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Reviewed – Jinko Solar Panels

Jinko is a vertically integrated Chinese solar panel manufacturer whose products include high quality crystalline wafers, ingots, cells and mono and multi-crystalline PV panels. They employ more than 10,000 people in plants at Shangrao and, until recently, Haining while their global marketing centre is in Shanghai. They also have European representative offices in Munich and Bologna, a US office in San Francisco and a logistics warehouse in Rotterdam. Their panels are produced using advanced equipment such as NPC technology from Japan and their production process is certified by a number of standards systems including IEC, TUV, UL, VDE, CE, ISO14001 and 9001. They also operate a global R&D centre in conjunction with a number of Chinese universities.

A black mark on their record has been a number of claims concerning pollution from the Haining plant which received a number of visits from environmental regulatory authorities and was the subject of protests by nearby villagers concerned about fluoride pollution. As a result the Haining plant has now closed (See BBC News) and the company has apologised for the pollution incident.

Despite this, the panels themselves are highly efficient and also fairly robust, being resistant to high wind pressure, heavy snow fall and extreme temperatures. They have also been subjected to strict mechanical loading tests. They are being widely used by Photon Power AG which is planning to operate a 219.3 kW system at the Technology Centre in Aachen, Germany. Jinko is also working with the Belgian Transport Authority with plans to install 16,000 panels outside the 2 mile long railway tunnel near Antwerp where they should help to power electric trains and assist with signalling and lights at Antwerp’s North and South junctions.

Jinko produce a range of panels from 10 kW systems to much larger 660 kW installations and are exported to a number of countries including Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Australia, United States as well as domestic customers within China itself. Prices start from £200 per panel for a 220 watt to £225 for a 240W and have a pretty good efficiency rating at around 14%. UK customers will be glad to know that they are MCS accredited. They also come with a 5-year workmanship guarantee and a 25-year output guarantee of 80%.

The fact that Jinko started the year with strong sales resulting in an increase of share revenue of up to 45% is a good indicator of their popularity. They aren’t the best panel manufacturer in terms of efficiency but their pricing structure and vertically integrated production makes them very cost effective.

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