JA Solar Panels: An independent review by Solar Choice

Solar Choice CEO Jeff Sykes gives an overview of JA Solar and their Deep Blue 400W panel

Note: Solar Choice is not a solar installer and has no financial or other incentives to promote any product brand over another.

JA Solar – Company History

JA Solar was originally founded in 2005 and is based in Beijing, China. The company was listed on the US NASDAQ exchange back in 2007 during an early growth phase and has recently been acquired by JASO Acquisition Limited which effectively has taken the company private again.

The company has 9 manufacturing facilities in China and one in Malaysia and Vietnam with a total annual production capacity of 42.5 GW (reported by Bloomberg NEF). This makes JA Solar the third largest producer of Solar Panels as of September 2021.

JA Solar has 25,000 employees as of 2022 working across 32 factories and branches around the world.

Key Indicators

 JA Solar Panels
Bloomberg Tier 1 RankingYes
PV Evolution Labs Top PerformerYes (5/6)
Office location in AustraliaNo

What is a Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panel?

Bloomberg’s infamous tier 1 ranking is NOT a measure of Solar Panel quality in any way. It is simply an indication of the bankability of the manufacturer based on publicly released information on the financial health the company. This should give you an idea if the company is a large, well-known manufacturer.

JA Solar is listed as a tier 1 manufacturer in Bloomberg’s Q2 2020 report.

See full list of Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panels

What is PV Evolution Labs Top Performer?

PV Evolution Labs with support from DNV GL independently test solar panel reliability. The tests are voluntary, with solar panel manufacturers paying to participate in the testing. This testing process is internationally renowned and is an accurate reflection of the solar panel’s performance.

JA Solar are named as a top performer in the test of 5 performance tests(thermal cycling, Damp Heat, Mechanical Stress Sequence, LID+LETID and PAN) in the latest 2023 report.

See full list of PV Evolution Labs Top Performing Solar Panels

Why is office location in Australia Important?

Most solar panel manufacturers entering the Australian market first set up their distribution channels and worry about customer service later. This has led to many unhappy customers who are left trying to contact Chinese head offices to claim on their 10-year product warranty.

Relying on your solar installer is not always an option as we’ve seen many residential solar installers (including the large ones) go out of business well within the lifetime of the systems they are installing. 

JA Solar’s listed local office in North Sydney is a ‘serviced shared office’ managed by Servcorp.

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How much do JA Solar Panels cost?

Based on Solar Choice’s database we have provided the below-average costs as an indicative guide. These prices include:

  • Full turnkey Solar System with JA Solar Panels
  • Installation from a pre-vetted reputable installer from Solar Choice’s network
  • The STC rebate and GST
System SizeAverage Fully Installed Cost – JA Solar Panels
10kW$12,404
8KW$7,731
6kW$5,806

 Important Note: Prices will vary depending on location, inverter brand and which installer is used

JA Solar Panel -Points of Difference

There are many solar panels out there, what makes Canadian solar panels stand out?

One of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers

JA Solar is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers with third-largest solar module capacity (reportedly 42.5GW/year in 2021). JA Solar has focused on producing a mid-market solar panel for the masses that combines reliability with an affordable price point. JA Solar is one of the most competitively priced of the ‘big-name’ solar panels on the market.

JA Solar Panel Technologies

Most of JA Solar’s products have been approved by the Clean Energy Council (listed under the parent company Shanghai JA Solar Technology Co Ltd) for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme – Australia’s home solar rebate program.

Deep Blue 3.0 LightJA Solar MBB Half–Cell Module

JA Solar’s Deep Blue series is one of the more affordable options on the market with their current model available in Australia offering an output rating of 415W.

The solar panel has a maximum efficiency rating of 21.3% which we would consider to be above average. It measures 1.7m by 1.1m making it ideally suited to residential rooftops.

The panel only comes with a 12-year warranty which is now one of the shortest offers in the residential rooftop market with most manufacturers offering up to 25 years. This calls out some questions to the reliability and longevity of these solar panels.

Deep Blue 4.0 ProJA Solar Bifacial PERC Half-Cell Double Glass Module

JA Solar do offer a more premium option to the residential rooftop market in their Deep Blue 4.0 Pro series. This is currently available in a 440W output rating which is ideally suited to Australian regulations.

The solar panel features N-type solar cell technology and is a bifacial solar panel meaning it can absorb sunlight on the underside of the panel as well. For most residential customers there won’t be much benefit of the bifacial construction as solar panels are typically flush mounted to the roof with minimal space for sun reflection and most roofing material won’t reflect much light.

The solar panel comes with an impressive maximum efficiency rating of 22% and has a longer product warranty offer of 25 years. For these reasons we would encourage residential customers looking at JA Solar panels to go for this model.

JA Solar Warranty for Australian Customers

Solar panels come with a product warranty of around 15 to 25 years which covers manufacturing defects. There is also performance warranty of usually around 25 to 30 years which covers the rate at which the solar panels will degrade over time. Generally the product warranty is more important to residential customers as its very uncommon and difficult to claim warranty on a performance warranty.

JA Solar offer a 12-year product warranty for their Deep Blue 3.0 Light solar panel which is rapidly becoming one of the shortest offers on the market. Although several years ago this was more common, JA Solar’s reluctance to extend the product warranty offer on this panel to match competition suggests some questions about the panels longevity.

JA Solar’s superior Deep Blue 4.0 Pro series comes with a 25 year product warranty which matches most offers in the residential rooftop solar market.

All of the contact details on the JA Solar warranty documents are for their sites in China. As JA Solar only have a shared office space listed on their website there is some concerns around whether JA Solar customers will have local support through the life of the solar panels.

Read JA Solar’s Full Warranty documents:

Deep Blue 4.0 Pro Series

JA Solar Panel Specifications (common modules)

  Deep Blue 3.0 

JAM54S30-400/MR

Deep Blue 4.0 Bifacial

JAM54D40-440/LB/1500V

Cell Number 108 half cells 108 half cell
Cell Type Mono N-Type Bifacial
Power Output 415Wp 440Wp
Max Power Voltage 31.61V 32.47V
Panel Efficiency 21.3% 22.0%
Annual Power Degradation 0.55% 0.4%
Dimensions 1722 x 1134 x 30 mm 1762 x 1134 x 35 mm
Weight 19.5 kg 22kg
Product Warranty 12 Years 25 Years
Operational Temperature Range -40°C to 85°C -40°C to 85°C

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Pros and cons of JA solar panels

Pros Cons
  • Listed as a top performing solar panel by PV Evolution Labs
  • Tier 1 Solar Company by Bloomberg New Energy
  • Short product warranty for Deep Blue 3.0 series
  • No permanent local office leased in Australia
  • In 2018 JA Solar merged with JASO Acquisition Limited and ceased to be a publicly traded company

So, are JA Solar Panels worth buying?

JA Solar Panels stack up well for as an affordable mid-range option from a company with a solid financial backing and reputation.

As they are based out of a shared office space in North Sydney it appears they don’t have the same level of local support as some of the bigger brands. They are also in a position to quickly remove any local support if they decide to exit the Australian market as we’ve seen some Chinese brands do in the past.

We would generally only recommend considering the Deep Blue 4.0 Pro series which has a longer product warranty and better performance characteristics.

Example of a JA Solar Commercial Solar Project – South Australian Water Corporation

  • Completed in 2018/2019
  • Type of Application: Commercial Ground-mount Solar PV System
  • System Size: 4.14 MWp across multiple sites

JA Solar provided all the solar panels to three ground-mounted Solar PV projects at Hope Valley Water Treatment Plant (1.5 MW), Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant (1.32 MW), and Christies Beach Waste Water Treatment Plant (1.32 MW).

Mr. Baofang Jin, President and CEO of JA Solar, said “JA Solar is committed to the research and development of high-efficiency PV modules… We look forward to promoting the application of renewable energy around the world.”

Hope Valley Water Treatment Plant JA Solar Panel Array, South Australia

Read more product reviews from Solar Choice

Compare quotes from up to 7 pre-vetted installers in your area now.
Since 2008 our knowledge and sophisticated software has allowed over 300,000 Australian households and businesses to make a well-informed choice on their solar & battery installer.
Jeff Sykes

Reviews from Australians who have installed JA Solar Panels

Rated 4.82 from 39 reviews
9th May 2024
NSW - 2529
10-15kW system
5.00

8th May 2024
Leslie
-
6kW system
5.00

Good quality very neat and tidy

5th April 2024
Allan
-
6kW system
5.00

To early to tell, as it was only installed yesterday. By all information I gathered, the panels and inverter are of top quality.

29th March 2024
Jake
-
15-20kW system
5.00

panels look good and nice. Really amazing look on my roof

27th March 2024
Trinad
-
10-15kW system
5.00

amazing looking panels

22nd March 2024
VIC - 3226
10-15kW system
5.00

17th March 2024
Joshua
-
15-20kW system
5.00

Nice and shiny dual glass panels with black frames.

5th March 2024
VIC - 3995
10-15kW system
5.00

Happy with the output so far

17th February 2024
VIC - 3196
6kW system
5.00

Good reviews, nice aesthetic, very effective solar capture.

31st January 2024
VIC - 3028
6kW system
5.00

The system is north facing and is producing at or close to its rated output every sunny day and a good amount of power on cloudy days. This is meeting best expectations.

6th January 2024
Leanne
TAS - 7320
5kW system
5.00

Seems to be high quality. Reviews were good.

27th November 2023
Vaughan
VIC - 3555
6kW system
5.00

27th November 2023
Steve
NSW - 2333
10-15kW system
5.00

Being a layman on good , better best as far as panels go it was explained to me in plain terms the benefits of this brand and I have found them to be very productive

20th November 2023
Gary
VIC - 3084
6kW system
5.00

Still working fine

16th November 2023
Rhonda
NSW - 2423
6kW system
5.00

To date we have had no problems.

25th October 2023
Marian
SA - 5089
10-15kW system
5.00

Will monitor for next 12months only 9 months old.

12th October 2023
Peter
NSW - 2526
6kW system
5.00

6th October 2023
John 2
ACT - 2602
6kW system
5.00

Nothing special; they just work.

3rd October 2023
Trevor
NSW - 2577
6kW system
5.00

No issues, No noticeable degradation after 6 years.

13th August 2023
Stuart
NSW - 4509
5kW system
5.00

Great value for money.

18th July 2023
Stefan
VIC - 3089
6kW system
5.00

12th May 2023
Dee
-
6kW system
5.00

Good panels

13th March 2023
Brian
VIC - 3490
6kW system
5.00

20th December 2022
Brendan
QLD - 4154
10kW system
5.00

16th December 2022
Tony
-
30-50kW system
5.00

Very good

13th December 2022
Gary
NSW - 2229
8kW system
5.00

I know nothing about solar panels to make any comment.

29th November 2022
Patrick
ACT - 2605
10-15kW system
5.00

2nd November 2022
Russ
WA - 6164
10kW system
5.00

Good quality at an affordable price.

29th July 2022
Travis
VIC - 3690
6kW system
4.00

Fine

12th July 2022
Ian
VIC - 3216
6kW system
5.00

APPEAR TO BE OF STRONG CONSTRUCTION

28th June 2022
Paul
SA - 5163
6kW system
4.00

Lets see how they last...

9th May 2022
Keith
-
10kW system
5.00

Good panel with a long warranty,

1st May 2022
Rose
-
7kW system
4.00

1st September 2021
Kevin
VIC - 3978
6kW system
5.00

5th July 2021
Kel
SA - 5163
6kW system
3.00

Efficiency seems to have dropped off sharply since the initial install.

1st July 2021
Alual
-
6kW system
5.00

Good looking, one of the best brand

21st June 2021
Duncan
VIC - 3127
6kW system
5.00

Fine.

15th June 2021
Kevin
-
6kW system
3.00

Not switched on yet. Awaiting inspection

14th June 2021
Stuart
QLD - 4509
6kW system
5.00