Longi Solar Panels: An Independent Review by Solar Choice

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LONGi Solar – Company History

LONGi Solar was founded in February 2000 as Xi’an LONGi Silicon Materials Corporation. The company’s initial focus was on the development and production of single crystal (mono) silicon wafers that are used in many major solar panel manufacturers. After entering PV Module production LONGi have been referred to as the fastest growing PV module manufacturer skyrocketing to an estimated 18GW of production capacity in 2020 (according to Bloomberg NEF) making them the largest Solar Panel manufacturer in the world. Despite this LONGi continues to produce more silicon wafers than solar panels with a strategic goal of reaching a production capacity of 45GW of wafers by the end of 2020.

LONGi’s manufacturing plants are located in China, India and Malaysia. LONGi Solar Panels entered the Australian market in 2017 and have since captured a significant portion of market share. LONGi was the only Solar Panel manufacturer to be named as AAA-rated by the PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings in the Q2 2020 rankings.

 

Key Indicators

LONGi Solar Panels
Bloomberg Tier 1 RankingTier 1
PV Evolution Labs Top PerformerYes (4/4)
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 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.

LONGi are named as a top performer in all 4 tests in the last 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. 

LONGi’s Australian office is located in North Sydney.

 

How much do LONGi Solar Panels cost?

Based on Solar Choice’s database we have access to average costs as an indicative guide. The below prices include:

  • Full turnkey Solar System with LONGi Solar Panels
  • Installation from a pre-vetted reputable installer from Solar Choice’s network
  • The STC rebate and GST
System SizeAverage Fully Installed Cost
10kW$9,170
8KW$8,604
6kW$5,493

 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.

 

What makes LONGi solar panes different – Product Features

LONGi only produces monocrystalline PERC solar panels as they have been focused on producing single crystal (mono) silicon wafers since the early 2000s. LONGi’s modules fit into the mid-tier of solar panels that are high quality but don’t offer 25 year product warranties and a premium price. Generally their panels are more efficient due to leading cell technology that their piers at a similar price range.

Slower Power Degradation

LONGi Solar Panels retain more power capacity through their lifetime with a warrantied degradation rate of 0.55% per year for the Mono module and 0.45% per year for the Bificial module compared to a traditional degradation rate of 0.7%. For the Hi-MO3 and Hi-MO4 mono modules this means they will be producing 1.85% more after 10 years and 3.35% more after 20 years.

LONGi’s Hi-MO3 has an industry standard 25 year performance warranty and 10 year product warranty, while the newer Hi-MO4 series offers an additional 2 years with a 12 year product warranty.

 

Full Range of LONGi Solar Modules Available in Australia

The majority of LONGi’s solar panels are approved by the Clean Energy Council (listed under the parent company LONGi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd) for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme – Australia’s home solar rebate program.

These include the following models:

  • LONGi LR4-72 (425W – 455W)
  • LONGi LR4-60 (350W – 380W)
  • LONGi LR6-72 (375W – 395W)
  • LONGi LR6-60 (310W – 325W)
  • LONGi LR6-72OPD (390W – 410W)
  • LONGi LR6-60OPH (340W – 360W)

 

Comparison of LONGi Solar Panel Specifications (common modules)

LONGi LR4-60HPH (Hi-MO3)LONGi LR6-60HPH (Hi-MO4)
Cell Number60 Cells120 Cells (Half Cut)
Cell TypeMonocrystalline PERCMonocrystalline PERC
Power Output330Wp380Wp
Power Density199 W/m²209 W/m²
Panel Efficiency19.9%20.9%
Annual Power Degradation0.55%0.55%
Dimensions1,672 mm x 991 mm x 35 mm1,755 mm x 1,038 mm x 35 mm
Weight16.8 kg19.5 kg
Product Warranty10 Years12 Years
Operational Temperature Range-40°C to 85°C

 

-40°C to 85°C

 

Made inChinaChina

 

So, are LONGi Solar Panels a good option for me?

 LONGi Solar Panels are a great reliable option for a customer looking for an affordable mid-range panel from a company with a solid financial backing and reputation. Given their size, if your solar installer goes out of business, you have a very good chance of claiming warranty directly from the LONGi as they are established in Australia and are the biggest manufacturer in the world.

  

Example of a LONGi Commercial Solar Project – Numurkah Solar Farm (Victoria, Aus)

  • Date: Q3, 2019
  • Type of Application: Utility-scale solar farm
  • System Size: 128 MWp

LONGi were selected by as the solar panel manufacturer by French renewable energy producer Neoen. The project features 373,839 ground-mounted solar panels spanning 515 hectares. The farm has long-term supply agreements with the Victorian Government and will power Melbourne’s tram network and Laverton Steelworks.

LONGi Solar Panel example project victorian government contract