Winaico Solar Panels: An Independent Review by Solar Choice

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

Overview of Winaico – Company History

Winaico was founded in 2008 and has expanded firstly into Europe, and in 2012 opened offices in the US, Australian and Japanese markets.  Winaico is one of the few family-owned businesses in the solar panel manufacturing industry with a strong ethos of delivering premium quality solutions. Winaico’s sole manufacturing facility is located in Taiwan with a small annual production capacity of 180MW.

In contrast to most solar panel manufacturers, Winaico does not distribute its products via wholesalers. Winaico has established direct relationships with solar installation companies to lower intermediary costs. As a result, the company has developed a list of ‘authorised installers’ across Australia who ensure that the panels are installed correctly and understand the benefits the panels have to offer.

Despite not featuring on the PV Evolution Labs top performers list, Winaico panels were awarded the “Top PV Brand” seal by EuPD Research in Germany in 2018.

Key Indicators

 Winaico Group Solar Panels
Bloomberg Tier 1 RankingNo
PV Evolution Labs Top Performer (2024)No
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.

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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

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

Winaico Solar Panels – Points of Difference

Winaico has 4 series of panels that they currently sell into the Australian market with an efficiency rating from a fairly low 17.13% (WST-P6) to an impressive 20.62% for their latest Gemini Series.

Except for the older WST-P6 series, all Winaico’s Australian panels feature an aesthetically pleasing black aluminium frame. The frame also features patented drainage holes which help reduce dirt and water build-up around the edges of the panel.

Quality Testing

Winaico strives to be ahead of the pack on the performance of its panels. One way they attempt to differentiate the production process is through the examination of all solar cells with an ‘electroluminescence test’. Effectively they take an X-ray image of the solar module which helps identify defects such as micro-cracks or hotspots that might not be visible to the naked eye. These practices are starting to be adopted by most of the tier 1 panel manufacturers.

Winaico also claims on the data sheets that their testing demonstrates that their panels perform over the times the IEC standard for Thermal Cycling and Damp Heat tests. This is encouraging to see but would be better to see these tests performed by an independent third party.

Winaico solar panel tests IEC standards

Winaico Solar Panels have also been installed at Desert Knowledge in Alice Spring in 2012. The electricity generation is published on their website for anyone to review. Although the project has received some criticism for its methodology, the Winaico panels are among some of the top performers.

Two Years of Free Insurance

Some customers can access two years of free insurance from Willis Towers Watson when purchasing Winaico solar panels. The insurance policy covers losses due to material damage, interruption of service or reduced yield. This could offer good value for projects relying heavily on solar power such as off-grid projects.

To our knowledge, no other solar panel manufacturer offers complimentary insurance.

Winaico Solar Panel Technologies

Winaico Solar currently has 120 solar panels approved by the Clean Energy Council in Australia under the name “Win Win Precision Technology Co Ltd”. This is a requirement to be eligible for the federal STC solar rebate.

Winaico Solar have focused on supplying dual-glass bifacial solar panels into the Australian market.

WST-NGX-D3 Series

Winaico dual glass bifacial WST-NGX-D3 435W solar panel close up shot

The WST-MGX-D3 Series uses monocrystalline N-type solar cells with a high maximum efficiency rating of up to 22.30%. This solar panel is rated at 435 watts and measures 1.7m by 1.1m making it an ideal fit for residential solar projects

The degradation rate for the WST-NGX-D3 is lower than most panels with the panel degrading at no more than 0.4% for years 2 to year 30, with a guaranteed 87.4% power output by the end of their 30th year.

The series also offers an ‘all black’ option where the solar cells and aluminium frame are black to offer customers a more aesthetically pleasing solution for their roof.

Winaico Solar’s Warranty Offer for Australian Customers

Solar panels come with a product and performance warranty. The product warranty covers manufacturing faults and defects while the performance warranty covers the rate at which the panel will degrade in performance over time. The product warranty is considered the most important and is what we recommend you use in your decision-making criteria.

Winaico offer a 30 year warranty on their dual glass solar panels. Winaico solar panels exceed the product warranty length of some of premium options on the Australian market which typically offer 25 years.

The 25-year linear performance warranty for most of their panels 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. However the WST-NGX-D3 30-year performance warranty features 99% in the first year and 0.4% p.a. for the subsequent 29 years offering some energy yield benefits towards the back end of the panels lifetime.

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

Read more about Winaico warranty terms and conditions

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Pros and Cons of Winaico Solar Panels

Pros Cons
  • Great customer satisfaction history
  • Have a local office in Sydney, Australia and excellent warranty claim service
  • Small market share compared with some of the other Chinese solar panel manufacturers
  • Not in Tier 1 listed Brand

Comparison of Winaico Solar Panel Specifications (common modules)

 Winaico Bifacial Dual Glass 435W
Cell Number108 Half Cut Cells
Cell TypeMonocrystalline, Bifacial, N-Type
Power Output435Wp
Nominal Operating Voltage33.01V
Power Density222.76 W/m²
Panel Efficiency22.3%
Annual Power Degradation0.4%
Dimensions1,722 mm x 1,134 mm x 35 mm
Weight21.4 kg
Product Warranty30 Years
Operational Temperature Range-40°C to 85°C
Made inTaiwan

So, should I buy Winaico Solar Panels?

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

Read more product reviews from Solar Choice

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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 Winaico Panels

Rated 4.83 from 6 reviews
6th May 2024
NT - 0812
5kW system

Seems to work OK

21st January 2024
QLD - 4074
5kW system

After nearly 7 years, they are still working well

7th July 2023
TAS - 7306
5kW system

no problems since installation

27th June 2023
3kW system

Very happy so far

28th March 2023
NSW - 2577
6kW system

They work well and consistently.

19th August 2022
QLD - 4209
6kW system

High end but not most expensive.