Phono Solar is a JV between Phono Technologies Switzerland and Sumec Group of China.Phono’s parent company SUMEC Group has been in the  PV industry from early 2004. Sumec and Sinomach family of companies claim to have $15 billion in revenues each year.SUMEC Group Corporation (SUMEC), founded in 1978, is a key member of China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH).SUMEC’s core business consists of shipbuilding and project contracting of complete equipment and engineering; the R&D, manufacturing and export of machinery and electric products including power tools, garden tools, power machinery

Phono Solar’s three production facilities will produce more than 500MW of PV Modules in 2011.The products are widely used in many fields such as power station, telecom, transportation, lightening, broadcasting, civil defense, marine etc.The company’s products are made in China and marketed by the Swiss company under the Phono Solar Brand.The Company also sells micro wind turbines which are used in small residential installations.

Phono Solar  1800 Watts Generator

The Phono Solar 1800 solar generator combines a solar inverter, pv panel, solar charge controller, battery storage and cabling to provide a system that can provide back-up or stand alone household power for emergency outages or off-grid outbuilding applications.It has a 1440 Watt continuous watt, 1800 maximum watt, 2880 watt surge inverter and one 140 Watt polycrystalline panels with 50 foot cable and charge controller. It is expandable from 100 Amp hour up to 400 Amp hour battery storage by adding second battery box and addition AGM batteries Solar generator can hold up to 4 batteries.Phono Solar Generator is sold through Home Depot and has got a good review about its quality.Note very few companies sell Solar Power Kits as Phono Solar does which provides a complete solar system solution for residential applications.Note most companies sell solar panels while some sell solar inverters as well.SunForce sells solar systems but it outsources solar panel production from other top tier panel producers like Sharp.

Phono Solar Generators are being sold for around $1500 which seems expensive considering the fact that you can buy a 140 Watt Solar Panel these days for around $200 and 225 ah 6v batteries for about 70bucks.If you were buying these solar components separately it would be much cheaper,so in my view you are better off by not buying the 1800 Phono Solar Generator.The company is selling Sumec-phono Solar 1800sj Solar Generator Kit 1800 at Amazon at a ridiculously expensive $1919 while at Ace Hardware the price of the Solar Generator is $1699.99

Phono Solar Panels Review

Phono Solar manufactures both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels in the 75 Watts to 240 Watts Range.

Phono Solar Polycrystalline Solar Panels

It sells 3 types of Solar Panels in the USA

  • 140W G-Series
  • 230-240W U-Series
  • 280-300W T-Series

Phono Solar Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Phon Solar sells 5 models of mono solar panels including the 240 Watts AC Module which comes with a a MPTT and microinverter

  • 140W G-Series- Phono Solar’s 140 Mono Series is a 48 cell PV panel designed for on-grid residential and commercial applications.
  • 190W F-Series – Phono Solar’s 190 Watt Mono Series is a 72 cell PV panel designed for on-grid residential and commercial applications.
  • 235-260W U-Series – Phono Solar’s 235-260 Watt Mono Series is a 60 cell PV panel designed for on-grid residential and commercial applications.
  •  Phono Solar 240 AC ModuleAC Modules are a recent innovation in the Solar Panel Industry in which each Module is fitted with a Micro Inverter which produces AC Current.This is in contract to solar inverters which group a number of solar panels together with a string and convert the DC current to AC Current.The advantage of micro inverter over pv grid inverters is that they allow single modules to be added to installed besides improving efficiency and reliability.
  • 280-300W T-Series – Phono Solar’s 280-300 Watt Mono Series is a 72 cell PV panel designed for on-grid residential and commercial applications.

Phono Solar Efficiency

Phono Solar Modules Efficiency is in the 14-15.5% range which is on the average to lower side of solar panel efficiency.Note Solar Panels from Sanyo and Sunpower are much higher at 18-20% though they are costlier as well.Phono Solar claims to have high performing ,high efficiency solar panels but from the data sheets it does not seem that Phono Solar Panels are any exception to the industry.Solar Panels from Yingli Energy come with higher efficiency using the same technology as Phono Solar does at roughly the same price point

Phono Solar Warranty

Phono Solar gives a  5-year product warranty and a 25-year performance guarantee (90% up to 10 years, 80% up to 25 years) which is standard for most of the other solar panel producers.

Phono Solar Certificates

Phono Solar products are certified by most of the international organizations like UL,CE etc

Phono Solar products are sold in USA,UK,Canada,Australia,China and Israel

Phono Solar Products are sold in USA,UK,Canada,Australia,China and Israel.The company also claims to have leading partners in the large scale solar farm development space as well as strong financial partners to provide financing and leasing for solar systems.

Phono Solar is a Tier 2 Solar Panel Supplier from China and comes in the same category as BYD,JA Solar,Sunlink,Sun Earth,ET Solar and CEEG Solar Panel Companies.It currently does not have the scale and technology of Tier 1 Chinese Solar Panel Producers like Trina,Suntech and Yingli Solar.The advantage that Phono Solar has that its parent is a big conglomerate so its in no danger of disappearing unlike some of the other smaller solar panel companies like Sunlink.

Reviews of other Solar Panel Brands

Mutual Fund Companies have seen a steady growth driven by the growing financial assets being generated by the fast growing Indian economy.But the Mutual Fund Industry like other sectors such as Real Estate and Telecom too has come under the spotlight for some illegal activity.While you can’t call the industry corrupt because of some fraudulent activities it does raise questions on the industry ethics.Top Mutual Funds in the country like HDFC and L&T have been fined by the stock market regulator SEBI for front running.For those who don’t understand what the term means,front running is an illegal activity whereby a fund manager or fund official makes personal gains by making trades on his account before doing a trade for the fund.This causes losses for the fund investor and is akin to stealing.However like other corrupt practices in the stock market industry,SEBI lets them go with small fines which don’t deter more such frauds.It is also not unknown that some fund managers connive with company promoters and market operators to rig and do  circular trading.Not only is this a problem,another massive problem with the industry is its underperformance as compared to the benchmarks.While earlier mutual funds were known to outperform the benchmarks like the Nifty,a recent Crisil study has dispelled this myth.Given these disadvantages of mutual fund ,it is time to invest in Indian ETFs though not a lot of variety exists in the Indian stock market yet.

Read more about why investing in Indian markets is a hazardous venture

SEBI bans HDFC MF AVP Nilesh Kapadia for Front-Running

In a detailed investigation, SEBI found Nilesh Kapadia, AVP-Equities at HDFC Mutual Fund guilty of front-running trades that the fund was going to take:

This includes detailed call transcripts and about 38 transactions amounting to a profit of 2 crore, in 2007. And the investigation was conducted after a report from the NSE. Nilesh has been the dealer for HDFC AMC since 2000. We have no idea how much front-running has already happened!

SEBI has asked HDFC AMC to make an internal inquiry, to deposit the 2.38 crores into an account till investigations are complete, and overhaul internal control systems immediately.

SEBI also baned Sanghvi and Chandrakant Mehta, two participants in the front running, from trading.

But would these help at all? Obviously this happens at the highest of levels. In the mutual fund industry, in equities,front running is a norm, and an unmentioned “perk”. If a) you are doing trades you are not required to reveal to the public immediately and b) you are trading with other people’s money, how can you stop front running? It’s impossible.

List of some of the Major Mutual Fund Companies in India are:

  1. HDFC Mutual Fund – was incorporated in 1999, and was approved to act as an Asset Management Company for the HDFC Mutual Fund by SEBI. In terms of the Investment Management Agreement, the Trustee has appointed the HDFC Asset Management Company Limited to manage the Mutual Fund. The paid up capital of the AMC is Rs. 25.169 crore. The shareholding pattern is Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited 59.98%, Standard Life Investments Limited 39.99% & Other Shareholders 0.03%. The AMC also provides portfolio management / advisory services and activities are not in conflict with those of the Mutual Fund.
  2. Reliance Mutual Fund – It is one of India’s leading and amongst most valuable financial services companies in the private sector. Reliance Capital Asset Management Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Capital Limited, acts as the AMC to the Reliance Mutual fund. Reliance Capital has interests in asset management and mutual funds; life and general insurance; commercial finance; stock broking; investment banking; wealth management services; distribution of financial products; exchanges; private equity; asset reconstruction; proprietary investments and other activities in financial services. Reliance Capital has a net worth of Rs. 7,810 crore and total assets of Rs. 31,994 crore as on March 31, 2011.
  3. ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund – is privately owned. It is a joint venture between ICICI Bank & Prudential Plc, one of the United Kingdom’s largest players in the financial services sectors. It manages separate client-focused equity, fixed income, and balanced mutual funds. The company has over 15 years of experience and are currently managing a comprehensive range of schemes of more than 46 Mutual funds and a wide range of PMS Products for its investors, spread across the country.
  4. UTI Mutual Fund – the company is incorporated under The Companies Act, 1956. It came into existence in 2002. The paid up capital of UTIAMC has been subscribed by four sponsors: State Bank of India, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank. Apart from managing the schemes of UTI Mutual Fund, the organisation! B@ also manages the schemes transferred/migrated from the erstwhile Unit Trust of India.
  5. Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund – The Fund offers an array of savings and investment products for its individual, corporate and institutional investors and also manages two offshore funds. The fund house had an average assets of over Rs.65,000 crore including offshore funds (as on 31 March 2010). It is ranked amongst the top five asset management companies in the country.
  6. DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund – was set up as a Trust and the sponsors are DSP ADIKO Holdings Pvt. Ltd. & DSP HMK Holdings Pvt. Ltd. (collectively) and BlackRock Inc. DSP BlackRock Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd. is the investment manager to DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund.It invests in variety of equity related, fixed income & hybrid schemes.
  7. Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund – Franklin Templeton which is one of the biggest Global Asset Managers has a major presence in India as well.It is one of the oldest players in the India.
  8. Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund. – Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited is the sponsorer of the Fund. The investment manager is Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Co. Ltd.,which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank. The Fund that started in December, 1998 with one scheme, has today progressed to offering a complete bouquet of products and services suiting the varying needs and risk-return profiles of its investors.
  9. IDFC Mutual Fund – IDFC is a leading private sector diversified financial institution established with the support and sponsorship of the Government of India. A majority of IDFC’s shareholding is held by the Government of India, International Finance Corporation, Government of Singapore, AIG, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan among others. The asset management business manages third party funds. It comprises of Private equity investments through IDFC Private Equity Company Limited, Project level equity investments through IDFC Project Equity Company Limited & Public markets investment advisory services through IDFC Investment Advisors Limited.
  10. Deutsche Mutual Fund – it has the expertise of one of the larger banks in the world – the Deutsche Bank, which was established about 50 years ago in Germany. It has networks in over 16 countries, which provides an excellent mix of global investment knowledge & local presence. This differentiates it from it’s competitors.
  11. Religare Mutual Fund – Religare Enterprises Limited is a leading emerging markets financial services group in India. It offers variety of services including broking, insurance, asset management, lending solutions, investment banking and wealth management. With a network of more than 2,200 business centres across 550 plus locations, over 7,000 employees and more than a million clients, REL enjoys a dominant presence in the Indian Market.
  12. SBI Mutual Fund – is one of the leading fund houses in the country. SBI Funds Management Pvt. Ltd. is a joint venture between ‘The State Bank of India’ and Société Générale Asset Management (France), one of the world’s leading fund management companies. SBI Funds management manages over Rs 38,782 crores of assets and has a diverse profile of investors making their investments. In 20 years of operation, the fund has launched 38 schemes with consistent returns.
  13. Sundaram BNP Paribas Mutual Fund – It is a privately owned. The AMC is a joint venture between Sundaram Finance and French bank BNP Paribas. It invests in the public equity and fixed income markets of India. The firm employs fundamental and quantitative analysis stock picking & in-house and external research to make its investments. The average assets under management was Rs. 12,827 crores as on March 31,2008.
  14. TATA Mutual Fund – It has a client base of over 1 million people. The company manages funds across the entire risk-return basis. These include equity funds, balanced funds and debt funds.

Besides the above Kotak has managed to carve a distinct niche despite not having any huge backers.

MARKET SHARE in the Mutual Fund Industry in India

The Mutual Funds have a vast number of schemes  that it becomes difficult for a customer to choose his investment scheme that is offered by these various Fund houses. HDFC Mutual Fund House is the largest fund house with a Market share of around 13%. Following it is closely Reliance Mutual Fund with approximately 13% as the Market share. ICICI Prudential Fund house is the third largest with around 10% market share. Birla Sun Life & UTI Mutual Fund have their Market share around 9%. Next in line is SBI Mutual Fund which has a Market share of about 6%. Franklin Templeton, Kotak Mahindra & DSP Blackrock Mutual Funds are the next, having a Market share of around 4% each.

Given below is the Average Assets under Management for the quarter of July – September 2011 (Rs in Lakhs) (Excluding Fund of Funds – Domestic but including Fund of Funds – Overseas) – Source : AMFI

1 AIG Global Investment Group Mutual Fund 72,261.76
2 Axis Mutual Fund 754,478.45
3 Baroda Pioneer Mutual Fund 339,858.69
4 Bharti AXA Mutual Fund 17,613.38
5 B irla Sun Life Mutual Fund 6,421,703.15
6 BNP Paribas Mutual Fund 524,323.56
7 Canara Robeco Mutual Fund 692,014.56
8 Daiwa Mutual Fund 78,908.30
9 Deutsche Mutual Fund 1,276,082.58
10 DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund 3,008,371.45
11 Edelweiss Mutual Fund 44,717.07
12 Escorts Mutual Fund. 20,573.31
13 Fidelity Mutual Fund. 911,951.33
14 Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund 3,441,037.27
15 Goldman Sachs Mutual Fund 435,758.53
16 HDFC Mutual Fund 9,182,711.19
17 HSBC Mutual Fund 495,213.26
18 ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund 7,521,710.50
19 I DBI Mutual Fund 492,581.02
20 IDFC Mutual Fund 2,890,821.24
21 IIFL Mutual Fund N/A
22 Indiabulls Mutual Fund N/A
23 ING Mutual Fund 103,605.28
24 JM Financial Mutual Fund. 646,827.17
25  JPMorgan Mutual Fund 474,769.91
26  Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund 3,210,078.50
27  L&T Mutual Fund 413,549.35
28 LIC NOMURA Mutual Fund 707,533.41
29Mirae Asset Mutual Fund 44,662.09
30 Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund 197,142.05
31 Motilal Oswal Mutual Fund 27,767.72
32 Peerless Mutual Fund 560,838.04
33 Pramerica Mutual Fund 150,488.80
34PRINCIPAL Mutual Fund 453,561.97
35 Quantum Mutual Fund 15,669.30
36 Reliance Mutual Fund 9,066,060.39
37 Religare Mutual Fund 1,104,213.93
38 Sahara Mutual Fund. 45,583.04
39 SBI Mutual Fund 4,773,139.40
40 Sundaram Mutual Fund 1,510,957.25
41 Tata Mutual Fund 2,263,377.94
42 Taurus Mutual Fund 536,733.62
43 Union KBC Mutual Fund 86,937.37
44 UTI Mutual Fund 6,257,986.12

Sun Earth Solar Panel

NB Solar Sun Earth or Sun Earth Solar Panels is the Brand of Solar Panels sold by Chinese Ningbo based manufacturer of monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar modules SunEarth Solar Power Co.Ltd.The company is known as NB Solar in USA.It has 4 facilities for silicon (3000 tons polysilicon plant), wafers (40 MW ), solar components and solar system production.The company has been in the solar industry for 45 years which would make it one of the oldest solar companies in the world.However it seems to have been left far behind in terms of capacity with only 350 MW in 2009.The Headquarters are in Hi-tech Zone, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China

Sun-Earth is a major supplier of solar systems to telecom towers in China and portable solar systems to Africa.It claims to have supplied to utility grade systems in Spain as well.However it does not have much of a brand name compared to listed Chinese solar companies like Trina Solar,Yingli or Suntech.It is a Tier 2 Supplier of Solar Panels like CEEG Solar and BYD Solar Panels.Therefore its solar panel prices would be lower than that of the Tier 1 solar panel suppliers.In these times of oversupply of solar panels when even the bigger producers like Canadian Solar are operating at razor thin margins,companies like Sun-Earth would be facing survivability questions.So you have to do your due diligence before buying solar panels from small solar panel companies as they might not exist to serve the 25 year performance warranty on their solar panels.That said Sun-Earth looks likely to survive though you cannot be sure with big companies like Evergreen folding up.However given the advantages of solar panels,you should not wait too long to install solar panels.

SunEarth Solar Panels Review

Sun Earth like most other photovoltaic module producers sells solar panels of both polycrystalline and monocrytalline technology and manufactures solar cells and wafers inhouse.The company also develops charge controllers and inverters used in off-grid solar systems.The company gives a 5 year product warranty and and a  25 years performance warranty.Sun Earth Solar Power has like other solar panel producers now introduced a  new 10 Year Product Warranty

It sells polycrystalline solar panels in the 225 to 290 Watts range.These Solar Panels have 4 Bypass Diodes and a Dual Wall Frame.The monocrytalline solar panels are sold in the 90 Watts to 190 Watts range.These solar panels have lower weight and have 3 Bypass Diodes.

  1. TDB125×125-72-P    MONO    170W/ 175W/ 180W/ 185W/ 190W
  2. TPB125×125-36-P    POLY    80W/85W/90W
  3. TPB125×125-72-P    POLY    170W/175W/180W/185W
  4. TPB125×125-96-P    POLY    220W/230W/240W
  5. TPB156×156-60-P    POLY    220W/225W/230W/235W/240W
  6. TPB156×156-72-P    POLY    270W/275W/280W/285W/290W
  7. TDB125×125-36-P    MONO    75W/ 80W/ 85W/ 90W/ 95W
  8. TPB156×156-54-P    MONO    205W/210W/215W

Sun Earth (QSE) Solar Panels Australia

Sun Earth has focused on selling solar panels in Australia.The company has introduced the TDB 125×125-96-P 250W module and TPB 156 series range from 225W to 290W.The Company has become a member of of Australia’s Clean Energy Council.

Read Reviews on other Chinese Solar Panels

Solar Panels have recently become a point of trade friction between USA and China as a massive oversupply of solar panels has resulted in the prices of solar panels dropping by almost 50% in one year.This has caused great distress amongst solar panel manufacturers in the USA particularly the high cost ones which have been forced to close.Falling prices of solar panels are great news for customers and American Solar Installers but bad news for the producers of these solar panels.Now US and European companies are selling their solar panels advertising their “made in USA” credentials.This is to help them sell the solar panels which cost more but according to them have better quality and appeal to the patriotism of the Americans.

Note the 2009 Economic Stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Act  which promoted renewable energy had in fact “Buy American” provisions as well as the defense law passed in 2011.This means that a small part of the solar market is reserved for US Solar Panel Manufacturers who are being besieged by the low cost Chinese solar panel producers around the world.In fact Photovoltaic Module player Solarworld (which is German) is spearheading an effort to pass anti-dumping duties against the import of Chinese solar modules.So which companies have “Made in USA” label.The surprising thing is that many of the solar companies are in fact foreign mostly European and Japanese though there are a native US companies as well.Note the most successful US Solar Companies First Solar and Sunpower (now Total) have always had the majority of their production outside the US in Asia.

What is Buy American Certification

A Solar Panel can  quality for “Buy American” provision if a substantial portion of the value added is done on American soil.A Solar Panel goes through a number of steps and it is not required that all the steps be done in the USA.Just like Solar Panels in Ontario have to meet some domestic content requirements so does Buy American solar panels.

List of Solar Panel Brands with “Made in USA” Label

  1. Kyocera – Kyocera is one of the oldest solar panel manufacturers and is second only to Sharp amongst the Japanese companies.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.The company plans to reach 1000 MW of production by 2013.The Kyocera KD P Series of Modules come in 135 Watts to 315 Watts range Kyocera gives a  standard 20 year power output warranty and 5 year workmanship warranty.It has UL and IEC Certificaitons.It also qualifies for “Buy American” since its made in San Diego.
  2. Sharp is the biggest company in the world in terms of making revenues from sales of solar panels so it seems counterintuitive for someone to recommend not buying Sharp Solar Panels.However this Japanese Conglomerate has been losing marketshare rapidly to cheaper Asian competitors
  3. Sanyo Solar is one the biggest Japanese solar companies along with Sharp,Kyocera and Mitsubishi.After Panasonic bought Sanyo,the emphasis on the renewable energy green division has been increased by Panasonic..Sanyo had been already been metamorphizing into a Green company from an Electronics company before Panasonic bought it for a very cheap price.Sanyo Sells PV Solar Panels under the HIT Brand which is derived from the Technology it uses.The HIT Solar Panels from Sanyo are one of the highest efficiency solar panels availabe on the market today
  4. Sunpower sells the highest efficiency solar panels made from its record breaking monocrystalline solar cells which have more than 24% efficiency.Sunpower Solar Panel Prices are priced at a premium to the normal crystalline solar panels because the efficiency of the solar cells made by Sunpower are higher
  5. First Solar Solar Panels use Cadmium-Tellurium Thin Film Solar Technology while the majority of the Solar Industry uses Crystalline Silicon Technology.Despite the difference First Solar is the most valued solar stock in the world and has been for a long time.First Solar Solar Panels efficiency has also increased in the last few years such that First Solar is now targeting commercial segments of the market.Note First Solar earlier used to sell solar panels mostly to developers and utilities to build ground mounted solar panel farms where the lower efficiency of the Cd-Te solar panels did not matter.
  6. Uni Solar – After First Solar,Energy Conversion Devices seemed the mostly likely viable company in Thin Film Technology.After a few quarters of profits in 2008,the company went into the red as its flexible a-Si modules failed to cut costs as fast as others.It has been shutting factories in the US and shifting to low cost locations.Still one of the biggest independent Thin Film Producers.Seems more likely that it will be bought out then survive independently.
  7. Miasole – Miasole made a major splash announcing a record breaking 13.8% efficiencythin film module which it will ship in 2011.The company still is not a major commercial player despite having shipped 100 mw of solar panels now.It faces stiff competition from the mainstream crystalline silicon solar panels.
  8. Nanosolar – This secretive CIGs startup has big backers in the form of Google and others.The company is planning to build a massive plant in US but till now there has been little news about its commercial shipments,efficiency or costs.Remains to be seen if it manages to succeed or joins the long list of thin film deaths.
  9. Abound Solar – Abound Solar which is a CdTe startup has also received a massive loan guarantee like Solyndra earlier.This money is going to be used to set up manufacturing facilities in Indiana and Colorado.Abound Solar has been heavily supported the the US government’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and is in the process of starting a 200 MW plant in Colorado.
  10. Global Solar Energy opened in 1996, and in 2008 finished another phase of development as it expanded its CIGS production to a new 40 MW facility in Tucson, Arizona and a second 35 MW facility in Berlin, Germany
  11. General Electric – GE has invested in a Cadmium Tellurium Startup Prime Solar which is ramping up production.Note Cd-Te is the same technology which is used by First Solar.GE has said that it has managed to attain 15% efficiency on commercial glass.Don’t know how much of it is true since First Solar only manages around 12% efficiency despite around 10 years of dedicated R&D.However if GE can even manage to get near to that level then it would surely give First Solar a run for its money.GE has also tied up with Japanese Solar Frontier to market its CIGs based modules
  12. Suniva was spun out of Georgia Institute of Technology’s University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics (UCEP)  using  the work of Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi in 2007 who is the founder and director of the photovoltaic (PV) research program.Suniva produces 17+% – 20% efficient cells. Currently, Suniva is producing 20%+ in the lab, and the world’s highest commercially available cell efficiency in full-scale low-cost production
  13. Solarworld is the Biggest German producer of solar panels,the company is one of the few to still have operations in Europe and USA.Solarworld producers its own wafers,cells and modules making it one of the few vertically integrated companies in Europe.This ensures higher quality control and lower costs.The company has been battered by low cost competition from China and has recently led efforts to bring anti-dumping against Chinese imports to USA.Solarworld is strongly expanding in USA as growth slows down in Germany.
  14. Schott – The German Glass Maker is a big component supplier to the CSP industry but does not provide a turnkey solution.Schott is also involved in the Solar PV Technology area producing both crystalline silicon panels as well as thin film panels.It recently established a JV with Chinese company Hareon and plans to build 700 MW of solar panel capacity in emerging markets around the world.It has won a contract to supply 20 MW of thin film modules to Indian Solar Company Premier Solar with 10 MW of supply in 2010 and 10 MW in 2011
  15. Suntech was  the world’s biggest producer of solar panels in 2010 and was one the first companies to set up operations in China.Its example was followed by a host of other Chinese companies.Suntech has been slow to expand compared to the fast growing small companies in China and has lost marketshare to them.It has started to vertically integrate in order to meet the low cost challenge from Trina and Yingli.The company has opened a small 30 MW factory in the USA which it plans to expand .

ET Solar Group

The ET Solar Group was founded in 2007.The company is relatively small compared to the biggest solar panel producers like Yingli,Suntech as its capacity is one/fifth the size of these big panel producers.It is more comparable to small Chinese solar companies like CEEG Solar,Eging and Sunlink..ET Solar is a quasi vertically integrated solar equipment manufacturer  with  presence in Europe, North America and Australia. ET Solar iis not fully integrated like LDK,Yinglie which makes polysilicon as well.However it does make  silicon ingot, wafer, cell, module and a variety of BoS component products. ET Solar offers high-quality modules, inverter, tracker, BIPV, PV Kit and other solar products in more than 50 countries and regions in the whole world. Worldwide more than 500MW projects are already finished.The company is not publicly listed but is funded from Private Equity Sources.In these tough conditions it is questionable whether ET Solar can survive as it is not a Tier 1 producer.ET Solar has a good presence in the UK and Australian Markets.However Australian Solar Power Industry has seen a number of solar panel producers entering the industry and there are good alternatives available from Trina and Suntech

ET Solar Panels Review

ET Solar sells solar panels in a wide variety of power ratings and their quality is generally regarded as decent without being great.Here is a list of solar panels being solar by ET Solar.ET Solar Panels are manufactured in China like the rest of the Chinese solar panels because of the much lower costs of capital and labor.China has around 60% marketshare of the solar panel industry which means that unless you are buying a solar panel from a completely unknown small company,you will in general get a good solar panel.

ET Solar Panels

The Monocrystalline Solar Panels are sold with  aluminum frames0 and 0 to +5W positive tolerance for mainstream
products.They have a 25year linear performance warranty and 10-year warranty on materials and workmanship.ET Solar Panels are sold in the 185 to 300 Watt Ranges .ET Solar 235 Watts and ET Soalr 280 Watts Solar Panels are some of the more popular panels that the company sells.The company recently introduced new antireflective modules to the global market.The company says the dense coating on the surface of the antireflective modules delivers higher light absorption and slows the power degradation, which compares favorably to conventional glass-based modules.

The company sells both black and standard blue color solar panels.They made mono-crystalline and poly-crystalline cells in 5″ and 6″ sizes and the solar modules with 6 inch cells have 60 solar cells while the 5 inch cells come in solar modules of 72 cells.

  1. ET-M572 (185W-205W)
  2. ET-M572BB (180W-195W)
  3. ET-M660 (235W-250W)
  4. ET-M660BB (235W-250W)
  5. ET-M672 (280W-305W)
  6. ET-M672BB (280W-300W)
  7. ET-P660 (220W-250W)
  8. ET-P660WB (220W-245W)
  9. ET-P672 (270W-300W)
  10. ET-P672WB (270W-295W)
  11. ET-M572BBZ (180W-195W)
  12. ET-M572WWZ (180W-205W)
  13. ET-P660WBZ (220W-245W)
  14. ET-P660WWZ (220W-250W)
  15.  ET-M572 (185W-205W)
  16. ET-M572BB (180W-195W)
  17. ET-M660  (235W-250W)
  18. ET-M660BB (235W-250W)
  19. ET-M672 (280W-305W)
  20. ET-M672BB (280W-300W)
  21. ET-P660 (220W-250W)
  22. ET-P660WB (220W-245W)
  23. ET-P672 (270W-300W)
  24. ET-P672WB (270W-295W)
  25. ET-M572BBZ (180W-195W)
  26. ET-M572WWZ (180W-205W)
  27. ET-P660WBZ (220W-245W)
  28. ET-P660WWZ (220W-250W)

ET Solar Panels Prices

ET Solar Panel Prices have reduced quite sharply with the fall in industry pricing of solar panels.Being a Tier 2 producer ET Solar Panels can be bought cheaper than Suntech Solar panels or panels from Western producers like REC.With massive inventory buildup,there is currently a hugely discounted sale on solar panels.ET Solar Panel Prices were around $1.4/watt in retail which means that in large quantities you can buy ET Solar panels for prices as low as $1.1/watt.ET Solar 280 Watt Panels are being sold for $400  which is a good deal.But there are other equally good solar panels from companies like CEEG ST,JA Solar,Sunlink and SunEarth as well.So you should compare the prices of these solar panels before buying them.

ET Solar Panels Warranty

Most of the solar panel manufacturers have increased their 5 year product warranty to 10 years in recent times with increased competition.With prices of solar panels having fallen to as low as Euro 70c/watt,the only way solar panel producers can shine in the crowd is by giving additional quality and features.ET Solar like other Chinese solar panel manufacturers has extended the warranty to 10 years.

The new module product warranty commitment, ET Solar extends the warranty term for defects of modules in workmanship and materials from 5 years to 10 years for its core module products since May 2011

ET Solar BIPV and Solar Systems Review

ET sells Solar Stand-alone system designed for facilities located in remote and rural areas(telecommunications, water pumping, etc).The company also sells a ET Kit which is a package of  inverters and system components which has a All-in-one design that  reduces installation efforts

ET Solar offers BIPV modules as well in addition to its line of standard solar panels.BIPV modules are building integrated solar panels and have a different structure and technology in comparision to solar panels. BIPV modules can be integrated to new buildings and retrofitted onto existing buildings.

ET Solar sells frameless solar modules,transparent solar modules as well as double glass solar modules.

Reviews of other Solar Panel Brands

Solar Lighting in India

Solar Power in India has been growing at an explosive pace due to declining costs of Solar Energy and incentives given by the Government of India under JNNSM.While most of the subsidies for solar energy in India are going to large solar farms,Solar Lighting is also growing steadily without any support.This is due to the fact that Solar Lighting saves on electricity costs and is also environment friendly.Solar Lighting in India is gaining traction not only in the upper income segments but also at the bottom of the pyramid.Solar Lanterns and Lamps are replacing expensive,GHG emitting kerosene lamps in poor rural as well as urban India.Despite shoddy subsidies,solar lamps have become economic to compete with fossil fuel alternatives.Solar Lighting is also being heavily used for Street Illumination in places where the electricity grid is not present.Solar Lighting is also gaining acceptance in use  in gardens where they can capture sunlight in the morning and light the gardens in the night using the stored energy.

Types of Solar Lighting in India

1) Solar Lamps/Lanterns

Solar Lamps or Solar Lanterns have seen astounding growth in India driven mainly by the lack of access to electricity and the high costs of Kerosene or gas lamps.Note Solar Lamps have been so successful in India mainly due to their economic utility rather than their Green Characteristics.Note 100,000 Indian villages do not yet have electricity which means that the productivity comes to a complete stop in the dark.Note Kerosene a dirty oil refined product is the main source of energy for millions of Indian citizens.Kerosene is a health hazard resulting in accidental fires and causing a lot of smoke which can lead to various respiratory diseases.The Kerosene is given in limited quantities and is not sufficient to Light the Darkness for a month or more.The advent of Solar LED Lamps has been a godsend solution to this problem.

2) Solar home lighting systems

Solar home lighting system consists of the Solar Panels, Mounting structure, battery, battery box, Solar charge-controller, luminaries, cables and switches. The Solar Lighting Fixtures have inbuilt DC to AC inverter converters.Solar Lighting Home Systems can also run TVs and Fans though running of Solar Air Conditioners is not possible because of high wattage requirements.

3) Solar Street Lighting

Solar Street Lighting System is a lighting system for the illumination of streets & squares and cross roads located in areas that are not connected to the power grid.The standalone solar street lighting system comprises of a Solar Panel ,Lead acid battery for Energy Storage, Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) as light source, suitable electronics and hard-ware like pole, battery box  for fixing of these sub system.The system is controlled by a controller with automatic ON/OFF time switch, which control the light from dusk till morning or other setting time.Note high end Solar Street Ligthing can consist of LED Lamps instead of CFLs.

4) Solar LED Lighting

The falling prices of LEDs has made it possible to couple these two green technologies together. Solar LED Lighting can be used anywhere as a replacement for normal Solar Lighting which used CFLs.

Solar Lighting Suppliers

Selco India SELCO Solar Pvt. Ltd, a social enterprise established in 1995.SELCO employsabout 170 employees in Karnataka and Gujarat spread across 25 energy service centers. Selco sells most Solar Products alongwith Financing Packages as well.

D.light Design – D.Light Design was started with the socially responsible goal of bringing light affordably to millions of poor.Its flagship product is S250 which is a dual purpose solar light and mobile charger. Its b It provides 10 times more light than a kerosene lantern.

It also charges the most popular mobile phones on the market. It keeps personal mobile phones fully charged even when AC power is unavailable or inconvenient.

Tata BP Solar – This Tata Company has one of the biggest and oldest solar panel manufacturing operations in the country.Tata BP Solar also manufactures a wide variety of Solar Product which includes different types of Solar Sodium,Solar CFL and Solar LED Lamps .Tata BP Solar is perhaps the best solar lighting provider in India given the brandname and inhouse manufacturing of solar components.It has a range of Solar Lighting Solutions based on LED and non LED lights.

  1. Jugnu Solar Home Lighting  Compact home lighting solutions, primarily in rural areas where there is an absence of a grid or where grid power is unreliable.
  2.  Venus Solar Home Lighting – Venus Solar Home and Space Lighting Systems are cost-effective, yet reliable lighting systems for home use in rural areas.
  3. Solar i2 LED Lighting – Revolutionary home lighting solution based on LED technology that consumes 50% lesser energy and lasts longer.
  4. Solar Street Lighting – Margadeep Solar Street Lighting Systems are standalone systems that provide reliable outdoor lighting for campuses, roads, villages, open spaces]
  5. Solar iBEAM – LED Lighting- Solar powered LED street light for outdoor application.

Hiramut Energies  manufactures and exports Solar Energy Products,  under the brand name of “Sun-Ray”. and is  based in Gujarat.They sell Solar Cooker, Solar Home System, Solar Led Lantern, Solar Led Street Light, and Solar Water Heating System.

Neutech Solar Systems is mainly focused on solar water heaters but is also sells solar street lighting systems

Anu Solar started 1979 and has a manufacturing unit for Solar Water Heating Systems and Solar Photovoltaic Systems .They sell solar lighting systems for streets and residential purposes.

Deepa Solar Lighting Systems has been around for 10 years.The company also sells a wide variety of solar products like solar fans,solar street lights,solar lamps,solar garden lights etc.

Tilak International is a manufacturer of LED signals, solar charge controllers, solar lighting system, solar home lighting system, solar street lighting system .

Aditya Energy Systems established in the year 2000, is a  manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic lighting systems. Aditya Energy Systems manufactures solar lighting systems of various capacities ranging from few watts to kilowatts catering to domestic and international customer requirements

Luminous Power Technologies Limited/Schneider Electric has LED (light emitting diode) based Solar Lighting Solution The energy efficient LED based design of this new product with a single light output is at par with 11 watts CFL. ging between 11 to 12 hrs.

Topsun Energy makes a host of products like Solar Refrigerators,solar pumps etc. is mainly known as Solar Telecom System Manufacturers and Led Solar Street Light Suppliers

Read more about Solar Cookers in India and buying Solar Panels in India.