Tindo Solar, Australia’s Only Solar Panel Manufacturer, Bought By SA’s Cool or Cosy

tindo solar

Tindo Solar is now owned by SA company ‘Cool or Cosy’.

Tindo Solar, Australia’s only manufacturer of Solar panels has been bought by South Australia’s insulation, solar installation, and energy efficiency company Cool or Cosy.

The deal was announced on… Well actually, it hasn’t been announced yet1.  But since I’m from Queensland, obviously I know Julian Assange, so you can trust me to know all the secrets.

Because Cool or Cosy is an Australian company that has been around for 33 years and is very active in the solar industry, I am much more optimistic about this change of ownership than I have been about some overseas purchases of successful Australian solar businesses, as those had a tendency to then become unsuccessful Australian solar businesses.

Tindo Solar

Tindo Solar was founded in Adelaide in 2011 and is Australia’s only manufacturer of solar panels.  While APS has pretended to make solar panels in Australia, Tindo Solar has been busy doing it for real2.

But just because Tindo Solar is Australia’s only solar panel producer does not mean it has been able to take it easy in any way, as solar panel manufacture is a cut-throat business and competition from overseas is intense.  Tindo has positioned itself as a producer of high quality panels aimed at the upper end of the market.  This means they cost more than the run of the mill panel imported from overseas, but people are willing to pay a premium for quality and also for Australian made products.

This video shows how Tindo makes their panels.

Cool Or Cosy

Cool or Cosy has been around for for 33 years.  They started business in South Australia in 1984 installing cellulose insulation.  They have since branched out into solar PV and solar hot water installations. Their strategy is to offer solar as a ‘rent to buy’ package through their own finance company.  It obviously works because in 2015 they were South Australia’s largest solar retailer/installer.  They are also very active in what is often a neglected area in Australia, which is general energy efficiency improvements.  They claim they are capable of undertaking any energy efficiency project for homes or commercial businesses.

Cool or Cosy’s Cellulose Insulation

Do you want ants?

Cellulose can be a very effective insulator.  Finn’s home uses it, although his is in the form of straw, which is different from what Cool or Cosy uses.  Their cellulose is grey and fluffy and made from old newspapers.  You may think insulation made from old newspapers would be flammable, but it is treated with boric acid which is a flame retardant.  Boric acid is not very dangerous to humans, but it’s a different matter for insects.  Do you not want ants?  Because boric acid is how you not get ants.

So Which Is It?  Cool Or Cosy?

I first learned of the existence of Cool or Cosy several years ago in a conversation with my good friend Tony:

TONY:  I had my house insulated.

ME:  Who did it?

TONY:  Cool or Cosy.

ME: Which company?

TONY:  Cool or Cosy.

ME:  So which company insulated your house?  Cool or Cosy?

Cool or Cosy's on first

“Who insulated your house?”
“Cool or Cosy.”
“But which company did it? Cool or Cosy?”
“Yes.”

TONY:  Yes.

ME:  So was it Cool or Cosy?

TONY:  Yes.

ME:  So which one was it?

TONY:  I just told you.

Me:  No you didn’t!  I want to narrow it down.  Was it Cool or Cosy?

TONY:  Yes.

ME:  Don’t you remember who did it?

TONY:  Of course I remember!  I’ve just told you five times!

ME:  Who did you pay the money to?

TONY:  Cool or Cosy.

ME:  If I asked your husband, Peter, who would he say did it?

TONY:  Cool or Cosy.

ME:  So was it Cool?

TONY:  No it wasn’t, that’s why we called Cool or Cosy.

ME:  So was it Cosy?

TONY:  In winter we think it will be.

ME:  In winter you think it will be Cosy?

TONY:  Yes, I think so.

ME:  But who do you think insulated your house now?

TONY:  Cool or Cosy.

ME:  But which one did it?

TONY:  Cool or Cosy!

ME:  Why won’t you tell me?

TONY:  I have been telling you!

ME:  That’s it!  I’m going to burn your house down!

TONY:  That won’t work.

ME:  Why not?

TONY:  Cool or Cosy used boric acid as a flame retardant.

 

Now that I think about it, I haven’t been invited back to Tony’s house for a long time.

What does the future hold for Tindo Solar?

We asked Cool or Cosy to comment on their plans for Tindo, but did not get a response. So Finn literally went round to the factory on his bike. Adelaide’s nice like that.

Finn discovered that the staff have been told it will be business as usual for Tindo under the new ownership with plans to expand the factory to meet increasing demand for Tindo panels. So it looks like they will continue to make increasing numbers of Australian panels for the premium end of the market. Which is good news for SA and for Australia.

Footnotes

  1. apart from in the Adelaide Advertiser yesterday – but that’s behind a paywall – so doesn’t count
  2. As far as I have been aware, they have been the only non-fake manufacturer of solar panels in Australia since Silex shut down panel manufacture in 2011.  Silex appears to have moved out of solar entirely to concentrate on shooting uranium with lasers.
About Ronald Brakels

Many years ago now, Ronald Brakels was born in Toowoomba. He first rose to international prominence when his township took up a collection to send him to Japan, which was the furthest they could manage with the money they raised. He became passionately interested in environmental matters upon his return to Australia when the local Mayor met him at the airport and explained it was far too dangerous for him to return to Toowoomba on account of climate change and mutant attack goats. Ronald then moved to a property in the Adelaide Hills where he now lives with his horse, Tonto 23.

Comments

  1. what is the Tindo premium in cost, over typical Tier 1 Chinese made panels?

    • Last time I checked, for a 5kW system you were looking at approx a $1500 premium for Tindo DC panels over a cheaper Tier 1 like Jinko. But they are actually cheaper to buy than LG or Sunpower.

  2. Graham Alexander says

    A free plug for Cool or cosy?????

  3. David Brien says

    We were originally going with Tindo for the reasons stated. But once I started asking technical questions the local salesman quickly cooled off.
    Went with some one who not only wanted to sell panels but wanted to help me understand my power usage and how to manage it with panels.
    Hopefully the new owners can get a better interstate sales team organised.

  4. price per watt….so if your array in Australia is $1500 for 5 kW that is $.30 a watt.

  5. It sure is a cut throat business.
    Trina Solar has just gone private, taken itself off the Wall St. market
    Trina’s return was small and it actually operated at a loss for a number of years.
    Shares had dropped down to around $9.40 before the take over offer bailing out a big loss by many investors.Just the same , there were still losers.
    Jifan Gao, the chairman and CEO of Trina Solar, and Shanghai Xingsheng Equity Investment & Management offered to take the company private for $11.60 per share.

  6. The video of the manufacturing process was impressive but the source of the actual cells was not revealed.
    Do we know where they come from?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      They are imported cells. My guess is they would be Korean, but I could be wrong about that.

  7. Alison Anderson says

    I have just purchased a Tindo system with Enphase microinverters and the Enlighten monitoring system. It has taken a while to get it all hooked up to the internet and now we want to be able to get all the data from the panels (I was told to contact them again when the internet was sorted out). After trying to get in touch with Tindo (they have disappeared off the internet so I can’t even get their phone number), I find out the company has been sold! NOT HAPPY!!!
    Where do we stand with our warranties (for the panels and the microinverters) and will we ever be able to get more than the basic data from the panels?
    I’m not feeling very optimistic 🙁

    • Hi Alison,

      I spoke to the new owner, Glenn, yesterday.

      Nothing has changed at Tindo apart from the ownership. I’m not sure why their website is down – it must just be a technical glitch.

      The new owners are Cool or Cosy and they are at http://coolorcosy.com.au/ or (08) 8352 5588

      Hope That Helps,

      Finn

      • Alison Anderson says

        Hi Finn,

        Thanks for responding to my concerns.

        I had already contacted Cool and Cosy through their website to find out what was happening and someone from Tindo rang within 10 minutes. Their website was having technical issues, so I shouldn’t jump to conclusions!!

        It’s all good now. And I’m really enjoying my ‘free’ power!

  8. Can You provide the contact details of TINDO Solar in India. What is the price per watt

  9. Jose Contreras says

    Hi i have a 4.8 KW system that produces around 11KW a day and i’m only using about 3KW of course the rest is going to the grid at 6c KW peanuts, anyway my aim was not to pay any money and it’s happening. it is my belief, that tindo being an Australian company, will be THE NUMBER 1 producer of solar panels in this country, as for me I will always recommend this company, and more important than anything it’s a quality 100% Australian owned and produced.

  10. Gerry Mills says

    We bought a 2.0Kw system from tindo which has worked well but we have had issues with solarbridge power manager unit, I suspect that Tindo used Solarbridge microinverter so and power manager unit but have now changed to Enphase microinverters. So the question is how do I monitor the Output? Since Solarbridge is offline, there must be an app or software available.

  11. phillip manning says

    So glad to have found this blog. We had a Tindo 2.5Kw system installed 18 or so months ago. The ‘salesman’ talked crap about our usage and what we should have. (You have to get ‘caught’ before you learn to understand the bull).
    Decided to stay with Tindo and go for a second line of panels on our shed roof.
    The courier turned up on our rural property two days earlier than expected with a pallet load. We do not have a forklift. The local Home Hardware kindly allowed us to offload the panels, rails and boxes into their warehouse. That was middle of July this year. No-one has turned up to install the new panels. No-one has written, phoned or contacted us about the installation. Some installer in NSW said our weather in SW Vic was too inclement to be installed by him. When I saw the advert offering a ‘spotter’s’ fee for recommending someone. I recommended Tindo to sell to my wife. I never received the spotters fee. Bit sad. Tindo does not follow up with after sales calls, surveys or whatever. They have our large deposit and I guess we have their panels, but Mr Home Hardware is going to want some storage fees is my guess. I am all for Aussie built and Aussie products overall, but this captive audience shit is doing my head in. We cannot be the only consumer being abused by Tindo’s very slack business model of consumer support ineptness.

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