Jinko Solar Panels Review
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 Jinko solar panels, or any other solar panel! This article details the opinion of our Business Development Director, who has 12-years experience in the PV industry.
Warranty and tech support today: 7.5
Warranty and tech support long-term: 6
Value for money: 7
Total Rating: 6.9/10
The image above shows a recent 33kW Jinko Solar installation completed by the GI Energy team.
Jinko Solar panels are one of the more popular and longer serving solar panels in the Australian market. You probably won’t be surprised to learn they are a Chinese manufacturer as the branding and company name “Jinko” proudly promotes their Asian heritage.
Before we go any further, there are thousands of Chinese solar panel manufacturers and typically they have a bad name. The “Made in China” brand in the solar industry certainly doesn’t scream high quality at first glance. However, there are Chinese solar panels and then there are Chinese solar panels… if you know what I mean. So, if you are considering Jinko Solar for your home or business solar project please take a deep breath of relief as they certainly do not fall into the terrible quality category that many Chinese manufacturers do.
But does this mean they are any good?
Well, there are a few main boxes we always want to tick when assessing a solar panel:
- Who is the manufacturer and are they going to be able to help with long-term warranty support?
- How will the solar panel actually perform when its installed on my roof?
- How much will it cost me?
Let’s start with the manufacturer. As we already know Jinko Solar are a Chinese manufacturer. In fact, they are VERY large Chinese manufacturer. They have 5 different production facilities in China as well smaller facilities in Malaysia and the USA. The bulk of the solar production is done in the Chinese facilities. In 2019 they shipped 14.2GW of solar panels around the world, making them the largest solar panel manufacturer by volume alone in 2019.
This is clearly a big tick in the box for Jinko Solar. A big company usually means a strong balance sheet and a bright future. The only downside here is that Jinko Solar are nowhere near as diversified as some of the other popular solar panel brands available. What I mean by this is: They only manufacturer solar panels.
If you compare this to other manufacturers like LG, Phono, Q Cells, Hyundia or even BYD who all have multiple revenue streams from a wide range of industries and services, it makes Jinko look slightly less favourable. What I am getting at here is: If the demand for solar panels globally drops significantly, and 100% of Jinkos revenue comes from solar panels, then you may question what happens to that big balance sheet.
To be clear, I am not suggesting Jinko are financially unstable or even that they will be in the future. But the “solar boom” won’t last forever and eventually the global demand will drop. If you are a diversified business and solar panels only represent 10% of your revenue them this drop will most likely hit you a lot less than it would if solar panels represented 100% of your revenue. For this reason, we try to recommend risk diversified manufacturers for our projects where possible.
So, A big tick the box for the size of the manufacturer, but to be a perfect tick we prefer a manufacturer to have more legs encase one falls!
So, the next question is how will they actually perform? Well, Jinko Solar are a volume manufacturer and they are clearly extremely good at what they do. To ship over 14GW of solar panels in a year is an incredible achievement. There focus is on volume, which drives down cost. This means the focus is pushed more towards a mass market solution, rather than a premium solution. As a result, their solar panels are suited for someone shopping for a good value solar system, rather than one that will be the most efficient on the block!
Jinko make a lot of different solar panels and some are more efficient than others, but generally speaking they are focused more of the lower end of the market in terms of pricing and efficiency. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as you know what you are getting. If you are being sold a Jinko Solar system and being told it is a “premium” or “top drawer” product then you should probably question the salesperson. However, if you are being told you are getting an economy product for a good price from a massive Chinese manufacture, and that is what you want, then full steam ahead!
At the time of writing they also only offer a 12-year product warranty which is a bit out of date these days. Lots of other manufacturers have increased this to 15-years and some (LG, Q Cell, Hyundai) all the way to 25-years. There is one exception this with the Jinko Cheetah panel, which has a 20-year product warranty.
Lastly is the cost issue. I have already mentioned that Jinko are a volume manufacturer and as a result they are very well priced. This is in fact probably Jinko Solar’s best-selling point!
So, to summarise; if you are looking for a very well-priced solar panel from a massive Chinese solar panel manufacturer then Jinko tick that box. The only downside is they are not diversified like some other manufacturers which may (or may not) be an issue in the long-term for support and warranties. If you are looking for a more premium manufacturer then Jinko may not be for you!