Solar power is probably the most promising source of renewable energy – and China is making it affordable. While worldwide solar power capacity is still limited, the industry has grown with incredible speed in the last decade.
In this week’s article, we look at the basic technical specifications of solar photovoltaic panels and on what factors you shall select a Chinese solar panel manufacturer. We also introduce you to regulations, anti-dumping duties in major markets and trade shows covering solar products.
Chinese manufacturers are accustomed to manufacture products according to the buyer specifications. However, the solar industry is a bit different in the sense that product customization is generally not necessary. Solar panel suppliers manufacture products according to a pre-determined set of product specifications.
That being said, not all suppliers manufacture solar panels of the same quality. Below follows a list of the most basic product specifications you need to keep track of:
- On-grid or off-grid
- Lifespan (20 – 25 years)
- Material (Polycrystalline or Monocrystalline)
- Salt protection (for installations in coastal areas)
- Front (Specify bus bars and coating)
- Back (Specify bus bars and back material)
- Cell efficiency (e.g. 17.2%)
- Number of cells: 60 cells per panel (6 x 10)
- Cell dimensions
- Solar panel dimensions
- Solar panel weight
- Nominal power
- Maximum voltage
- Maximum current
- Operating temperature range
- Maximum load capacity
- Cable and connector brands / models (stand alone components shall also be compliant with product safety regulations)
- Cable length
- Output tolerance
- Frame material
- Fill factor
The final product specification shall be provided by the supplier. However, if you have specific performance requirements, you may begin by drafting a short list of basic quality specifications and let the supplier suggest a matching product.
Most Chinese manufacturers offer a 25 year warranty guarantee. However, efficiency (input compared to the output) losses are part of the calculation. Many suppliers advertise that their solar panels maintain 90% to 95% output in the first 10 years, and 80% to 85% output during the remaining 15 years. But few, if any, Chinese suppliers can support these claims with historic performance data.
There are two sets of components: panel components such as connectors, trackers and mounting, and power components, including inverters, DC isolation switches and meters. Click here to read more about system components.
You need to keep in that stand alone components shall also be compliant with electrical safety regulations in your country or market. While most Chinese solar panel suppliers offer all system components you may need, never take for granted that these components are compliant with the regulations in your country. Many suppliers are unaware that components used in Chinese solar installations aren’t compatible with regulations and standards in other markets.
What kind of warranty can I expect?
Many solar panel suppliers claim to offer a 1 year, or even longer, warranty. Just keep in mind that this is not a warranty in its true sense.
At best, the factory will send replacement parts and panels, if they break or malfunction within a certain time frame.
That being said, the supplier never cover the air freight cost, which can be higher than the cost to procure parts at home.
That assumes that the factory will even bother to honor the so called warranty at all. Somel, especially smaller solar panel factories, tend to demand excessive ‘evidence’ that is so burdensome to produce that it’s not worth bothering.
In other words, you have to check the quality of the solar panels before shipment – because there is no way you can force the supplier to provide an unconditional refund or cost free order replacement.
What is the MOQ for solar panels in China?
Most Chinese solar panel factories set their minimum order quantity (MOQ) based on effect (W). For example, a supplier can set the MOQ at 10000 W.
If the average effect per solar panel is 120 W, you’d need to order 83 solar panels.
Some suppliers have much lower MOQ requirements, or none at all. Most suppliers offer lower MOQs if you order their standard models.
Can I order product samples?
Yes, almost every solar panel supplier can offer product samples. You can order samples directly via their Alibaba or Globalsources.com page.
Just make sure that all technical specifications are confirmed before you order samples.
List of Solar Panel Manufacturers in China
Looking for solar panel factories in Mainland China? In this guide, we list some of China’s leading solar panel suppliers in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong.
We also explain what every solar panel buyer must know:
- MOQ requirements
- Sample orders
- How to visit suppliers
In which provinces are most solar panel suppliers based?
Most solar panel manufacturers are based in the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong. These are also the most industrialized provinces in China.
You can easily get to factories in Zhejiang and Jiangsu by first flying to Shanghai, from where you can get on the high speed train.
Guangdong, which is based on the south, is easiest to access from Hong Kong. From the Hong Kong International Airport, you can travel by bus or boat directly to factories in Shenzhen, Zhongshan, Guangzhou and Zhuhai.
Notice that we are not affiliated with any of the listed suppliers. The provided information is based on claims made by each supplier.
TCI Ecology & New Energy Tech Co. Ltd
TCI Ecology & New Energy Tech Co. Ltd is a subsidiary of the state-owned Zhejiang Meishan Miner’s Lamp Co. Ltd. The company was founded in 2011 and based in Zhejiang, Mainland China.
TCII Ecology is considered as one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of solar products in the world, specifically solar water pumping systems. They not only export their solar power pumping systems to different countries, but they have also contributed to national level solar projects in more than 20 countries.
They also built a 6,186kW project in western China, one of the largest in the country named “Golden Sun”. In addition, many of their projects are also operational in Asia, Europe, and Africa.
The solar water pump AC motor’s produced by TCI Ecology are available in different ranges that include motors from 0.75kW to 110kW. These noiseless motors are among the best quality products in the world made of PV modules, submersible pumps, mounting structures, water storage cases, controllers, and pipe networks.
These systems are used for irrigation purposes, livestock water supply, rural drinking water supply, and as water pumping system.
The company also offers OEM services to its clients and employs around 150 people. They produce around 9,000 sets every month.
Address: No. 8, Guigu Fifth Road, Luoxing Street, Jiashan County, Zhejiang Province, Jiashan, Zhejiang, China (314100)
Guangdong Prostar New Energy Technology Co. Ltd
Guangdong Prostar new Energy Technology Co. Ltd, also known as Foshan Prostar Science & Technology Development, is a large enterprise that was established in 1998 as a joint venture by Mainland China, US, and Taiwan.
The company is manufacturer and exporter of several electric power systems that include:
- Solar power generation systems
- Uninterrupted power supplies (UPS)
- Wind power generation system
- Airpoof maintenance-free batteries
- Emergency power supplies (EPS)
In total, they manufacture products under 5 different production lines.
It is an ISO 9001:2000 certified company with several other compliance and testing certifications like RoHS, IQNet, and CE.
Most of their products are exported to North America, Europe, and Mideast. They also offer ODM, OBM, and OEM services to their buyers. Some of their well-known global clients include CGN, Samsung, LG, BLE, and Hong Kong International Airport.
In addition to exports to other countries, they also sell their products within China under the brand name Prostar. The size of their factory is 12,000 square meter, that has a monthly capacity of 2,000 pieces.
Address: No. 1 ShiJieLang Road, LianHe Industrial Zone, Luocun, Nanhai District, Foshan, Guangdong, China (528226)
Seasun New Energy Co.Ltd
Seasun New Energy Co. Ltd is a well-reputed manufacturer and exporter of solar panels based in Jiangsu, Mainland China. They export 70% of their products to different parts of the world and market the remaining within the domestic market under brand names Sunshine and Seasun.
They offer ODM and OEM services to their clients and can produce more than 40,000 units a month. They own a large factory that covers 12,000 square meters and employs more than 200 people.
Seasun was established in 2008, that now offers a wide range of solar panels with improved performance. They offer 25 years of output warranty on their products. They allow buyers to choose from different options based on the output that range from 5 to 330 watts.
Some of their popular product categories include:
- Hybrid ground-mounted solar power system
- Hybrid roof-top solar power system
- Off-grid portable solar power system
- Off-grid rooftop and ground-mounted solar power systems
- Solar panel modules
- Solar charge controllers
- Solar lanterns
All of their products are also JET, CE, and VDE compliant. They also offer off-grid and on-grid solar power systems with different output capacities. In addition, the company also manufactures customized solar panels according to client’s specifications.
Address: No. 215 Jincheng Rd, Jintan District, Changzhou, Jiangsu, China (213200)
Zhejiang Perlight Solar Co., Ltd.
Zhejiang Perlight Solar Co., Ltd, mostly known as Perlight Solar Manufacturer or simply Perlight, is a manufacturer and exporter of high-quality solar modules and photovoltaic cells.
They sell their products under their brand name Perlight but also offers ODM and OEM services to their buyers. Perlight Solar Manufacturer is a subsidiary of China Baolite Group that was founded in 2006.
They own a large factory equipped with high tech fully automated equipment and advanced R&D Center in Taizhou City. They currently export their products to more than 80 countries.
In addition to their solar panel exports, they’ve built several solar farms as well in different countries that include the Dominican Republic and the UK.
You can choose from a wide range of products that include:
- All black solar panels
- Mini solar module
- Mono solar module
Poly Solar module
- Double glass solar modules
They offer 30-year power warranty on most of their products. They currently have around 500 employees while the annual revenue is over 50 million USD. They export around 90% of their manufactured products with Europe as their biggest market followed by Mid East and Southeast Asia.
It’s also an ISO 9001, ISO 4001, OHSAS 18001 certified company.
Address: Oufeng Road, Muyu, Zeguo Town, Wenling, Zhejiang, China (Mainland)
Jiangsu Sokoyo Solar Lighting Co., Ltd.
Jiangsu Sokoyo Solar Lighting Co., Ltd, also known as SOKOYO, is a well-known manufacturer of solar street lights and other similar products. The company was founded in 2008, and its head office is based in Jiangsu, Mainland China.
The company is best known for its high-quality and reliable streets lights that include:
- Solar street lights
- LED street lights
- Solar garden light
- Integrated solar street light
SOKOYO started with only one factory in 2008, but by 2013, they established five factories in total all located in GuoJi Industrial Park.
They now manufacture solar panels, controllers, light poles, gel batteries, lithium batteries, led lamps, and similar products.
The company has more than 500 employees and exports almost half of their products to different countries. The capacity for solar panels is 400,000 units per year.
Address: Industrial Convergence Zone, Guoji Town, Gaoyou, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China (Mainland)
Jiangsu Infinity New Energy Co., Ltd.
Jiangsu Infinity New Energy Co., Ltd is a manufacturer and exporter of solar panels based in Jiangsu, Mainland China.
The company was established in 2011 and offers a wide range of solar panels that include:
- Mono solar panels
- Mono small solar panels
- Poly solar panels
- Poly small solar panels
- Off-grid solar air conditioner split system
- LED lights
It’s an ISO 14001 certified country with many other compliance and testing certifications as well that include TUV, CE, Australian CEC, SGS, and IPCC.
The company exports around 90% of their products with Europe as their largest market followed by the Middle East and Australia.
The company has around 200 employees that also offers OEM and ODM services to their clients. In total, they produce different products under 8 production lines.
Address: 31 Jintao Road, Zhouzhuang Town, Jiangyin, Jiangsu, China (Mainland)
Since the beginning of this decade, the Chinese solar power industry has been caught in crossfire from major economies. Below follows a brief summary of the current situation in the US, EU and India.
In 2012, the US International Trade Commission levied anti-dumping duties on solar panels manufactured in China. Previously, the Anti-Dumping duty didn’t apply to solar panels made with cells manufactured outside of China. However, starting in June 2014, the Anti-Dumping duties also cover such products. The tariffs vary between different manufacturers, ranging from 18.56% to 35.21%.
The EU initiated an investigation in late 2012. In the end, Anti-Dumping duties were not levied on Chinese made solar panels. Instead, the European Union and China agreed to set a minimum price level for solar panels. Therefore European importers need not to worry about Anti-Dumping duties on imported solar panels – at least not yet!
Anti-dumping duties are levied on solar panels imported from China, Malaysia and the United States. The tariffs on Chinese made solar panels range from 100% to 110%.
Solar panel exhibitions in China
Visiting a Trade fair is a cost efficient way to meet industry leading suppliers and compare products and pricing. If you intend to import solar panels from China, then these are the Trade fairs for you:
Canton Fair Phase 1
The Canton Fair is China’s largest trade fair and is located in Guangzhou, Guangdong. It’s held each year in April and October. Click here to read more about the Canton Fair.
- Solar Cells and Modules
- Electrical components: Storage Battery, Controller, Transverter, Recording Instrument, Inverter, Monitor, Bracket System, Tracking System, Installation System, Sun Cable, Measuring Instrument
- Photovoltaic Products, Systems, Raw Materials & Equipment
- Solar-thermal Products, Solar Water Heaters, Heat Pump, Thermal Collectors, Solar Air Conditioners
SNEC PV Power Expo
SNEC is a major conference and supplier exhibition held annually in Shanghai. It’s been on for the last 8 years and the next exhibition is held in May 2015. Click here to read more about the SNEC PV Power Expo.
Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition)
This exhibition is held annually in Hong Kong, by HKTDC (Hong Kong Trade and Development Council). At the HK Electronics Fair, you’ll find suppliers manufacturing and trading various solar products, such as:
- Solar Cells
- Solar Chargers
- Solar Heaters
- Solar Lamps
- Solar PV (Photovoltaic)
- Solar PV Batteries
- Other Solar Products
SIPE Solar Expo
As its name suggests, China International Solar Power Generation Products Exposition (SIPE SOLAR EXPO) solely focuses on Solar Power products. It’s held yearly in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province.
Planning to import Solar Panels from China?
It can be hard to go from a design drawing to finished product. To help you manage the entire process – from creating a specification, to sampling and quality control – we created a Starter Package for solar panels:
a. Solar panels Manufacturer Lists
b. Product Specification Templates
c. Solar panels Label Samples
d. Tutorials, Video Walkthroughs and Task Lists that guide you step-by-step through the entire process
In addition, you can also book quality inspections, lab testing and shipping directly from the platform. Click here to learn more.