Trina Solar Panels Review Overview
One of the biggest vertically integrated solar panel producers in the world, Trina Solar Panels Review 2022 Trina Solar is renowned for creating cost-effective and dependable solar panels for a variety of applications.
The new Vertex series of panels, which are loaded with the newest solar cell technology and have pushed the efficiency near to the level of the premium manufacturers, serve as a testament to Trina Solar’s transformation over the last several years into one of the leaders in innovation.
Trina Solar Panels Company History
As one of the top five solar panel suppliers in the world, Trina Solar has a solid reputation and vast global distribution network across 30 countries. Founded in 1997, Trina is a fully vertically integrated company and one of the oldest Chinese solar panel manufacturers.
Over the last few decades, Trina’s strong focus on research and development has led to some great achievements, including 18 solar PV world records in cell and panel efficiency.
Trina Solar is ranked as one of the top Tier 1 solar panel manufacturers by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Although, it should be noted that the Tier 1 ranking is more a measure of a company’s financial stability, which is very important for large utility-scale installations requiring long term project viability.
Like many of the large Chinese manufacturers, Trina Solar’s focus is on performance and value for money. Trina does not generally compete in the more expensive, premium end of the market with the likes of Sunpower (USA) and REC (Singapore).
However, Trina does offer some very high-performance products including the Vertex series featuring N-type TOPCon cells which have boosted power ratings well over 600 watts making them some of the most powerful solar panels in the world.
Additionally, the new Vertex S+ series panels are pushing close to 22% efficiency bringing them on par with some of the premium brands.
Trina Solar Panels Quick Summary
Power ratings (Watts): 350W – 670W
Panel Efficiency %: High – 19.8% – 21.9%
Cell technology: P-type and N-type TOPCon
Price bracket: Low-med $$$
Most popular panel: Vertex S 400W
Product Warranty: Very good – 12 to 25 years
Service and support: Very good 4/5
Overall: Recommended ☆☆☆☆☆
Variety Of Solar Panels
Trina solar manufacture a large range of solar panels for residential, commercial and utility-scale installations, incorporating many of the latest cell technologies including multi-busbar PERC cells, large 210mm third-cut cells, and more recently the high-density panel format with N-type TOPCon monocrystalline cells.
The new Vertex line of home panels from Trina is the most well-liked. The more affordable, older Honey Series is still accessible in a variety of sizes up to 370W. Trina Solar provides high voltage (1500V) larger format 72 or 144 half-cut cell panels in the TallMax and DuoMax bifacial lines,
with sizes currently reaching 600W, for larger commercial and utility-scale installations. Additionally, Trina manufactures sophisticated bifacial options and dual glass products with 30-year performance guarantees.
Vertex High-Power 600W+ Panels
Over the last 12 months, there has been a global race to develop the most powerful solar panels, with Trina Solar leading the charge.
The first of the new-generation Vertex panels from Trina Solar was showcased early in 2020 and achieved an impressive515.8 wattsW based on an independent test evaluation from TUV Rheinland.
This breakthrough was made after Trina began manufacturing the new Vertex panels on a small-scale pilot line. A few months later at the SNEC PV Power Expo in China, Trina showcased an incredible 660W Vertex panel.
Recently, in March 2021, Trina launched the 670W Vertex panel with an impressive 21.6% efficiency, making it one of the most efficient panels available for large utility-scale applications.
Download the full Trina Solar Vertex specifications datasheet
With high-density, multi-busbar (MBB) connectivity, the Vertex series of monocrystalline PERC cells may attain efficiencies of up to 21.3%. More significantly, these are the first panels created using the novel 1/3 cut cells and the new bigger format 210mm cell size (as opposed to the common half-cut cells).
The high-power vertex panels are substantially bigger than conventional commercial size (2m x 1m) panels, measuring 2.1–2.3m high and 1.10–1.35m wide and are intended for use in utility-scale solar farms.
Vertex S 405W Panels
The new Vertex S line of panels, with the S designating the lower size, was just released by Trina Solar. The lighter, more compact Vertex S panels are intended for residential and business rooftops, in contrast to the significantly larger Vertex panels.
The mono-PERC, MBB, high-density panel configuration is used in the high powered 380W to 405W panels to produce an outstanding maximum efficiency of 21.1% and peak power ratings of 405W.
Download the full Trina Solar Vertex S specifications datasheet
Vertex S+ 425W Panels – NEW
The Vertex S+, the newest panel in the Trina line-up, is by far the most sophisticated and effective panel made by the firm. The panels’ maximum power rating of 425W and maximum efficiency of 21.9% are comparable to some of the best solar panels currently on the market. T
rina employed their most recent N-Type TOPCon cell technology, known as PACO, combined with high-density cells and multi-busbars to achieve such high power and efficiency in a small-sized panel.
To extend longevity, Trina unexpectedly packed the Vertex S+ panels in a new dual-glass architecture. The Vertex S+ line just debuted in Australia, and it will be made available worldwide later in 2022.
The Vertex S+ is also the first panel from Trina Solar to be backed by a 25-year product warranty and a 30-year performance warranty thanks to the lower degradation rate of the high purity N-type cell substrate.
The first-year degradation is 1% followed by a minimal 0.4% degradation every other year until year 30. This guarantees at least 87.4% power output after 30 years of use.
Up until recently, Trina Solar’s Honey series of panels, which provided an excellent balance of quality, performance, and value for money, were the company’s most widely used panels. By utilizing new half-cut PERC cells with 9 busbars, the most recent Honey M range, which is based on monocrystalline cells, has boosted efficiency over the previous range (MBB).
The new Honey M line comes in sizes ranging from 330W to 380W. The Honey M black (shown below) has a black backsheet for a sophisticated all-black appearance.
On the most recent 370W panel, efficiency was increased by up to 20.7% using the most recent big format mono PERC, MBB cells.
Download the full Trina Honey M plus specification datasheet
Improving Solar Cell Technology
Trina’s product roadmap paves the way for a number of new high-efficiency cell technologies including a unique N-type i-TOPCon cell, multi-busbars or MBB cells, and advanced bifacial cells.
Even though Trina is at the forefront of this technology, the leading Chinese manufacturers are increasingly concentrating on creating high-efficiency N-type cells. Similar N-type panels have long been offered by prestigious producers like LG and Sunpower, but at a premium cost.
The cost of these high-performance cells and panels will decrease as Trina and other producers ramp up production and invest more in N-type cell technology.
Multi-Busbars – MBB
Multi-busbar technology, or MBB, was one of the first Chinese manufacturers to be made available on the whole line of new modules by Trina.
The switch to MBB was made for the comparatively straightforward purpose of improving dependability and efficiency.
Traditional flat ribbon busbars on the front of the cell have the drawback of partially shading the cell, which lowers performance and efficiency.
The use of MBB technology can improve productivity and efficiency by lessening the impact of shadowing caused by conventional ribbon busbars.
Additional advantages include lowered cell temperature and, as a result, less likelihood of hot spot creation in the extremely unlikely scenario of a cell fracture.
MBB technology incorporates multiple small round wire busbars and is similar to the premium LG Neon 2 panels which have been available for several years. Trina is now bringing this high-efficiency innovation to the masses through high volume production and further cost reductions.
Bifacial Solar Panels
Although bifacial solar panels have been around for a while, they are just now starting to gain popularity as the price of producing high-performance PERC monocrystalline cells drops.
When used in the proper position and under the correct circumstances, bifacial cells may generate up to 30% more energy than conventional monofacial panels by absorbing light from both sides of the panel.
The new DuoMax Twin panels from Trina Solar feature a combination of PERC, half-cut, MBB, bifacial cells contained in a dual-glass panel. Trina Solar has been at the forefront of bifacial cell technology.
The performance of bifacial panels installed on single-axis tracking systems is best when they are placed over light-colored materials, like sand or even snow.
Quality And Performance
One of the world’s leading independent solar module testing and performance services PVEL (DNV-GL), a German-based testing facility, produce the annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard Report. Over the last six years, various Trina solar panels have consistently scored as a ‘Top performer’ among 20+ of the world’s leading solar brands tested.
A top performer does not mean they are ranked as number 1 but among the highest performing modules in the group with no severe degradation or failures.
PVEL is one of the world’s most reputable, independent solar PV testing organisations, thus the results provide a high level of confidence in the long term performance and reliability of Trina Solar modules for both large and small scale installations.
Along with many other large manufacturers, Trina solar has had some quality issues over the years. These have been mostly the result of back-sheet degradation and failure leading to water ingress or PID issues.
Fortunately, this appears to be limited mostly to panels sold between 2011 and 2014 and related to an alternative back-sheet or EVA material being used during manufacture.
Recent panels do not seem to have any recorded issues, but this does not mean there will not be faults in the future. As with all large volume manufacturers, there is bound to be an occasional batch or small number of panels with issues.
Often, when it comes to quality issues, the big difference is how a manufacturer handles these problems and supports the installers and customers. As we explain in the next section, this is one area where Trina has really improved.
Warranty And Service
Trina solar offer a standard 12-year manufacturer’s product warranty which guards against defects for the first 12 years, plus a 25-year performance warranty to guarantee a minimum 84% power output rating after 25 years of use.
The Vertex and Vertex S panels have a longer 15-year product warranty period with options to extend up to 25 years, while the Vertex S+ panels are backed by an impressive 25-year product warranty and 30-year performance warranty.
Trina Solar has many support/service centres across the globe with the Australian service office based in Sydney.
Improved warranty support
Things have improved significantly since our first Trina solar review in 2018, with a much higher level of service and support in the event of a warranty claim or panel failure. Based on our previous Australian solar installer survey, Trina’s service and support was average in the event of a quality issue or claim, with mixed feedback of both positive and negative responses over the years.
However, the latest feedback from solar professionals has elevated Trina to one of the top performers when it comes to supporting warranty claims, with a streamlined process and greatly improved customer service. See the Trina website for warranty claims.
Trina Solar has been concentrating more on its supply chain, similar to many larger manufacturers, in an effort to decrease waste and pollution through more effective manufacturing techniques and more corporate responsibility.
Trina Solar receives an excellent 99 out of 100 on the well-known SVTC assessment. It also “Takes responsibility for the environmental and health implications of its goods throughout their lifecycles, including adherence to an obligatory policy for responsible recycling” in addition to better working conditions.
The global independent safety science certification agency also awarded Trina Solar a dual “Environmental Product Declaration” (EPD) certification in January 2021.
By monitoring the environmental effect, raw materials, production, processing, transportation, and recycling, the EPD certification for sustainable manufacture is attained.
Known for its inexpensive and dependable solar panels, Trina Solar is regarded as one of the top value producers. This reputation has been strengthened by recent improvements in customer service and significant developments in solar cell technology, which have led to better power ratings due to enhanced efficiency.
Trina Solar, one of the industry pioneers in PV cell developments, has helped advance the development of high-efficiency cell technology while also reducing prices with the introduction of the new Vertex line of high-performance panels.
Trina panels will function successfully for many years because they are one of the top 5 manufacturers in the world and have demonstrated excellent performance in the independent PVEL testing program. Overall, based on Trina Solar’s lengthy track record, stellar reputation, and Bloomberg Tier 1 rating
Overall, you could nearly ensure Trina will be there for a long time to support any quality or performance concerns should they arise well into the future based on Trina Solar’s lengthy history, reputation, and Tier 1 rating under the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) ranking system.
Most Trina Solar Panels come with a standard 12-year product guarantee and a 25-year performance warranty, with the next generation bifacial and Vertex panels offering a longer 15-year product and 30-year performance warranty. Trina Solar’s new Vertex S+ (plus) panels are the company’s first to come with a 25-year product and performance warranty.