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.
|JA Solar Panels|
|Bloomberg Tier 1 Ranking||Yes|
|PV Evolution Labs Top Performer||Yes|
|Office location in Australia||No|
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 damp heat, potential-induced degradation and LID+LETID in the latest 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 list an office in Newcastle, however this is for an accounting firm called PKF Newcastle. This will not be helpful to JA Solar customers in claiming warranty.
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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 Size||Average Fully Installed Cost – JA Solar Panels|
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.
MBB Half–Cell Module
JA Solar have a range of solar panel modules featuring 6 multi-busbars and PERC Half-Cut silicon cells. The number of cells each solar panel has ranges from 108 to 144 cells with the dimensions of the panel increasing respectively. The rated maximum power output ranges from 340 watts for the smaller dimension panels (JAM60S10/MR) and up to 555 watts for the larger dimension panels (JAM72S30/MR) which are better suited for commercial projects or solar farms.
Bifacial PERC Half-Cell Double Glass Module
JA Solar has 5 different bi-facial solar panels available in the Australian market. Bifacial solar panels create energy on both sides of the panel so reflected energy from the ground or roof can increase the output of this panel by up to 20% in the right conditions. These solar panels are traditionally used where the solar panels are tilted so that there is increased reflection to the underside of the panel. These panels are more durable than traditional panels as they have a glass front and back sheet and come at a cost premium.
JA Solar Panel Specifications (common modules)
|390W Solar Panel
|540W Solar Panel
|Cell Number||108 half cells||144 half cell|
|Max Power Voltage||30.64V||41.64V|
|Annual Power Degradation||0.55%||0.55%|
|Dimensions||1722 x 1134 x 30 mm||2278 x 1134 x 35 mm|
|Product Warranty||25 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
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.
One concern with JA Solar is that they do not have an office here in Australia. JA Solar has provided Solar Choice with evidence that they employ 7 staff in Australia who they advise can support with warranty claims. Their updated warranty document in 2021 does provide an option to contact JA Solar on Australian phone numbers (02 8328 0488 and 0401 580 866).
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.”
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Reviews from Australians who have installed JA Solar Panels
I know nothing about solar panels to make any comment.
Good quality at an affordable price.
APPEAR TO BE OF STRONG CONSTRUCTION
Lets see how they last...
Good panel with a long warranty,
Efficiency seems to have dropped off sharply since the initial install.
Good looking, one of the best brand
Not switched on yet. Awaiting inspection