A Complete Review of WINAICO Solar Panels
The makers of WINAICO solar panel modules, WINAICO Deutschland GmbH, is a Taiwanese family-owned company founded in 2008. Its parent company is the semiconductor company, Win Win Precision Technology Co. Operating out of a single local manufacturing facility, with an annual production capacity of just about 200MW, WINAICO is Taiwan's largest manufacturer of solar panels. In comparison with the other brands from Mainland China, Trina, Suntech, JA, Jinko and LONGi who are the global market leaders of the solar industry, WINAICO can be considered a 'small' company.
WINAICO was the first manufacturer to use X-ray imaging to sort solar cells in a process called 'electroluminescence imaging' to identify micro-cracks and hotspots invisible to the naked eye. This has been adopted by most manufacturers. They automatically send a buyer customer a copy of the EL flash test photographs for every single panel purchased.
Learn About Micro-cracks, Hot Spots and Other Solar Cell Defects Here.
Monocrystalline PERC Cell Technology
WINAICO use only monocrystalline cells in making its modules. They were one of the early adopters of the PERC technology.
MBB and Half-Cut Adaptations
WINAICO's new GEMINI range features mono PERC half-cut cells with 9 busbars. This is now the technology that is used by all the leading manufacturers to increase performance and output, reduce internal losses due to the shading of the solar cells by the busbars and fingers and optimize efficiency.
In 2014, WINAICO’s parent company Win Win technology developed a proprietary technology that reduces the likelihood of the formation of micro-cracks. Outside the manufacturing plant, micro-cracks develop due to high wind, snow or hail loads, poor handling during shipping or walking on the panels during installation or cleaning. WINAICO coats the rear side of each cell with silicon carbide. This increases the strength of the solar cells by up to 20%. The coating stops the production of force fields, prevents the development of micro-cracks.
The HeatCap™ technology also insures the solar panels against strong winds up to 202km/h. WINAICO says it can protect a panel against a Category 4 hurricane. Also being a good conductor, by distributing heat evenly across each cell, the technology lowers the temperature of the cells and the formation of hot-spots.
The HeatCap™ technology is widely acclaimed in the industry. And its claims was certified by Taiwan's leading research institute, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).
Tough Aluminium Frames
WINAICO's panels uses a unique extruded aluminium design that guarantees maximum stability and protection against material fatigue for framing its modules. WINAICO's frames are some of the strongest in the industry.
WINAICO's solar panel reputation rests around the toughness and durability of their design. WINAICO manufactures its panels in the small city of Hsinchu, known for its strong winds. It can be postulated that WINAICO designed its panels to be able to withstand local winds. WINAICO was the first manufacturer to successfully pass the industry's toughest impact hail test, the TÜV-Rheinland's hail test.
Drainage Channels Corner Pieces
WINAICO's corner pieces are designed with 'drainage channels' to avoid water and dust accumulating on the panels and causing shading, degradation and the development of hot-spots.
Range of WINAICO Panels
WINAICO offers its high-performances panels in four ranges.
WST-M6 PERC Series
WINAICO's panels in this series are its most popular and cheapest panels. They come without the corner inserts used in panels in the more advanced series. They are available in power ratings of 310W and 315W sizes and efficiencies of 18.6% and 18.9% respectively.
The panels in this series come with the multi busbar (5) design, with power ratings of up to 340W and peak efficiency of 19.4%. They incorporate WINAICO's high strength frames with insert corner sections and water/dust drainage features.
WST -MGL Full Black Series
Panels in this series come with 5 busbars and with the all-black design and half-cut designs. They come in power ratings up to 320W and peak efficiency of up to 18.3%. They incorporate the same high strength frames with insert corner sections and water/dust drainage features.
WST-MG Gemini Series
This is the latest solar panel offering from WINAICO. It is available in power ratings of up to 375W. They feature monocrystalline half-cut cells with 9 busbars to boost efficiency up to 20.6%. The new range also features the unique L-key frame corner inserts to increase strength and improve water drainage.
WINAICO offer a longer 15-year product warranty on its panels and a 25-year performance warranty. As of July 2020, this product warranty offering is extendable to up to 25 years by registering online. This new development elevates WINAICO close to the premium brands, LG, Panasonic and SunPower.
WINAICO Does Not Sell Its Panels To Wholesalers
Though it has expanded into Europe, Australia, Japan and the United States, WINAICO does not sell its panel to wholesalers and stockists for distribution in the open market. (Panels branded WINAICO on jiji are fakes.) Instead, it sells its panels directly to installers, installation companies, technicians and project managers. This allows them control the handling of their panels, ensure that their panels are properly installed and in the spirit of their reputation as a family-owned solar company, to maintain a direction relationship with users and authorised installation companies.
WINAICO has a stellar service record. This dynamic relationship that WINAICO builds with its users makes it one of the most trusted and customer-friendly manufacturer on the market. On the other hand, it introduces an unnecessary hassle in the acquisition process. There are other great brands that can be easily bought from stockists. These brands also offer long-term warranty offers without registration.
WINAICO's capital focus is on quality and affordability. This makes their panels of premium quality offered at mid-to-premium pricing. At the present, there are no certified installers in Nigeria at present. Regardless, they are worthy of a honourable mention.
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