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Best Solar Panel brands to buy in 2013 – Module Features and Available Models

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The solar industry suffers from too much supply globally. Supply-demand balance is expected to return in another year or two. The solar industry is heavily dependent on the Chinese and Japanese market now. Solar energy prices have reached grid parity in a number of places already. It is thus more profitable to install solar panels in your home rather than buying electricity from a utility. The continuous decrease in solar panel prices, coupled with fossil fuel price increase have forced the masses’ interest more towards solar panels installation. 2013 is expected to be a strong solar year. My best solar panels pick alongwith their description and models available is given below:

Best Solar Panels to Buy in 2013

1. Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

Canadian Solar is amongst the five most cheap solar panel brands in the world. Canadian Solar is a vertically integrated company, providing ingots, wafers, solar cells, solar modules, solar power systems and specialized solar products. Canadian Solar provides the solar industry with the widest PV product lines from 0.03W to 305W. The Canadian Solar Modules can be broadly classified into:

a) Standard Modules – CS5, CS6, CS5A series

b) NewEdge Modules 

c) e-Modules

d) BIPV Modules.

Read more about Canadian Solar Panels here.

2. JA Solar (JASO)

JA Solar manufactures solar wafers,solar cells and solar modules making it semi integrated. 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 under the SECUM and MAPLE brand name. The power ratings of the solar panels are in the 150-320 Watt ranges.

The company uses its own solar cells which are regarded highly in the solar industry though. The company sells it solar panels with standard features 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.

Types of JASO Solar Panels:

a) Monocrystalline Modules – The solar panels sold are SECIUM JAM5 72, SECIUM JAM6 60, SECIUM JAM6 72, JAM(L) 72, JAM6 60.

b) Polycrystalline Modules– The solar panels sold are MAPLE JAP6 60, MAPLE JAP6 72, JAP6 72, JAP6  60.

Read in details about JA Solar Panels here.

3. Renesola (SOL)

Renesola Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of silicon wafers & solar modules. This Chinese solar company is one of the lowest cost producer of solar wafer in the world. It is expanding into other parts of the supply chain.

Standard Features of Renesola Solar Modules:


  • High Module Conversion Efficiency
  • Easy Installation & Handling for various Applications
  • Withstanding Mechanical Load upto 5400pa
  • Conform with PV standards: IEC 61215:2005, IEC 61730:2004, UL 1703

Types Of Solar Modules:

Different Renesola Solar Modules available are:

a) Monocrystalline – i) 156 black mono (250w-260w), ii) 125mono (190w-200w), iii) 156square mono (260w-270w) and iv) 156mono (250w-260w)

b) Virtus – i) 250w-260w and ii) 300w-310w

c) Virtus II i) 250w-260w and ii) 300w-310w.

Read in details about Renesola Solar Panels here.

4. Sunpower (SPWR)

Sunpower sells the highest efficiency solar panels made from its record breaking monocrystalline solar cells which have more than 24% efficiency. Sunpower E-18 to E-20 Solar Panels – SunPower E18 to E20 Series solar panels deliver high efficiency solar technology utilizing SunPower Maxeon patented technology with back-contact solar cells. SPWR modules are available based on their residential and commercial usage:

a) Residential – E18, E19 series

b) Commercial and Utility – T5 Tile, T10 Tile, PowerGuard Solar Roof Tile, T10 and T20 Tracker and E20/435  Solar Panels.

Read more about Sunpower Solar Modules here.

5. Trina Solar (TSL)

Trina Solar is one of the lowest cost manufacturers of Solar Panels in the world. Trina Solar is one of the world’s foremost PV companies. Fully vertically integrated from the production of ingots to modules into both mono and multicrystalline technologies, Trina Solar offers high quality modules and solar solutions.


i) Module can bear snow loads up to 5400Pa and wind loads up to 2400Pa

ii) Guaranteed power output 0~+3%

iii) High performance under low light conditions cloudy days, mornings and evenings

iv) Optimized corners increase output up to 195w

v) Independently certified by international certification bodies

vi) Manufactured according to international Quality and environment Management System Standards ISO9001, ISO14001

vii) Warranty – 10 years product warranty & 25 years linear power warranty.
The Solar Panels come in a very varied range –

a) Monocrystalline – i) TSM-DC 01A.05/ TSM-DA 01A.05, ii) TSM-DC 01A/ TSM-DA 01A, iii) TSM-DC 80.08/ TSM-DA 80.08 and iv) TSM-DC01A.08/ TSM-DA01A.08

b) Multicrystalline– i) TSM- PC05.08/ TSM-PA05.08, ii) TSM- PC05/ TSM-PA05, iii) TSM- PC14/ TSM-PA14, iv) TSM- PC05A/ TSM-PA05A (The Honey Module), v) TSM- PC05.05, vi) TSM- PC14A/ TSM-PA14A and vii) TSM-PC05A.08/ TSM-PA05A.08.

Know more about Trina Solar Panels here.

6. Yingli Green Energy (YGE)

Yingli Green Energy is one of the oldest Chinese companies and is completely integrated from polysilicon. The company has been expanding rapidly and has one of the lowest cost structures in the industry. Yingli is the second biggest producer of Solar Panels in China.

Yingli products have the following benefits:

  • Consistent high quality because of their vertically-integrated production model
  • Comprehensive product and facility certifications.

The vertical integrated production model has the following advantages:

  • Strict quality control measures at all stages of the manufacturing process
  • Elimination of redundancies
  • Reduced carbon emissions.
Yingli Green Solar modules are available in both monocrystalline and multicrystalline makes. Different models available are:

a) PANDA Series – PANDA 265, PANDA 260, PANDA 255, PANDA 250 and PANDA 245

b) YGE series – YGE 240, YGE-Z and YGE 285 Series.

Read more about Yingli Solar Panels here.

Please also let us know your take on the above six companies.

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

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