Note: Solar Choice is not a solar installer and has no financial or other incentives to promote any product brand over another.
Overview of BYD – Company History
BYD stands for “Build Your Dream”. It is a Chinese manufacturing company headquartered in Shenzhen, China, founded by Chuanfu Wnag in February 1995. Currently, in Australia BYD is best known for its solar batteries, however, the company also manufactures commercial and passenger electric vehicles, rail transport and solar panels.
In 2002 and 2011, BYD is listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, respectively, with revenue and market capitalization each exceeding RMB 100 billion. It currently has more than 225,000 employees in total. Whilst being an unquestionably large company, renewable energy (including batteries) forms 7% of the total product revenue. There is no mention of Solar Panels on BYD’s website which focuses on their other product range.
BYD entered the Australian solar market in 2013 and currently has an office based in Lane Cove, NSW. They operate photovoltaic module production plants in China and Brazil with their annual production capacity noted as 1.5GW in 2016 which would characterise them as a small to medium-scale solar panel manufacturer.
Read more about our in-depth BYD Solar Panels Review below:
|BYD Australia Pty. Ltd.Solar Panels|
|Bloomberg Tier 1 Ranking||No|
|PV Evolution Labs Top Performer||No|
|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.
BYD panels are not in the Bloomberg Tier 1.
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.
BYD panels are currently not ranked in the PV Evolution Labs Top Performers
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.
BYD currently has offices located in 11/9 Chaplin Drive, Lane Cove, NSW, 2066, Australia under name of BYD Australia Pty. Ltd.
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BYD Solar Panels – Points of Difference
There are many solar panels out there, what makes BYD solar panels stand out?
Reliable Parent Company
BYD is a company that is known for its innovative and sustainable products, including electric vehicles, batteries, and solar panels. As BYD Solar is one of the subsidiaries of BYD group, it can benefit from the expertise and resources of its parent company.
BYD’s extensive experience in the electric vehicle and battery industries has given it a deep understanding of energy storage and management, which has been applied to the development of BYD Solar’s solar panels and energy storage solutions.
BYD Solar Panel Technologies
BYD Solar currently has 40 solar panels approved by the Clean Energy Council in Australia under the name “BYD Company Limited”. This is a requirement to be eligible for the federal STC solar rebate.
However, the below 2 solar panel models are currently all that is available at the time of writing this article:
BYD MLK Series
The MLK Series includes 5 busbars and a half-cut solar cell that adopts new technology to improve the solar panel efficiency of modules, offers a better aesthetic appearance, making it suitable for rooftop installations.
It has 108 – 144 monocrystalline solar half-cut cells with a power output ranging from 395W to 545W depending on the model. The efficiency of the MLK series can reach up to 21.1%, which is competitive among other leading solar panel manufacturers.
In comparison, the MGK series would be considered a more cost-effective option than the MLK series. Not quite reaching the same technical performance and offering solar panels with output ranging from 360 watts to 460 watts.
Like the MLK series, the MGK series also has a bifacial option which has a glass back sheet and offers better warranty terms for customers.
BYD Solar’s Warranty Offer for Australian Customers
Solar panels come with a product and performance warranty. The product warranty is designed to cover manufacturing faults in the panel that leads to damage or malfunction and is typically 10 years for most solar panel manufacturers. All BYD panels offer a 12-year standard product warranty which is towards what would be considered the minimum expectation of the solar panel market.
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. BYD Solar offers 25 years performance warranty for all ranges with a guaranteed output of 80.2% (for monocrystalline modules) after 25 years which again leaves them at the minimum expectation of the market. BYD’s bifacial panels offer a longer 30-year performance warranty with a lower maximum degradation rate of 0.5% per year after the first year.
Whilst having an Australian office, BYD’s warranty document states that you would need to contact Gavin Tong at their Chinese office to claim warranty.
“In the event that Customer claims any warranty service which is covered by this
Warranty, customer shall immediately notify BYD in writing through below contact
Address: No.999 Xiangjing Road, Songjiang District, Shanghai. 201611, P. R. China”
Given there is no solar panel or warranty claim information on BYD’s website, if your solar installer is no longer around, this may present a challenge for Australian consumers.
Pros and Cons of BYD Solar Panels
Comparison of BYD Solar Panel Specifications (common modules)
|BYD MLK SERIES |
|BYD MGK SERIES |
|Cell Number||108 half-cut cells||144 half-cut cells|
|Nominal Power Voltage||30.79V||41.58V|
|Dimensions||1722 x 1134 x 35 mm||2094 x 1038 x 35 mm|
|Weight||22.1 kg||24.1 kg|
|Product Warranty||12 years||12 years|
|Operational Temperature Range||25 Years||25 Years|
|Operational Temperature Range||-40℃ to +85℃||-40℃ to +85℃|
So, Should I buy BYD Solar Panels?
We would consider BYD solar panels to be aimed at the budget end of the market. The solar panels they are currently offering in Australia measure up towards the lower end of the market in terms of technical specifications. Compared to most small-scale solar panel manufacturers, BYD might present a more bankable option as a bigger company with a strong and stable presence in several other markets.
If within your means and budget, we would recommend spending a bit more money to target a Bloomberg tier 1 solar panel manufacturer with a bigger company focus on producing high-quality solar panels and a better warranty claim process for Australian consumers.
Example of a BYD Commercial Solar Project
The only example listed on BYD’s website of a solar project in the Australian market is the power station with a rated power of 75.01MW in Queensland. The project is the result of cooperation between BYD and Childers solar Pty Ltd, The project uses BYD PV module 330phk, located in Queens, Australia 4660 Isis River, Lanzhou.
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