buy JA Solar Panels.

You can compare solar panels here.

Solar Panel Efficiency Technology and Range

Solar Panel Efficiency can be as low as 7% for amorphous silicon technology to as high as 18% for mono-crystalline silicon technology. Note some of the solar panels used in spacecraft have cells which have conversion factors ranging as high as 40% but those are niche applications. Solar Panels made by First Solar using the Cadmium Tellurium Technology are in the range of 12-14%, while the CIGs technology which is being used to make solar panels by a number of companies like TSMC and others have the range between 10-13% currently. Solar Panel efficiencies are constantly increasing for all technologies each year.

Companies with Highest Efficiency Solar Panels

The Companies that make the Solar Panels with the highest efficiencies are SunPower and Panasonic/Sanyo. Sunpower has the highest efficient solar modules in the market using a proprietary process and has solar cells with efficiency reaching a top limit of 24%. Sanyo also has very efficient solar panels under the HIT brand name. These solar panels also approach the 20-21% range (solar modules not cells). Normal crystalline plain vanilla solar panels come in the range of 15-16%. Note solar modules have lower efficiency than solar cells as some area is left for the frame etc. There are other companies that are fast catching up to SunPower and Sanyo in the high efficiency solar panels as well. Note higher efficiency solar panels sell at higher prices per watt as the require lesser area. AUO which has a JV with SunPower has recently claimed to have produced the higher efficiency solar panel.

PG

Abhishek Shah

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