Trina Solar Panels: An independent review by Solar Choice

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Overview of Trina Solar – Company History

Founded in 1997 by Jifan Gao, Trina Solar was one of the first photovoltaic manufacturers in China. Trina Solar has since grown to be a world leader in solar technology innovation and manufacturing. Trina Solar has approximately 13,000 employees globally (majority in China) and was publicly listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2020. In addition to Chinese manufacturing capacity, they have a plant in Thailand and in Vietnam. Trina Solar has manufactured and delivered over 50 GW of photovoltaic modules worldwide as of June 2020.

Trina Solar’s have set 20 world records for silicon cell efficiency and solar module power output since 2011 and have produced 852 approved patents. Trina Solar states that they are committed to sustainable development and innovation, with the goal to reduce the cost of photovoltaic power and the environmental impact of manufacturing. In the period between 2015-2019 Trina Solar reduced water usage by 32% per MW manufactured, and electricity by 47% per MW manufactured. These sustainability developments contributed to a reduction of 46% greenhouse gas emissions through this period. This was globally recognised as Trina Solar ranked 1st in sustainability by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) Solar Scorecard in 2017 and 2018.

Key Panel Indicators

Trina Solar Panel
Bloomberg Tier 1 RankingYes
DNV GL Top PerformerYes (2/4)
Office location in AustraliaYes

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 of the company. This should give you an idea if the company is a large, well-known manufacturer.

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.

Trina Solar was listed as a top performer for the voltage loading test for potential degradation and for thermal cycling in the latest report. Trina Solar has been consistently named each year as a top performer since 2014.

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.

Trina Solar’s Australian head office is located in Sydney.

How much do Trina 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 Trina Solar Panels
  • Installation from a pre-vetted reputable installer from Solar Choice’s network
  • The STC rebate and GST
System SizeAverage Fully Installed Cost
6kW$5,282
8kW$8,687
10kW$11,244

 

Compare quotes from up to 7 installers in your area now.

 

Panel Technologies

Currently, in Australia Trina offers five series of panels being the Honey, Tallmax, Honeyblack, Duomax and Vertex. At the time of updating this page (Sep 2020), they can produce panels with efficiencies of up to 21% (Vertex).

Honey SeriesTrina Honey M Solar Panel

Available with both monocrystalline and multicrystalline cells, the Honey module with 120 half-cut cells is perfect for small rooftop systems. Also, it is backed by a 12-year product and 25-linear power output warranty.

The Honey series with 120 half-cut cells can generate high amounts of energy even when space is limited. As one of the industry’s most trusted modules, the Honey series is a popular option for residential and commercial customers because of its reliability, pleasing aesthetics and compatibility with all major balance of system components and module electronics.

Honey Black SeriesTrina Solar panel duomax series

The Honey Black series is ideal for rooftops with all black feature making it very pleasing aesthetically. The panels integrate various technologies like half-cut and multi busbar (MBB) cells. With finer and narrower busbars, more sunlight can be reflected back to the round ribbon, thus increasing energy efficiency.

Duomax SeriesTrina Solar duomax series solar panel

Duomax Twin is a bifacial module developed by Trina Solar, which can convert light that strikes both the front face and the back face of the module into electricity. Under the same conditions, a bifacial module will produce more energy than a monofacial module with the same nameplate power.

The core technology of Duomax Twin lies in its bifacial cells and advanced production technology of dual-glass modules. With the integration of dual-glass, multi busbar (MBB) and half-cut cell technologies, Duomax Twin achieves higher energy generation performance.

Vertex SeriesTrina Solar vertex series solar panel

Based on the 210mm large-size silicon wafer and monocrystalline PERC cell, the Vertex comes with several innovative design features allowing high power output of more than 500Wp. This module absorbs solar radiation from both sides, 5%-30% of additional power generation brought by the backside. Excellent temperature coefficient and low irradiation performance brings the greater power. Furthermore, benefit from square mono cells and high-density encapsulation technology, the efficiency of Vertex can reach up to 21%.

Model Range Available in Australia

The majority of Trina Solar panels listed on their Australian website are currently approved by the Clean Energy Council for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is Australia’s home solar rebate program.

Note: Not all module sizes on panel series are approved, only the listed watt ranges below are approved.

Trina Solar Honey M 325-340 Wp

Trina Solar Honey M 360-375 Wp

Trina Solar Honey M 360-375 Wp

Trina Solar Tallmax M 390-410 Wp

Trina Solar Tallmax M 435-450 Wp

Trina Solar Honey Black M 315-335 Wp

Trina Solar Vertex 480-500 Wp

Trina Solar Honey 285-295 Wp

Trina Solar Tallmax 340-355 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax M 120 330-340 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax M 120 325-340 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax M 144 390-415 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax M 144 435-455 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax Twin 120 325-340 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax Twin 120 325-340 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax Twin 120 355-375 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax Twin 144 385-410 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax Twin 144 390-415 Wp

Trina Solar Duomax Twin 144 430-450 Wp

Trina Solar Vertex (Bifacial) 480-500 Wp

Trina Solar Panel Specifications

Trina Solar Honey MTrina Solar Duomax M 120Trina Solar Duomax Twin 144
Cell Number120120144
Cell TypeMonocrystalline MonocrystallineMonocrystalline
Power Output375 Wp340 Wp390 Wp
Nominal Power Voltage34.4 V34.2 V40.2 V
Power Density204.6 W/m²199.4 W/m²191.92 W/m²
Panel Efficiency20.5%19.9%19.2%
Annual Power Degradation0.55%0.5%0.5%
Dimensions1763 x 1040 x 35mm

(1.83m²)

1698 x 1004 x 6mm

(1.70m²)

2024 x 1004 x 6mm

(2.03m²)

Weight20kg24.6kg29.2kg
Product Warranty 12 years12 years12 years
Performance Warranty25 years30 years30 years
Operational Temperature Range-40°C to 85°C-40°C to 85°C-40°C to 85°C
Made inChinaChinaChina

Example of a Trina Solar Commercial Project

The University of Queensland has a total of 5000 polycrystalline Trina Solar panels installed across 4 of the buildings on campus. The installation totals 1.22MW and at the time when it was completed, it was Australia’s largest rooftop grid photovoltaic system. The system is responsible for powering approximately 6% of the University’s peak electricity demand. To put it into perspective, the same amount of electricity could power 800 typical Queensland households at once. The system produces around 1.85GWh of electricity per year, reducing the University’s carbon footprint significantly. The reduction would be equivalent to taking 335 cars off the road each year.

As of January 2019, the University of Queensland had 49,336 solar panels in operation. These panels generate almost 9 million KWh of clean energy, which is enough electricity to power over 1,500 typical Queensland homes.

University of Queensland Trina Solar Panels

 

 

Jack Boutchard

Writer at Solar Choice
Jack Boutchard

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