JA Solar Panels Review

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Jack Ayre

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As mid range solar panels you might have seen one or two JA Solar panels review pieces out there that already mean you’re expecting decent solar panel efficiency for a decent price if you choose to install solar panels from JA Solar as part of your new solar panel system. At ESE, as a team of professional solar panel installers, we like to give our customers a more detailed look at the solar panels they could use in their solar setup. Our JA Solar panel review will tell you everything you need to know before deciding if they’re right for you.

JA Solar In Brief:

JA Solar has been manufacturing photovoltaic panels and other renewable systems and accessories in China since 2005 and has grown into one of the world’s major PV companies, with operations in 135 countries. 

JA Solar Panels are widely accepted as excellent value for money. Their reliability and efficiency are considered among the best in the market and their proven solar cell technologies in JA Solar modules make for incredibly efficient panels. JA Solar has a decent range of models available, both full and half-cell. They utilise monocrystalline technology, which delivers better power output than the now-fading polycrystalline panels.

In a big boost for the brand, it has consistently scored in the ‘Top Performer’ section of the DNV GL/PVEL PV Module Reliability Scorecard report. DNV GL is a major energy consultancy and leads a panel of independent energy experts who rate panel performance, and PVEL supervises rigorous PV testing, so this is a good indicator of the panels’ quality.

JA Solar Company Overview:

The company has twelve manufacturing bases across the world and thirteen overseas sales operations, leading to a turnover in the first three quarters of 2022 of £5.70 billion. It is one of the leading global brands of solar panels. 

JA Solar is actively building a comprehensive green ecological development system, which they call “Six Plus” (green technology, green power supply and usage, green factory, green supply chain, green office, green lifestyle, and green concept dissemination) to contribute to a better global ecological environment.

JA Solar is classified as a Tier 1 manufacturer by BloombergNEF. This means it employs state-of-the-art robotic techniques to oversee the production process, minimising or completely eradicating errors associated with human intervention. Tier 1 solar panels are also crafted from the highest quality silicon, boosting the module’s performance.

JA Solar puts a significant amount of its revenue into research and technological development, so their products have a track record of innovation, for example by pioneering PERC cells (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell), which have improved efficiency over prior designs.

JA Solar Panels

JA Solar Specifications:

555W JA Solar Mono PERC Half-Cell GR MC4

The 555W JA Solar Mono PERC uses half-cells to build its panel, so every standard cell is split, which delivers improved performance and efficiency, particularly when in the shade. The slim frame design is attractive, but still can withstand mechanical loading and wind stress. This is a powerful panel which is suitable for larger roofs.

Efficiency of up to 21.5%

Good high energy output for lower cost

Half cell design means shade has less effect on energy production

  • Power output: 550W
  • Efficiency: 21.5%
  • Warranty: 12 years 

 

365W JA Solar Mono MBB Percium Half-Cell All Black MC4

JA Solar’s 365W panel utilises PERC technology. PERC cells have an additional layer on the back, producing six to twelve per cent more energy than conventional panel designs – making it the perfect technology for your next solar energy project. 

This model has a peak power output of 365W, which would power an average family home with an array of these modules. Good efficiency at 19.6 per cent, but not “best in class” which tend to be more expensive panels. 

A selling point is that this model is resistant to high levels of sea salt, ammonia, dust or sand. So it would be suitable for a seaside property. Or somewhere in an inclement location.

  • Power output: 365W
  • Efficiency: 19.6%
  • Warranty: 12 years 

 

400W JA Solar Mono MBB Percium Half-Cell All Black Short Frame QC4

This is a compact 400W design suitable for smaller roofs. As it uses PERC technology in a half-cell layout, it still has a high efficiency of 20.5 per cent. The unit features 12 or 16 busbars in a stylish, unbroken black surface.

Efficiency of up to 20.5%.

High energy output within a smaller frame size.

Design obviates hot spots.

  • Power output: 400W
  • Efficiency: 20.5%
  • Warranty: 12 years 

 

405W JA Solar Mono PERC Half-Cell MBB Silver Frame Solar Panel

The current fashion in PV panel design tends to favour all-black frames, rather than silver strips of anodised aluminium. This type uses a bright silver frame and is therefore more obvious on the roof. 

JA Solar’s silver-framed 405W model has an efficiency of 20.70 per cent and a power output of 405W, enhanced by the multi-busbar technology and half-cell configuration. 

Efficiency of up to 20.70%

This module boasts improved performance at all temperatures, so squeezes out a few more watts of power in low-light conditions.

Energy generation is minimally affected by shade.

  • Power output: 405W
  • Efficiency: 20.70%
  • Warranty: 12 years 

 

495W Mono PERC Half-Cell MBB Silver Frame MC4 Connectors Solar Panel

These 495W mono panels produce power even under adverse conditions of cloudy skies, or in early morning or late evening light. This product is equipped with an advanced textured glass surface which enhances durability against sea salt, dust, or sand.

These types of panels would be most useful for properties near the seaside, which are thus exposed to adverse weather conditions, or in other less favourable locations, such as hilly regions or more remote parts of the UK.

Efficiency of up to 21.30%

High energy output 

Durable textured surface

  • Power output: 495W
  • Efficiency: 21.30%
  • Warranty: 12 years 

 

JA Solar Panels Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Highly efficient panel modules
  • Shorter warranty than many competitor’s brands
  • Operate effectively in low light or shade
  • Design can appear more “chunky” compared to other, slimmer products
  • Highly reliable components
  • Robust and tested for resistance to wind shear

 

JA Solar Panel Review FAQs

Q: What number of cells should I have?

A: It depends on the usage. For normal-sized house roofs, 60 cell panels is the usual choice. If space is not restricted, for example, on a warehouse roof or a ground array, a 72 or 96 cell design offers more “bang for the buck”..

Q: What about the wind, will they be strong enough for my home?

A: One of JA Solar’s major selling points is its resilient structure. The panels and frames are designed to withstand 5400 Pa pressure, which is equivalent to a 210 mph wind.

JA Solar Panels Summary

JA Solar panels are highly-regarded and a good budget type of monocrystalline solar panel. They have very respectable efficiency for the price category of around 20-21%.

These panels are quite durable, wind resistant and offer good shading tolerance.

The warranties are shorter than some of their competing brands, which can be a drawback.

Visually they are not spectacular, but pleasant enough when mounted on the roof.

JA Solar offers panels up to 555 watts power output and also has bifacial modules for sale. That makes this brand particularly appealing to customers who are looking to build solar installations of a larger scale than simple residential use, though they do have models for all types of homes, whether pitched or flat-roofed.

Overall, JA solar panels are a reasonable choice for homeowners who desire a good solar system set up but have a budget to work with, offering decent performance and value for money.

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Born in North West England, Jack kicked off his career in the insurance arena, dealing with claims for three years. Always up for a challenge, Jack leapt out of his comfort zone and embarked upon 5 years of excitement with the military.

Working for the Ministry of Defence, Jack specialised in counter-terrorism which took him to places such as Dubai, Oman, Iraq, Norway and Bahrain. During this period he worked with various Governments implementing strategic operations to prevent terrorism.

After travelling around various countries Jack increasingly came across various forms of solar from large solar farms to domestic solar panels. From here Jack took a keen interest in all things solar and started reading about the technological capabilities with a view to entering the industry after his career in the Ministry of Defence.

Once home after 5 fruitful years, Jack had 3 months leave in which he immersed himself in a solar crash course and got applying for jobs within the solar sector. He came across ESE Solar, a long-established forward-thinking company whose head office was only a stone’s throw away from him. He picked up the phone to see if there were any vacancies and within a week had a successful interview and obtained a full-time job, starting in the technical team.

Within the first few months, Jack onboarded in various online courses during work and social hours to speed up his knowledge of all things solar. Due to his strong work ethic and thirst for knowledge Jack was promoted to Head of Technical at ESE Solar. He currently leads the team and oversees the product development of new technologies within the company alongside assisting where necessary on their maintenance department.

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