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Difference between European and Chinese Solar Brands! The facts will shock you

Powerark Solar / Powerark News  / Difference between European and Chinese Solar Brands! The facts will shock you

Difference between European and Chinese Solar Brands! The facts will shock you

Finding a Solar panel brand with great features made with high-quality products can be difficult. There are so many solar brands with the same performance and warranty. Trying to distinguish the differences becomes a tedious task. There has been a longstanding stigma surrounding the topic of European and Chinese solar panel brands and the quality of their products. Today, in this article we will outline the decreasing manufacturing gap between the two competing markets.

Where do the materials come from?

Common questions installers hear from their customers are about the manufacturing origin of a solar panel. The latest industry estimates show that roughly 70% of the world’s panel manufacturing comes from China. A whopping half of the industry. This is a strong indicator that China is a significant player in the global solar industry. China has made major technological and industry changes worldwide including long-lasting warranties, pricing, and improved manufacturing operations. Between 2008 and 2013, China’s solar panel industry decreased world prices by 80%. This is a result of its competitive high-tech market and innovative methods of building high-quality panels at a lower cost.

Currently trending on the 2019 top solar panel manufacturer’s list are brands from China these include Jinko Solar, JA Solar, Trina Solar, and LONGi Solar, all of which are high-quality solar panel brands. Many of the companies listed utilise high-grade materials to manufacture their solar panels procured locally. As such, Chinese panel manufacturers use quality crystalline silicone when making their panels. They also use quality aluminum frames identical to other international brands who manufacture in China.

Modules from other nations

German solar brands are known for making quality panels for the global market. Typically using the highest-grade materials during their manufacturing process. German brands have a strong industry presence some brands with up to 25-30 years of industry trust or more. Their deep-rooted industry presence has rendered their brands guaranteed high quality and reliable.

In recent years the solar panel industry has seen more product reliability coming from the Chinese market. Currently estimated 70% of the solar panel manufacturing industry comes from China, this does not necessarily mean they are only producing Chinese brands. There are many brands in the US, Europe, and Australia that manufacture in China to lessen production costs. Does this necessarily lower the quality of the brand? The technological gap between European and Chinese solar brands is decreasing immensely over the years. This decrease even has some German manufacturers producing their panels in China, Malaysia or South Korea.

Many solar panel brands are turning to Asia to save on costs. This offshore manufacturing method is rivaling German brands due to their low manufacturing costs. Thus, your customers should consider which aspect of the panel’s manufacturing process is important for their purchase decision. Ask your customers what their main concerns are. What matters most? The materials used? or where the brand is based?

Manufacturing process

When comparing the manufacturing process of Euro and Chinese brands, it is important to do your research and find out what you are truly investing in.

For example, there are some solar panel brands that are well known American brands, but produce goods offshore in places such as the Philippines or Mexico to save on labor costing. Usually, the materials are sourced in China but are sold offshore at premium prices. Similarly, this is done by several German brands where they produce their products in the U.S ( Mexico) to lessen labor costs.

Would you still consider paying premium pricing for products manufactured in the same offshore country?

There are multiple variables to consider when in search of the most ideal solar panel brand to suit your customer’s needs. Whilst some well-known brands may have higher efficiency ratings over others, investing in top-quality premium-grade solar brands doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better product. As mentioned throughout the article, the technological gap between Chinese brands and other international brands is closing. This is due to many well-known brands turning to offshore manufacturing to produce their panels to save costs.

All in all with China currently manufacturing 70% of the global solar panel market, many offshore brands will start joining the growing trend. Eventually, there will be no difference between European and Chinese brands as in time they will be produced in the same country.



John Fialka, C. (2019). Why China Is Dominating the Solar Industry. [online] Scientific American. Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-china-is-dominating-the-solar-industry/ [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].

Richardson, L. (2019). Are Chinese Solar Panels High Quality? | EnergySage. [online] Solar News. Available at: https://news.energysage.com/should-i-use-chinese-solar-panels-for-my-solar-installation/#comments [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].

Solar News. (2019). 10 Top Solar Panel Companies & Manufacturers for 2019 | EnergySage. [online] Available at: https://news.energysage.com/best-solar-panel-manufacturers-usa/ [Accessed 12 Nov. 2019].

Solar Review. (2019). COMPARE | German vs Chinese Solar Panels – Solar Review.. [online] Available at: https://review.solar/german-vs-chinese-solar/ [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].

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