Note: Solar Choice is not a solar installer and has no financial or other incentives to promote any product brand over another.
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 solar panels worldwide as of June 2020.
Trina Solar’s have set 20 world records for silicon solar cell efficiency and solar module power output since 2011 and have produced 852 approved patents. It’s quite clear that they’re an industry leading solar energy manufacturer with a good track record.
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.
Read Solar Choice’s extensive Trina solar panels review below:
Key Panel Indicators
|Trina Solar Panel|
|Bloomberg Tier 1 Ranking||Yes|
|DNV GL Top Performer||Yes (1/6)|
|Office location in Australia||Yes|
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 LID + LETID test 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 Australia head office is located in Sydney.
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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 Size||Average Fully Installed Cost|
Important Note: Prices will vary depending on location, inverter brand and which installer is used
Trina Solar Panels – Points of Difference
There are many solar panels out there, what makes Trina solar panels stand out?
The large solar panel manufacturer
Trina Solar is one of the largest solar manufacturers in the world. By the end of April 11th, 2022, their annual production capacity cumulative shipments of PV modules had exceeded 100GW.
Trina has 3 manufacturing plants located in China, Thailand and Vietnam, it is reported that they have a 50GW+ company-wide production capacity. This makes them a top 5 solar panel manufacturer globally.
Vertically integrated supply chain
Trina also owns most steps in the vertical supply chain to produce a solar panel including producing ingots, silicon wafers and solar cells which are all upstream components of solar panels. This strategy enables them to keep greater control over the supply and quality of each step of the process.
Trina Solar Panel Technologies
Trina currently has 261 solar panels approved by the Clean Energy Council in Australia under the name “Trina Solar Co Ltd”. This is a requirement to be eligible for the federal STC solar rebate.
Currently, in Australia Trina offers three series of panels Honey, Tallmax, and Vertex. And several sub-series for each one.
The Honey Series was Trina’s most popular solar panel in Australia striking a balance between efficiency and quality along with an affordable price. Available with both monocrystalline and multicrystalline cells, the Trina Honey solar panel with 120 half-cut cells is perfect for small rooftop systems. All panels in the Honey Series come with Trina’s 12-year product and 25-linear power output warranty. This series included the panels that were ranked as top performers by PV Evolution Labs testing. They also provide all-black options for the customer (Honey Black Series). However, only the series of Honey M (360 – 380 WP) solar panels are on sale now in Australia, the other series are discontinued.
Vertex Series are the most used Trina solar panels in the Australian market now. There are several sub-series including Vertex S, Vertex S+, Vertex N, Vertex Backsheet and Vertex Bifacial. All the Vertex Series solar panels use monocrystalline solar cells which means the Silicon used is purer than polycrystalline.
The Vertex S is the solar panel directed at the residential market as the smaller dimensions enable the panel to cater to more complex residential roofs. There are two versions of the Vertex S solar panel which could be considered a standard and a premium option.
The standard Vertex S solar panel features 120 half-cut monocrystalline cells giving the solar panel an overall dimension of 1754mm x 1096mm including the aluminium frame. The panel total output ranges from 380W to 405W with a maximum efficiency of up to 21.1% which is impressive. This panel offers a 15 year product warranty which is slightly ahead of most panels in the market which offer 12 years.
The premium Vertex S solar panel utilises 144 monocrystalline solar cells giving the overall panel slightly larger dimensions at 1762mm x 1134mm. As a result these panels watt ratings range from 405W to 435W and a higher maximum efficiency up to 21.8% which is approaching the best on the market. The big kicker for these panels is they come with an additional 10 years on the product warranty giving a total 25 year warranty which matches the best options on the Australian market for residential customers.
Tallmax and Duomax Series
These two series were one of the main products of Trina, however, similar to Honey Series, only Tallmax M (435 – 460W) are now less commonly found in the Australian market as their production has been discontinued.
Tallmax and Duomax series are the predecessors of Vertex Series and you can see some Tallmax & Duomax in Trina’s new products with higher efficiency and better performance.
Trina’s Warranty Offer for Australian Customers
Solar panels in the Australian market come with a performance warranty and a product warranty.
The product warranty is designed to cover manufacturing faults in the panel that leads to damage or malfunction and is typically 10-12 years for most solar panel manufacturers. Trina offers a range of product warranties starting from 10 years for the cheaper options and ranging to up to 30 years for their bifacial solar panels directed at ground-mounted solar projects. Trina Solar have a new ‘Vertex’ solar panel range for the Australian residential market which offers a 25-year product warranty.
The performance warranty guarantees a certain level of output for the lifetime of the panel – typically guaranteeing 80-82% of the nameplate output after 25 years. Trina’s solar panels come with a range of different performance warranties ranging from the typical 84.7% after 25 years up to 87.4% for their dual glass monocrystalline Vertex S+ and Vertex N series.
Looking through Trina’s warranty documentation, there is a documented process to claim a warranty and adequate remedies available after an assessment has been made. Given Trina have an Australian office to assist with this process, customers would have a clear path to access a claim even if their installer is no longer around to help.
See Trina’s full warranty documentation here.
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Trina Solar Panel Specifications
|Trina Solar Honey M||Trina Solar Vertax S|
|Power Output||375 Wp||400 Wp|
|Nominal Power Voltage||34.4 V||34.2 V|
|Annual Power Degradation||0.55%||0.5%|
|Dimensions||1763 x 1040 x 35mm
|1754 x 1096 x 30mm
|Product Warranty||12 years||15 years|
|Performance Warranty||25 years||25 years|
|Operational Temperature Range||-40°C to 85°C||-40°C to 85°C|
Pros and Cons of Trina Solar Panels
- Safe option as they are a large manufacturing capacity and healthy financial position
- Vertically integrated manufacturing process
- Have a local office in Sydney, Australia
- Having a lot of models available in the Australian market we have had feedback it is confusing for customers to determine what reviews are relevant to what they have been quoted
Should I Buy Trina Solar Panels?
Trina Solar is a tried and tested option for both commercial and residential projects, and in our opinion you can’t go wrong with Trina. There is quite a range in terms of quality between the different models they have available in Australia, so to determine if your quote is good value we recommend getting the datasheet from your installer and doing your research.
Feel free to contact Solar Choice for some impartial expert advice on your quote.
Trina Solar Panels Used On UOQ 1.2MW Installation
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.
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Reviews from Australians who have installed Trina Panels
Look great and so far no problems.
20 Trina Vertex S+ NEG9.28
Working fine after 3 months time will tell 30 year warranty
The real problem I am advised is the inverter. The problem with the panels is that they are influences by shade on any one area drags down the entire installation, although shading is not an issue here. It was prior to installation but was rectified. Apparently, a separate controller for each panel should have been supplied. I even relocated satellite dish to try and improve performance impact, but it made no difference
Great value. Very efficient.
Don't have enough statistic to have an opinion.
Early days but no drama to date.
Was recommended them as a great fit working together with Fronius inverter. Even in winter we have already generated more power than I would have expected
they seem to be going well
As yet cannot really comment but seems fine.
Excellent quality for the price. Really good value.
The Trina Solar panels are a medium quality product that have good back up and a long life with good efficiency. They are a well known and recommended brand.
good so far
All working fine