Tongwei Solar: A Lot Can Change In Five Years

Tongwei Solar Panel and logo

It’s a little over five years since SolarQuotes first discovered Tongwei Solar, back then a manufacturer mostly turning silicon ingots into solar cells sold to panel manufacturers.

As we said in 2019, Tongwei Solar had no presence in Australia and had not sought Clean Energy Council approval – not surprising since, at the time, it wasn’t focused on solar panels but was essentially a white label behind other panel manufacturers.

As such it was, however, a heavyweight solar cell maker, producing 12GW a year.

But in 2023, a lot has changed: Tongwei Solar is now a broad-based manufacturer with a stable of finished solar panels and uses the brand “TW Solar” in Australia

As of May 2023, the company had 40 modules approved by the CEC. It first started obtaining CEC approvals in July 2020 and by the end of that year had ten modules approved; another ten followed in 2022, and so far this year a further 20 have been added.

Earlier this month, Tongwei Solar’s CTO Guoqiang Xing discussed the company’s ambitions with TaiyangNews.

He said Tongwei has been concentrating on R&D in the modules market, but even so,

“we shipped several GW of modules last year”.

Its next goal, he said, is to

“expand our business into modules and become vertically integrated.”

Tongwei hopes to have an incredible 80GW of solar panel capacity by the end of 2023, compared to a mere 14GW in 2022.

The other change Australian buyers might have noticed is that with products on the CEC’s approved list, TW Solar has also inked distribution agreements with One Stop Warehouse, Bluesun, Solar Juice and Raystech.

Note from Finn:

We’ll write a detailed post on TW Solar’s offering in the Australian market soon. Looking at the Australian solar retailers currently offering them, they appear to have gone for the cheaper end of the market, and the specs look typical of a modern, budget solar panel.

Download (PDF)

As for how well-supported they are in Australia, we’ll need to investigate whether Tongwei has invested in a proper Australian support office. We’ll also ask installers we trust about their experience with them once TW Solar panels have been on Australian roofs for at least a couple of years. Then we’ll consider whether to put them on our approved brands chart.

About Richard Chirgwin

Joining the SolarQuotes blog team in 2019, Richard is a journalist with more than 30 years of experience covering a wide range of technology topics, including electronics, telecommunications, computing, science and solar. When not writing for us, he runs a solar-powered off-grid eco-resort in NSW’s blue mountains. Read Richard's full bio.

Comments

  1. Hi Richard,

    Is there a list of manufacturers that have more than just a support office in Australia?

    If, I as a consumer wanted to support local manufacturing, which inverter, solar panels and battery manufacturer would you recommend?

    Do you see these companies increasing their local content in the near future?

    What does the future hold for local manufacturing or at least sourcing of raw materials (such as Lithium) in the Solar industry of Australia?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi, Ronald here.

      The only solar panel manufacturer in Australia is Tindo. They make high quality panels that can have a 25 year product warranty. But note you will pay a premium for them.

      Mil-solar is an Australian made inverter.

      Selectronics makes high quality battery inverters in Melbourne. In the future they’ll be producing hybrid inverters in Australia.

      We can recommend all the above companies, as they make quality products.

      As for batteries, Renaissance One may soon be producing modern lithium batteries in Australia in large numbers, but they have hit some delays. We don’t yet know what their quality will be.

      Australia has plenty of potential to produce batteries and provide raw material. At the moment about half the world’s lithium comes from Australia. We also export silver for solar panels and copper for everything.

      Note that all the Australian made solar panels and inverters have parts that are made overseas, but this is not a problem as every dollar we import represents a dollar of exports, so it helps Australians working in export industries.

  2. Hi Richard, do you know if they have ‘links’ to the Chinese Government like Huawei?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Bryce, Ronald here.

      Tongwei Solar has a market cap of AUD$230 billion. So it is definitely locked into a web of patronage and corruption with China’s government, as every large and medium sized Chinese company is. This is one reason I recommend against having an authoritarian government.

  3. Hi Team,
    Is there any update on the research into these solar panels and would they be preferred over Seraphim Panels?
    Thank you

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Both Seraphim and Tongwei panels are tier one which is evidence they are acceptable quality. But with the information I have, I can’t say they are better than Seraphim panels.
      For a graphic showing the panels we are confident about recommending, check out our Solar 101 Guide:

      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/solar101.html

      There are a number of panel manufacturers towards to lower cost end of the market we consider reliable and good value for money.

  4. Andy Norman says

    Will Solar Quotes add TW Solar to your list of trusted brands?

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