Trina Solar is one of the largest manufacturers of solar panels in the world. In 2019, the company shipped an estimated 9.7GW of modules, placing it at no.3 in the world for global shipments that year. During 2020, it shipped nearly 16GW.
In 2021, the company was ranked second for global shipments and as at April 2022, cumulative shipments of Trina Solar panels had exceeded 100GW.
Trina Solar is a Chinese company, with 23 offices worldwide – including one in Sydney. It employs 17,000 staff globally, most of whom are in China. The firm is based in Changzhou, which, as every schoolchild knows, is just a one hour train ride from Shanghai. Well, maybe not every schoolchild knows that, but I’m sure all the schoolchildren in China who know it would add up to a hell of a lot.
In addition to Chinese manufacturing capacity, Trina has a factory in Thailand and another in Vietnam.
Trina Solar Is A Tier 1 Manufacturer
Trina Solar scored 100% in the 2021 BloombergNEF Bankability Survey, becoming the only module manufacturer to achieve this for 6 consecutive years. So, financially it’s a pretty solid firm. But what about the quality of its products?
Trina is a well respected name in solar panel manufacturing. It produces quality tier 1 solar panels and offers a 15 – 25 year product warranty depending on the module. 25 year product warranties were once the exclusive realm of of high-end (most expensive) panel manufacturers, so to see a “budget” (but good quality) player join that club is really impressive and a sign of things to come.
Trina Is A Leader In Sustainable Solar Panel Manufacturing
The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition used to produce a report each year on how foul solar panel manufacturers are and Trina Solar turns out to be pretty damn not foul. The company was the world leader in the 2014 report, which measures environmental and social responsibility. In 2015, it achieved third place. The good news is it didn’t slip from first place because environmental and social responsibility efforts dropped off. Rather, they improved on their score for the previous year, but were overtaken by two companies that managed to improve by more. In the most recent report for 2018/19, Trina was ranked second.
There haven’t been any more reports from SVTC since, but Trina’s 2021 Sustainability Report indicates the company is continuing its strong focus in this area.
Trina’s Honey Panel Is Pretty Sweet
When Trina Solar introduced its Honey panel in 2012, it was the world leader in multicrystalline efficiency (there’s a monocrystalline Honey range as well). Trina named it the Honey Panel on account of how they wanted it to be in the “sweet spot” between cutting edge technology and cost effectiveness, and not at all to create the impression they are a hive like organization that wants to extract sweet consumer surplus from thousands of customers.
Trina Solar Vertex S And S+ Panels
Trina’s much more recent Vertex line of modules was originally geared towards utility-scale applications. But in late 2020, the company unveiled the Vertex-S designed for rooftop solar installations that offered up to 405W capacity. Then in March 2022, the firm announced Australia would be first in line for the even more powerful 425W Trina Solar Vertex S+ panel; which is also suitable for residential and commercial rooftops. That has since been topped by a 435W panel.
In addition to the boost in power, the new Vertex S+ panels are accompanied by an even better product warranty – 25 years; although Trina also boosted warranty on some of its Vertex S panels to 25 years in August 2022. The Vertex S+ also offers a 30 year performance warranty, with first-year degradation at 1% and annual degradation thereafter at 0.4%.
Something else differentiating the two product lines is the Vertex S has a conventional backsheet and P-type cells, while the Vertex S+ boasts dual glass and N-type cells.
Trinasmart Panels Have Built In DC Optimisers
DC optimisers are little bundles of electronics attached to solar panels that enable them to act more intelligently and improve their overall output. These can be attached to panels when they are installed, but Trinasmart panels have DC optimisers produced by Tigo Energy built into the panels themselves; making installation a lot easier and faster.
DC optimisers generally don’t offer enough of a performance boost to be economically worthwhile for many installations, but they can be very useful under the right circumstances such as trying to get the maximum amount of solar electricity generation from a limited amount of roof space.
Salt Mist Corrosion Resistance
All Trina Solar panels state on their datasheets they are corrosion resistant. Certifications for corrosion resistance can be found on Trina’s download page.
Trina Has An Energy Storage System
Trina has produced a home battery storage system called TrinaBESS Powercube, which is available in Australia.
Warranty Procedure For Orphaned Trina Customers
If you have purchased Trina solar panels from an installer who has since gone out of business, the responsibility for warranty claims shifts to Trina. Their customer service line in Australia is 1300 874 627, and Trina have advised that orphaned customers can lodge panel warranty claims through their online portal available here. The company will arrange for an installer in their network to replace the panels under warranty, with labor costs being covered by their warranty.
Trina Solar Panels Are A Good Choice
I have no problems recommending Trina solar panels as they have a cost effective combination of price and reliability. While there are panels out there I consider likely to be more reliable, you will have to pay a premium for them. On the plus side, when there have been issues in the past, Trina Solar has so far proven to be quick in rectifying them under warranty.
Trina is a popular brand with Australian installers, taking out first place in SQ’s Installers Choice Awards for the best solar panels in 2022 (budget category); a ranking the company also achieved in 2021’s awards.
The company’s products are also popular with solar owners – see what some of them think in the reviews and ratings below (and if you’re an owner, add your Trina solar panels review).