Trina Solar Panels Review – Are They The Right Choice?

trina solar panels

Founded in 1997, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006, Trina Solar specializes in the manufacture of photovoltaic modules and system integration. Trina Solar is not only a pioneer of China’s PV industry, but has become an influential shaper of the global solar industry and a leader in solar modules, solutions and services. With over 20 offices worldwide and 14,200 employees, Trina Solar is considered a ‘Tier 1’ solar manufacturer, and has shipped solar modules with a total output of 11 GW until the end of 2014. Key Benefits Claimed By Trina Solar:

  • Panel power production capabilities up to 290W.
  • In a head-to-head comparison of PV modules made by leading manufacturers, Trina Solar modules recently ranked at the top for most reliable performance under real-world climate conditions.
  • Designed to withstand high wind loads (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa)
  • Panels covered by a materials and workmanship warranty for 10 years and power for 25 years on a linear degradation schedule.
  • Based on a new report from consultancy IHS, Trina Solar has taken the top spot in the worldwide PV module supplier list after witnessing a 30% unit-shipment increase in 2014.

With all these positives, Trina Solar panels sound like a great option for your solar power system, however, there are three things you must consider first.

  • Trina Solar panels offer panel efficiency rates of up to 17.7%, compared to the market leader which is up to 21%. While a lower efficiency brand of panel is usually cheaper, you will sacrifice some long-term return-on-investment by not going with the highest efficiency brand you can afford, so be sure to compare the lifetime value of Trina Solar panels against other brands before making a final buying decision.

  • If your roof space is not too constricted, Trina Solar panels are a cost efficient choice because you can fit enough panels on the roof to meet your power needs at a more reasonable price (compared to the higher efficiency panels previously mentioned). However, if your roof space is limited and you want to maximise your power production, Trina Solar panels might not be the best choice for you. It’s important to keep in mind that solar is an investment first and foremost. Getting an accredited installer with experience in your local area to consult with you will help you understand what panels will provide the best return for your investment over the life of the system.

  • Even if you are already 100% decided on Trina Solar, don’t be too hasty in accepting the first quote you receive. Different installers charge different prices, even for the same product. Installers all buy their products from different places, have different margins and offer varying levels of service. The price you are quoted, even for the exact same product, can vary by hundreds of dollars depending on who you talk to.

The best way to make sure you get the right panel for you at the best price is to compare quotes from Clean Energy Council accredited installers with experience in your area.

By partnering with the top national and local installers across Australia we offer the quickest, easiest and smartest way for you to do this.

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Simply fill out your details in the form to get quotes from 3 installers in your local area.

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.