Jinko solar panels – are they any good? What (if anything) sets them apart from other panel manufacturers and most importantly, should you buy Jinko? Well of course that last bit is up to you… But here’s our 2 cents:
The new (Jinko) kid on the block – Jinko “Eagle” Solar Panels
Now that many solar panels are 72 cell (300W+), of course it’s all the rage even though it makes little difference to just about everyone.
The 72 cell Jinko Eagle module comes in at 335W a piece which is a decent output. And although the wattage has changed recently, many things haven’t…
Jinko Solar Panels Company Overiew
According to their website… This is what Jinko is all about:
JinkoSolar is a global leader in the solar PV industry with production operations in Jiangxi and Zhejiang Provinces in China and sales and marketing offices in Shanghai and Beijing, China; Munich, Germany; Bologna, Italy; Zug, Switzerland; San Francisco, the United States; Queensland, Australia; Ontario, Canada; Singapore; Tokyo, Japan; and Cape Town, South Africa.
Jinko are a large company… No doubt about that. They even have an office in Brissy! Well, when we say “office”… Go and check it out for yourself. A small presence is better than nothing I suppose.
Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. was founded in 2006, so that gives them 8 years in business now which is pretty impressive. What’s not so impressive is their ethical and environmental history and values.
Jinko Solar Panels Controversy
Just a few years back, in 2011 Jinko was found to have caused local environmental devastation to a nearby river with highly toxic fluoride waste chemicals having been inadequately managed.
Even though the factory in question had been assessed as “needing improvement”, not enough was done to fix the issue. It seems even today, Jinko is lacking a commitment to it’s environmental values, stating only equality, justice and commitment as their primary concerns.
What About Jinko Solar Panels?! Are They Any Freaking Good?!
OK, alright, well sound environmental practices should be the cornerstone of any reputable solar panel business, but back to business. Are Jinko solar panels any good… Here’s what we found:
2012 Photon test rankings:
- Jinko ranked #9 overall in the Photon module yield test in 2012 with a 190W mono panel
- Ranked #11 in Photon 2012 with their 235W poly panel
- And #88 in Photon 2012 with their 255W mono panel
So, solid rankings so far. Certainly better than Trina solar panels.
2013 Photon test rankings:
- The Jinko 190W mono panel held strong in position #13 overall
- Jinkos 275W poly came #12 overall in Photon 2013
- The Jinko 235W poly from 2012 dropped to #77
- The 255W panel is nowhere to be seen
Definitely a strong contender in the Photon tests.
Any performance difference city to city?
Differences in performance are significant across Australia. But that’s not just Jinko solar panels. Solar Brisbane is pretty much the same as Solar Perth in terms of performance. Lower down in Melbourne, Hobart etc kWh yield is less. Up North in North QLD and central QLD/NT have 6kWh/day + per kW! But panel-specific, not-really. In hotter climates, you’ll want a panel with an excellent temperature co-efficient (low).
Here’s what’s good about Jinko Solar Panels:
- Strong independent test results all around
- Massive company
- They are open and honest about who they are and what they do (mostly…)
- Their website is clear and easy to navigate
- The solar panel specs measure up
Here’s what’s not good about Jinko Solar Panels:
- Poor environmental policy lead to serious environmental consequences in 2011
- They had good performance in Photon, although their JKM250P-60 (250W Poly) panel wasn’t in Photon and the closest thing to it lost a lot of ground in 2013
- Their warranties are not as strong as some other panels
Overall, Jinko make pretty good solar panels. As a company, they have had serious troubles with environmental performance and this has had major implications. Overall though, if you’re looking for an awesome solar panel at a low price, Jinko are one of the best panels on the market in Australia.