Winaico Solar Panels – Independent Review

Winaico solar panel independent review

Overview of Winaico – Company History

Winaico was founded in 2008 and since then the Winaico brand has spread across Europe. The company emerged from Win Win Precision Technology Co. who have been specialising in development of semiconductors for the solar industry since 2003. Winaico is unique in the solar world being a family run enterprise with a corporate philosophy focused on driving excellence, integrity and delivering quality solar solutions. Winaico is Taiwan’s largest solar module manufacturer and compared to the giant Chinese manufacturers which dominate much of the market Winaico is a much small player with a single manufacturing facility of 180MW annual capacity.

Another unique feature of Winaico is they do not distribute solar panels through wholesalers but rather deliver directly to installers, solar technicians and project managers. This enables complete control over the handling of its products and builds a relationship with the end users and installers. In 2012 Winaico opened offices in the US, Australian and Japanese markets. They have also recently been awarded the 2018 ‘Top PV brand’ seal in Germany.

 

Key Indicators

Winaico Group Solar Panels
Bloomberg Tier 1 RankingNo
PV Evolution Labs Top PerformerNo
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 the company. This should give you an idea if the company is a large, well-known manufacturer. Despite Winaico’s absence from this tier 1 list, they are well-known in the industry as a high-quality performer. Bloomberg’s assessment criteria is not public, so we cannot comment on why Winaico has appeared on previous tier 1 lists but not in the latest Q2 2020 list.

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.

Winaico were not included on the most recent PV Evolution Labs 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. Winaico currently has an office located in Sydney.

 

How much do Winaico 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 Winaico 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$7,000
8KW$9,500
10kW$11,000

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

 

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

 

About Winaico Solar Panel and PV Cell Technology

Winaico manufacture panels using both Poly and Monocrystalline cellswinaico solar panel monocrystalline and were an early adopter of the PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) technology which has now become a new industry standard for high efficiency cells. Winaico continue to focus on higher efficiency monocrystalline panels with the release of the new 330W to 340W WSP-MX PERC series in 2019.

A further unique feature for Winaico Solar Panels is the patented HeatCap™ technology. This was brought about to reduce the likelihood of cell micro cracks forming which is a common problem due to errors such as walking on the panels during installation or handling. The HeatCap™ technology won several industry awards and proved to reduce micro cracking by around 20% in real world testing conducted by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

High strength frame design

The Winaico panels are built with some of strongest frames on the market with very deep extruded aluminum channel sections made from high strength 6000 series aluminum plus tough corner insert sections to provide greater torsional stiffness than the common mitre cut corner design used by most manufacturers. The new corner inserts also feature water drainage channels to help reduce dirt and dust build up which can cause partial shading and lead to hotspot formation over a prolonged time.

Winaico’s focus has always been on extremely tough and durable panel design and was one of the first manufacturers to successfully pass the TÜV-Rheinland’s hail test which is known as the toughest impact hail test.

Winaico panels were also installed at the Desert Knowledge testing facility in central Australia in 2012 and are some of the highest performing panels with the lowest recorded degradation rate out of the 30+ modules under testing.

Performance and Reliability

Winaico is one of only a few manufacturers who automatically send the customer a copy of the EL flash test photographs for every panel purchased. The EL testing is an electro-luminescence test using a special X-ray camera which can detect any faults, micro-cracks, soldering errors or other potential issues during manufacture. Winaico can ensure quality by examining all cells and finished laminates for issues not visible to the naked eye thus ensuring 100% quality control.

Winaico pride themselves on using a single state of the art production facility located in Taiwan. They use some of the highest-level quality production controls with 100% optical, mechanical and electrical inspections throughout the manufacturing process.

 

Winaico Offers 25 Year Product and Performance Warranty

Winaico offer a longer 15-year manufacturer’s or product warranty which is extendable up to 25 years upon registration online (as of 1st of July 2020). This makes Winaico solar panels suitable for those customers who want to put a system on the roof with no concerns of the durability and reliability through an expected life of 25 years.

The 25-year linear performance warranty is on par with most other manufacturers and ensures an output of at least 97 % of rated performance in the first year and an annual power degradation no more than 0.7 % in the following 24 years.

 The service record is where Winaico rises above the crowd to be considered one of the most trusted manufacturers on the market. The service in the event of a fault is very fast and Winaico claim to have had only 16 recorded panel failures out of the 250,000 panels distributed around Australia in the last 7 years.

Two years free Insurance

 Winaico also offer a unique insurance policy which is free for 2 years on all solar panels sold in Australia. This insures the complete solar installation from any kind of material damage, interruption of service and possible reduction in yield. This covers such events as fire, natural disasters, storms and hail, theft, operational errors and even damage from rodents.

 

Full Range of Solar Modules Available in Australia

The majority of Winaico’s solar panels are approved by the Clean Energy Council (under the parent company Win Win Precision Technology Co Ltd) for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is Australia’s home solar rebate program.

These include the following models:

 

Winaico Solar Panel Specifications

WSP-340MX, MONOWST-330M6
Cell Number60 Cells60 Cells
Cell TypeMonocrystalline Silicon Cells, 161.7 mm x 161.7 mmMonocrystalline Silicon Cells, 158.75 mm x 158.75 mm
Power Output340Wp330Wp
Nominal Operating Voltage32.85V31.48V
Power Density262 W/m²237 W/m²
Panel Efficiency19.4%19.84%
Annual Power Degradation0.7%0.7%
Dimensions1,705 mm x 1,028 mm x 35 mm1,665 mm x 999 mm x 35 mm
Weight20.6 kg18.6 kg
Warranty15 Years15 Years
Operational Temperature Range-40°C to 85°C

 

-40°C to 85°C

 

Made inTaiwanTaiwan

  

Summary

Winaico may not be as famous as other high-quality brands but it does have a very solid reputation for quality and reliability which is backed by proven real world performance. Winaico has been very consistent as well with little or no failures or control issues. Like all quality solar products, Winaico do come at a higher price than much of the competition but paying slightly more is worth it for the longer-term gains and peace of mind.

 

Example of a Winaico Commercial Solar Project – Royal Dekker Roof Top System

  • Date: Q2, 2017
  • Winaico Model: WST‐260P6
  • Type of Application: Supplier
  • System Size: 9.3 MWp

WINAICO, a subsidiary of Taiwan’s biggest solar module manufacturer Win Win Precision Technology Co, Ltd., has – as already reported in July last year – received the order to provide Holland’s largest roof-top system with solar modules.

The photovoltaic system, consisting of more than 35.000 WINAICO solar modules WST-260P6, is spread over 26 roofs. With a total output of 9.3 MWp on a roof area of more than 155.000 square meters, the solar plant is Holland’s largest roof-top system. The project is carried out by the Dutch company Royal Dekker together with other system suppliers and installation partners.

9.3MW install in holland royal dekker