Are Tindo Solar panels any good? Are Tindo solar panels Australian made?
At GI Energy we can install any solar panel for your home or business. This means we are able to write honest reviews expressing our genuine opinion, without having to be biased due to holding stock of Tindo solar panels, or any other solar panel! This article details the opinion of our Business Development Director, who has worked in various roles from consultancy, business development and commercial project management in the PV industry since 2009.
Warranty and tech support today: 8.5
Warranty and tech support long-term: 6
Value for money: 7
Total Rating: 7.2/10
Extra Ozzy Awesomeness Rating: 11/10
Firstly, GI Energy are an Australian owned company and we are proudly member number 1777 of the Australian Owned Network. We have always been 100% Australian owned and all our business activities are conducted in Australia.
Wherever we install, we use local installation teams and source electrical balance of system equipment from local wholesalers. Essentially, we believe it is important to look after each other and serve local economies as much as possible.
Tindo Solar are an Australian owned manufacturer who manufacturer very good quality solar panels in Adelaide. Lots of the components are imported from overseas, including the cells, but they are assembled here in Australia.
Nearly every other solar panel manufacturer is from China, with some (Q Cells, LG and Hyundai) being Korean owned, and REC being manufactured partly in Singapore. We have a detailed article here, showing where other brands are from and which other brands are NOT Chinese made.
Australians are a patriotic breed, and we are a patriotic company and very proud of our Ozzy ownership. Why then, have we only installed a handful of Tindo Solar panels over the years, and tens of thousands of Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Singaporean, German and Japanese made solar panels?
At GI Energy we like to look at the following criteria for all solar panels:
- Who is the manufacturer, and will they be around to help me if I need to claim under warranty?
- Are the panels any good in the real world?
- How much do they cost? Are they good value for money?
So, let’s take a look at the manufacturer
Tindo solar are the only company who manufacturer solar panels in Australia. They were first formed in 2011 and were more recently purchased by Cool or Cozy insulation and energy efficiency company in 2017.
They have a manufacturing capacity of 60MWs per annum and their solar panel is called the Tindo Karra.
When comparing to major global competitors they are a newer company than most, as the chart below shows.
When you compare Tindos trading history to brands like LG, Hyundai, Phono Solar, Q Cells and SunPower you can see there is a drastic difference. The chart also shows the diversification factor, with brands that are heavily diversified to the right-hand side, and brands that are stand-alone solar panel manufacturers on the left-hand side. We prefer brands that are diversified as they are more likely to be around in the long-term. The simple fact is: if solar demand drops significantly then it will be difficult to remain profitable if all you do is sell solar panels. Diversified brands that offer a wide range of products and services are more likely to stand the test of time and ride out periods where supply outstrips demand.
Tindo are a very small company in the solar panel manufacturing world, which may leave them vulnerable in the really long-term picture. To put this in perspective, the list below shows the leading solar panel manufacturers globally in terms of volume shipped:
- Jinko Solar – 14.2GW
- JA Solar – 10.3GW
- Trina Solar – 9.7GW
- Longi Solar – 9.0GW
- Canadian Solar – 8.5GW
- Hanwha Q Cells – 7.3GW
- Risen Energy – 7.0GW
- First Solar – 5.5GW
- GCL – 4.8GW
- Shunfeng Photovoltaic – 4.0GW
The top of the chart here is Jinko Solar, who manufacture in China. They ship 14.2GW of solar panels annually, and this figure is growing year on year. This is 14,200MWs of solar panels. Tindo are capable of manufacturing 60MW. This is approximately 24,000% more than Tindo.
Please note: We are not suggesting that just because Jinko make more panels, they are better than Tindo Solar in any way. I am just giving this example to put in in perspective where Tindo Solar sit in the overall global landscape.
Because of the size of the company, the lack of any diversification and the relatively short trading history, they are more exposed than a lot of competitors and potentially less safe with regards to long-term warranty support.
Are Tindo Solar Karra panels any good?
The short answer is yes. They make a very good solar panel and it is absolutely fantastic they are made here in Australia.
All installer reports are good in terms of how the panels are made. They seem to produce really good energy and the build quality is top drawer. The quality control in the factory is arguably always going to better than that of a massive Chinese manufacturer.
The Tindo Karra solar panel is currently a 315w mono perc panel with an efficiency rating of 18.9%. The most efficient solar panel at the time of writing is the SunPower Maxeon at 22.6%. This article explains what the efficiency rating means.
While the overall build quality is very good, the technical characteristics of the Tindo Karra panel are only a little above average. The temperature coefficient rating is 0.41%, which means that for every degree over 25 degrees Celsius the cells get to, the panel production will drop by 0.41%. Compare this to Hyundai’s Singled panel which has a rating of 0.34%. The power tolerance is also fairly average. Power tolerance means that if a panel is tested and the power tolerance is +3w, then a 300w panel will test at least 303 watts. Tindo panels have a +/ – tolerance of 5 watts. This means the same 300w panel could test 295w, or up to 305w. Most panels these days have only a positive power tolerance, Rather than a +/ – rating.
So, the tech data is a mix of positives and negatives, what about the price?
How much do Tindo Solar panels cost?
Tindo are quite an expensive panel, as you would expect from an Australian made product. They are not a great deal cheaper than SunPower Maxoen panels, which are the most efficient and often classed as the best solar panels in the world. They are also in the same category as LG solar panels which come from one of the largest and most diversified manufactures globally. We install lots of panels that are just above the mid-price point mark at GI Energy, as you can get a good mix of value for money, performance and reliability backed by large diversified manufacturers by spending a bit more than middle of the road money. If you compare Tindo to this category, expect to pay approximately $0.30 per watt extra. For a typical 6.6kW home solar array, this works out to almost $2000 extra.
Despite the pitfalls mentioned above, we are a big advocate if Tindo Solar panels. We love the fact they are manufactured in Australia and they do make a good quality panel. Before buying Tindo Solar panels for your home or business you need to be aware that they are a small business, and you may be more open to difficulties with warranty claims in the long-term future.
Additionally, they are quite expensive, and you can get solar panels from larger manufacturers for a lot less money, that will often have better characteristics and support.
Tindo are not for everyone. If you do not mind spending a bit more for your solar project and you are aware of what you are getting, then we are extremely happy to supply and install them.
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