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JA Solar and Sunpower Solar Modules – which one to buy?

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Sunpower (SPWR) is a US based solar system integrator and developer, building some of the largest solar farms in the US.Solar Panels The company makes the most efficient solar panels using its monocrystalline solar cell technology. SunPower solar modules deliver 21.5% efficiency, which is very high and means that the customers get more electricity and lower electricity bills. The company was bought by the French Oil Giant Total. Sunpower operates in all the main segments of the market and has reputation for selling some of the highest quality solar panels in the country.

JA Solar (JASO) 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 produces solar modules at low costs and supplies them to solar manufacturers globally. The company has two  solar cell manufacturing facilities, one located in Ningjin, Hebei Province, and the other in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province.

Distinguishing Features between JA Solar and Sunpower Solar Modules

JA Solar modules come in both monocrystalline and multicrystalline make. JA Solar makes i) SECIUM JAM5 72, ii) SECIUM JAM6 60, iii) SECIUM JAM6 72, iv) JAM(L) 72, v) JAM6 60 under monocrystalline panels and i) MAPLE JAP6 60, ii) MAPLE JAP6 72, iii) JAP6 72 and iv) JAP6  60 under multicrystalline solar panel category.

SunPower Solar panels are used for residential purposes primarily. They are classified into: i) SunPower X Series – X21-335 and X21-345, ii) SunPower E Series – SPR 327, iii) SunPower Signature Black Solar Panels and iv) SunPower AC Solar Panels – E 19/240. All SunPower Solar panels come in a monocrystalline make.

Cell Arrangement

SunPower Solar panels come in a monocrystalline make with 72 and 96 cell arrangements. For JA Solar they are  125×125 mm, 126×126 mm and 156×156 mm.

Wattage

The available wattage for SunPower Solar modules are 240 W, 320 W, 327 W, 335 W and 345 W. For JA Solar modules the wattage range is 195 W – 320 W.

Frame

JA Solar panels have the traditional Aluminium frames, whereas anodized aluminium alloy frame is used for Sunpower modules.

Weight

SunPower modules weight range is between 17 kg to 18 kg. JA Solar modules weigh 15kg, 15.5 kg and 18.5 kg.

Load Resistance

The solar panels of both the companies can withstand wind speed and snow load upto 5400 pa.

Warranty

SunPower solar modules come with 25 years limited power and product warranty. JA Solar come with a 10-year quality guarantee and 10-25 years power output guarantee.

Standards & Certification

SunPower ACPV module are listed to UL 1741. JA Solar Modules have IEC, CE and UL certifications.

You can read more technical details about the solar modules here: SunPower and JA Solar.

JA Solar has been the second best Chinese solar stock in 2013 giving a return of ~71%, as compared to the 30-40% return given by the other major stocks like Trina Solar and Renesola. The company performed very well in Q1 2013 with margins going up by 10%. The company shipped 442 MW of solar products in Q1 2013.

SunPower on the other hand has negligible presence in the Chinese solar market. The company is very strong in the USA. SunPower panels have greater efficiency but the price gap is still quite large, when compared to the Chinese Solar Panels. The Chinese solar panel makers provide decent quality solar panels at 50-55c/watt, while SunPower makes solar panels at almost 90c-$1/watt.

PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in

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