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Comparing Japanese Solar Panels – Kyocera and Solar Frontier

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Solar Frontier is a Japanese company which was earlier known as Showa Shell Solar. The company joined the rank of major solar companies once it started the new 900MW “Kunitomi” production plant in Miyazaki. Solar Frontier manufactures CIS (copper, indium, selenium) thin-film solar modules for customers all around the world. The company has offices in Europe, the U.S.A., and the Middle East, with headquarters in Tokyo.

Kyocera is amongst the oldest Japanese vertically-integrated solar panel manufacturers. It  also manufactures industrial ceramics, telecommunications equipment, office document imaging equipment, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools, and components for medical and dental implant systems. Kyocera Solar Corp. in Japan was founded in 1996 and Kyocera Solar, Inc. in the U.S. in 1999. The company has production bases in Japan, Mexico, Europe and China and is planning a factory in California as well.

Japan’s share of global PV system revenue have shown an increase from  just 9% in 2011, to 14% in 2012 to 24% in 2013. Japan is a country where solar energy is flourishing because of its Government support through generous feed in subsidy. The Japanese are very particular about using their home brand. They also follow strict certification requirements, hence it will not be easy for the foreign players to enter the Japanese market. The Japanese market will also offer another market to the many suppliers who have exited the European markets, owing to the Anti-dumping proceedings there and reductions in FITs. As opposed to Europe the FITs in Japan are very attractive.
Read more about Japanese Solar Panels here.

Distinguishing Features between Solar Frontier and Kyocera Solar Panels

Solar Frontier modules have conversion efficiency of 11.8% to 13.4%. Their “Light soaking” effect increases the output after installation. They are Cadmium- and lead-free. Solar Frontier uses recyclable substances as packing material and are cardboard free. They use the CIS technology in module manufacturing. Kyocera  Solar uses high-performance solar cells, with efficiency of over 16%, for its solar module production.Classification of Solar Modules and Available Models

Solar Frontier Modules – can be conveniently used for residential, commercial and utility purposes. They manufacture thin film modules.

  • SF145-S – 145W
  • SF150-S – 150W
  • SF155-S – 155W
  • SF160-S – 160W
  • SF165-S – 165W

Kyocera Solar Modules – can be conveniently used for residential, commercial and utility purposes. Kyocera solar modules are all multicrystalline.

 1) F Series –
a) KD – 135-320 W
b) KD300-80 series – 315-320 W
c) KD200-60 series – 240-250 W
d) KD200-54 series – 215-220 W
e) KD100-36 series – 140 W

2) Off grid Series – KD100-36 FSX series – 140W.


Kyocera solar modules have a wattage range of 135- 320 W. Solar Frontier modules have a wattage range of 145- 165 W.


Kyocera solar panels wegh in between 12.9 kg and 27.5 kg. Solar Frontier modules have a standard weight of 20 kgs.


Kyocera solar panels come with black anodized frame. Solar Frontier modules also have a black anodized aluminium frame.

Standards and Certifications

Kyocera solar panels are NEC 2008 compliant, UL 1703 listed and IEC61215, ED2, IEC61730 certified by JET. Solar frontier modules have PTC/STC rating over 90% and are also UL, JET and RoHS compliant.


Solar Frontier  gives a 25 year extended warranty on all its solar panels. These Solar Panels are reinsured by the German insurance giant Munich Re, which means in case if Solar Frontier goes out of the solar panel business, Munich Re will insure that the warranty holds good. This is better than the standard warranty given by solar panel manufactures.

Kyocera solar panels have:

i) 10 years limited PV warranty on materials and workmanship,
ii) limited power output of 20 years (80%/ 90%) or
iii) 1/ 2 years limited PV modules warranty.

For more technical details read here: Solar Frontier and Kyocera solar panels.


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

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Premkumar

    Dear Sneha,
    Thanks a lot. Very useful and informative article.