A Complete Review of Trina Solar Panels
SolarKobo Score: 3.9/5
Trina Solar Company Ltd. is a Chinese solar solutions company founded in 1997 by Gao Jifan. With headquarters in Jiangsu Province, China and manufacturing plants in Thailand and in Vietnam., more than 60 GW of solar modules shipped worldwide, and over 12,000 employees, Trina is one of China's oldest and largest solar panel manufacturers. It started trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2020. With a strong focus on research and development in the past ten decade, Trina holds 20 solar world records in cell and panel efficiency. In 2014, Trina Solar realized the milestone of shipping over 1GW in one quarter while breaking the world solar cell efficiency world record 7 times that year.
Ranked a Tier 1 company by Bloomberg for its bankability, alongside Jinko Solar, Trina Solar stands very close to the small circle of premium brands highly regarded for their high performance. These premium brands include SunPower/Maxeon, Panasonic, LG and REC Solar. However, Trina does not lag behind them, it offers high performance panels manufactured from the most recent innovations in solar cell technologies. Trina Solar panels are mid-range in price making them cost-effective options for high efficiency solar modules. The reason being that like most most Chinese manufacturers, they are driven towards the mass rather than premium market.
Range of Trina Solar Panels
Trina Solar offer a range of five panels, the Honey, Tallmax, Honeyblack, Duomax and Vertex. Their module offerings which include panels for residential, commercial and utility scale installations, incorporate many of the latest cell technologies including bifacial, half-cell, dual glass and PERC cell technologies.
Trina's Honey series is the most popular of Trina's panels. Trina offers both monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels in the Honey Series. First released in 2012, the Honey panels are now available in a range of types and sizes up to 335W. They are made from 120 half-cut solar cells
All panels in the Honey Series come with Trina’s 12-year product and 25-linear power output warranty.
In the recent upgrade to the Honey Series, the latest all-black Honey M range have increased efficiency over the previous range through the use of new half-cut PERC cells incorporating 9 busbars. The new honey M range are available in sizes from 315W up to 335W. They come with a black backsheet for a sleek all-black look.
Panels in this series are made from half-cut monocrystalline technology. They are available in both monocrystalline and polycrystalline forms. Trina offers two panels in this range with output ratings of 340 to 450W respectively and maximum efficiencies of 17.4% and 20.4% respectively. They are utility-scale panels.
Trina’s solar panels in this series use dual glass technology. This means that their backsheet and the frontsheet are both made from a special glass material to provide greater durability and a slower power degradation rate. Due to its extra glass parts which guarantees a longer lifespan, it comes with a 30-year linear performance warranty compared to most traditional solar panels which offer 25 years. Also due to its extra glass parts, it is also heavier than traditional solar panels.
Trina's panels in the Vertex Series are Trina's next-generation panels. They were first announced in early 2020 achieving an impressive 515.8W during an independent test evaluation from TUV Reinland. They are the first panels built on the new triple-cut cell technology.
Panels in this series are made from monocrystalline PERC cells and high-density encapsulation technology allow the efficiency of the Vertex series to reach up to 21%. They are bifacial panels allowing a higher power rating of up to 500W. (In 2020, Trina showcased an incredible 660W Vertex S panel. However, panels rated above 620W just recently became available.) They also come with an excellent temperature coefficient (- 0.35%/°C) and low irradiation performance which means the module can perform for a greater period and in hot conditions.
They are best suited to large-scale ground mounted installations or solar farms.
On Nov 4th, 2020, Trina Solar announced the new Vertex S range of panels. Unlike the much larger Vertex panels, the Vertex S (short for 'small') are built to be lighter and more compact. These high powered 380W to 405W panels are also built around the larger the same mono-PERC, MBB, triple-cut cell technology to achieve an maximum efficiency of 21.1% and maximum power rating of 405W.
Previously, Trina Solar offered a 10-year warranty on its panels. It now offers a standard 12-year manufacturer’s product warranty against defects in addition to a 25-year performance warranty that guarantees a minimum 80% power output rating after 25 years of use.
The next generation Vertex and Vertex S panels have a longer 15-year product warranty period with options to extend up to 25 years.
Trina Solar is widely considered one of the best value brands of solar panel modules. It offers the same high-performance panels as the premium brands (SunPower/Maxeon, LG, Panasonic and REC cells) at a mid-range price. Also a major market mover, more than most manufacturers, Trina is still advancing their range of panels and improving on its solar cell technology. A Trina solar panel is a time-proof and money-wise option. We are always highly pleased to recommend it to our clients.
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