JA Solar review

JA Solar - Solar Panel Reviews

4.8

Based on 593 ratings

Finn's JA Solar Panels Review & Verdict

Finn Peacock has been a Chartered Electrical Engineer since 1998, and is ex-CSIRO

Cheap, reliable, and well-supported in Australia. Nothing to get excited about and nothing to complain about. A low-risk option for the budget-conscious.

JA Solar Panels: Pros & Cons

  • Well established
  • Responsive local support
  • Competitive specification
  • As used by SA Water for large-scale farms supporting local water infrastructure
  • Our in-house installer Anthony bought some...
  • Nothing really to mention. Run of the mill, but many panels/brands are all converging on very similar spec

About JA Solar

JA Solar is a giant manufacturer of solar panels. In 2022 they were the fourth largest in the world. As none of the companies ahead of them have much of a lead, JA Solar is in the running to become the largest panel manufacturer ever.

They have concentrated on producing low-cost but reliable panels. The 12-year product warranties they provide are less than the 15 to 25 years of most panels we recommend. However, because they are reliable, well-supported in Australia, and good value for money SolarQuotes has no problem recommending them.

While JA Solar is a giant company, its panels are rarely used on Australian roofs. This is because they focus on providing panels for solar farms. Most of theirs are large and all are bifacial. This means they can make use of light that hits both their front and rear. This provides no advantage to panels in a typical rooftop installation, which are mounted on rails only centimetres above the roof surface.

Company History

JA Solar was founded in 2005 by Jin Baofang. I read some interesting stories about this billionaire in the past, but they seem to have been scrubbed from the internet so I can't back them up. But trust me, they were all good. Or at least good as in amusing.

This internet scrubbing may have had something to do with his detention by the Chinese government towards the end of 2020 on unspecified charges. But these days he's back running JA Solar.

Jin Baofeng got his start in solar in 1996, producing monosilicon with three small crucibles. Nine years later he created JA Solar which soon made him a billionaire.

In 2017 the company began the mass production of double glass panels which have a glass sheet on the front and back with solar cells sandwiched inside.

The company strategy is referred to as "One body, two wings" and it probably sounds better in Chinese. The body refers to the production of silicon and solar panels, while the wings refer to the production of other products required by solar farms and their construction and commissioning.

JA Solar Production

JA Solar shipped 38.1 gigawatts (GW) of solar panels in 2022 with around 60% being exported from China. Their production estimate for 2023 was 60-65GW. That's a huge increase, but given how fast solar has been expanding they have an excellent chance of achieving it.

JA Solar produces both solar silicon and panels. This makes it a vertically integrated company involved in the production of all the major solar panel components.

Production Locations

Most of JA Solar's production occurs in China where they have multiple factories. They also produce panels in Malaysia and Vietnam and are planning to build factories in India and the United States.

JA Panels -- All Bifacial

JA Solar currently produces 10 different panels. Six are large and over 2.27m in length, while four are standard-sized and around 1.72m by 1.13m. Their panels are named Deep Blue and all are bifacial.

Because they're bifacial they're rarely used on home roofs, but note there is no harm in using them for a standard rooftop installation. While installing them centimetres above the roof won't let them provide any bifacial advantage, it doesn't create any problems.

Unlike some bifacial panels, JA Solar's all have frames. Some say frameless panels look better, but having frames makes installation and maintenance easier.

Bifacial Panels Suitable For Tilt Frames

While bifacial panels may not make sense for the typical rooftop installation, if tilt frames are used it will allow light to hit them from behind and increase their output. On a typical roof, this increase may be under 10%. But on a reflective white membrane roof it could result in a 27% increase. However, this is only likely to be achieved in a close-to-ideal situation and requires keeping the roof clean.

While the extra cost, clutter, and complexity of tilt frames mean they're rarely used for residential solar these days if they are used, it's worth considering bifacial panels.

Panel Efficiency

JA Solar panels have high efficiency which ranges from 21% to 22.8%. This is for light hitting the front of the panel. At the time of writing in September 2023, the highest efficiency you can get is 23%, so JA Solar panels can come very close to that.

Heat Resistance

Solar panel efficiency is reduced by heat. All JA Solar panels lose around 0.3% efficiency for each degree the temperature is over 25°C. This means when they're 45°C they'll only produce 94% as much power as at 25°C. This is a relatively low loss and better than most panels. This may result in less than 1% greater output over a year compared to a typical panel, but a small benefit is better than nothing.

Warranties

Solar panels come with two warranties:

  • Product warranties: These cover defects in materials and construction.
  • Performance warranties: These promise the panel won't lose more than a set amount of capacity each year.

JA Solar product warranties are for 12 years. Nowadays, this is not particularly long.

The standard length of a performance warranty is 25 years but, like nearly all bifacial panels, JA Solar panels have a 30-year performance warranty. For all their panels it promises they'll lose no more than 1% of capacity in the first year and no more than 0.4% in each subsequent year. So after 30 years, they'll have a minimum of 84.7% of their original capacity. This is better than the performance warranty of most solar panels but is not unusual for good-quality bifacial ones.

Making A Warranty Claim

If you need to make a warranty claim, you should first contact your installer. But if they are no longer around, you can contact JA Solar directly.

JA Solar Sydney Office: (02) 8912 2165

Financial Status

Having panels with a 12-year product warranty and a 30-year performance warranty won't do you any good if the company that made them is no longer around. While there is no guarantee any company will still be around 12 to 30 years from now, the good news is JA Solar's current financial position appears reasonably secure. In the first quarter of 2023, PV Tech placed them in the top category of their PV ModuleTech bankability report. This means they think they are one of the solar panel manufacturers least likely to suffer financial difficulties or go bankrupt.

Recommendation

While bifacial panels are rarely used for rooftop solar, SolarQuotes has no problem recommending them. If I was going to have panels installed in tilt frames on my roof I would consider them.

Reviewers report paying:
$3,469 - $12,000

For a

JA Solar System

Depending on hardware choice and installation difficulty

JA Solar has 9 solar panels in our database

Filter by:

Type of solar panel 
Wattage 
Panel Efficiency 
Approx. Cost/Watt 
Model number
Series
Wattage
Panel efficiency (%)
Approx Cost per Watt AUD Retail incl GST
Approx cost per panel AUD Retail incl GST
Panel technology
Country of manufacture
JAM54S30-395/MR
Deep Blue 3.0 Light
395 W
20.2%
$0.49
$202
Monocrystalline
China
JAM54S30-400/MR
Deep Blue 3.0 Light
400 W
20.5%
$0.49
$202
Monocrystalline
China
JAM54S30-405/MR
Deep Blue 3.0 Light
405 W
20.7%
$0.49
$202
Monocrystalline
China
JAM54S30-410/MR
Deep Blue 3.0 Light
410 W
21.0%
$0.49
$202
Monocrystalline
China
JAM54S30-415/MR
Deep Blue 3.0 Light
415 W
21.3%
$0.49
$202
Monocrystalline
China
JAM54S30-420/MR
Deep Blue 3.0 Light
420 W
21.5%
$0.49
$202
Monocrystalline
China
JAM54S30-415/LR
Deep Blue 3.0 Pro
415 W
20.8%
$0.51
$224
Monocrystalline
China
JAM54S30-440/LR
Deep Blue 3.0 Pro
440 W
22.0%
$0.51
$224
Monocrystalline
China
JAM54D40-440/LB
Deep Blue 4.0 Pro
440 W
22.0%
$0.51
$224
Monocrystalline
China

 

JA Solar Reviews (593)

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  • 5 star 476
  • 4 star 104
  • 3 star 7
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 6

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An incentive was offered by Energy Stuff for this review. Learn more here.

I had a brand new solar system installed with JA Panels in the summer, as soon as a Heavy rain came I had a Earth Leakage Error on inverter , I didn’t switch off system as I didn’t know and Damaged my inverter, I’m on my 3rd inverter as it’s Damaged the inverter as I didn’t switch off , now after a heavy rain I have to turn off my System as I have a faulty panel, I have had 3 repairman come out and chant fine out which panel is the issue

System Cost

$2,000 to $4,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

The JA solar panels look great on the roof, (dark coloured panels with dark coloured surround) and arrear to work well on a north facing roof maxing out at around 4.8kw/hr for a 5kw system.

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$2,000 to $4,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

I've had no problems with the panels I had 21 installed all secure and no leaking problems .
I'm very happy with JA Solar panels and Sunshine Solar. who installed the system.

Inverter Brand

Solis

System Cost

$2,000 to $4,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

Over the last 10 months the JA Solar panels have been performing perfectly well, and the output has been pretty well what I have expected from the specs. There have been no problems all, so we are happy with these panels. They seem to be a very reliable brand.

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

We have the JA Solar 290W smart panels. They seem really good though I think the highest number I've seen on them right in the middle of summer was about 270W. Maybe that's to be expected. There have been a few errors where 1 panel or sections of panels seem to fritz out on really hot days but I am not sure if these are related to the above mentioned High AC voltage error restarts. Once I get that fully resolved I hope I will be in a better position to gauge if there is an actual issue with the panels or cabling.

Inverter Brand

Solaredge

System Cost

$10,000 to $15,000

System Size

More than 6kW

Installed By

Again, very early days, but these 15 panels, 6.6kw system, are outperforming my older more expensive panels higher specced panels. This is an add-on system, both systems the same size, so it is interesting to compare the output from both set-ups. The improved performance could be due to the older panels being 4 years old now. However, so far, I like what I see.

Inverter Brand

Growatt

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

An incentive was offered by Energy Stuff for this review. Learn more here.

Ja solar 310w faulty panel

System Cost

$2,000 to $4,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Panel Model JAM60S20-390/MR

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

is it good 390w JA black frame 15yrs performance and 25 warranty

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

In the summer the panels are consistently producing 40kWh per day with peak production of 5kW for over 4 hours each day. This has proved enough to run a pool pump, washing machine, dishwasher and air conditioner all at the same time, for no cost. If there is one fault, I believe a few more panels could have been positioned facing north rather than west to maximize production in winter. While consumption is lower in winter, so are the number of hours we are producing peak power. In saying that, we have just had to adjust when high energy using appliances come on in the winter to align with peak production.

Inverter Brand

Delta

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

They start outputting early (as soon as the sun rises) in the morning even in winter they shoot up to around full output by 10am from a ~7am sunrise. Have noticed that only a small amount of shading from light cloud drops the output visibly, though this is likely the same with all panels.

Inverter Brand

Delta

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

The new 390W JA Solar panels come with a 15 year warranty which puts them above the others in the same price bracket which have 12 year warranties.

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Look great and the anti corrosion feature is ideal for our coastal location. After twelve months the panels are performing at what I would consider peak efficiency in various degrees of sunshine. I no longer pay for any electricity usage and have accumulated significant credits. Providing feed in rates do not drop much or disappear the system is on track to return my investment by 2024. East Point Power have been readily accessible and helpful with the two or three technical enquires I have made to better understand certain features.

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Before installation, I inspected a few of the panels. They impressed me and appeared to have been of a high quality level of manufacture. It is as expected, however, if they had looked a bit cheap or dodgy, it would have been unnerving, but this was not the case. Very happy with the perceived quality. I have no doubts that I will be very satisfied into the future.

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Work well but now take up a large footprint relative to output but they are 3 years old & PV’s have moved on in leaps & bounds over this time.

Inverter Brand

SMA

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Good performance. Top $ high end panels would have been false economy for us. The JA's appear to be a good compromise for $$$ vs. performance.

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

The system is working well, the only problem is ageing infrastructure, namely old transformers that cause limiting connection to the grid when the voltage goes too high.
Not a system problem though, just needs the government too wake up.

Inverter Brand

Enphase

System Cost

$15,000 to $20,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

I found Rev and Sam from Your Green Planet to be very professional. Rev from NT team answered the phone calls even at night. Sam from Melbourne team explained the quotation price very easily when the price changed from 13.2kw to 6.6kw. Team was very helpful. The crew that came out were very quick to install. Without a doubt, I would recommend YOUR GREEN PLANET whether in Melbourne or in NT, to anyone considering solar energy

System Cost

Under $3000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Got the larger 72 cell solar panels for our roof, instead of the domestic 60 cell panels. Because of our roof space and to get more out of the fewer panels.

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

8kW

Installed By

So far no major issue with the solar panels. The indicated output is usually around 3.5 kw (quoted 5 kw system) when the sun is in the most optimal position.

Inverter Brand

Zeversolar

System Cost

$3,000 to $6,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

JAM60S03-315/PR

Inverter Brand

SMA

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

Look good. BUT....luckily placed them on side of house not facing front. They do pick up the western sun commencing around 1000hrs in the winter and around 0900hr in the summer. If I had placed them facing the street, they would have looked obtrusive. To the side, people actually find it difficult to know you have solar panels at all.

Inverter Brand

Solaredge

System Cost

$6,000 to $10,000

System Size

6kW

Installed By

I have 22 panels on the roof designed to get sun at all times in the day. These 290w panels have worked flawlessly. Even in winter we are self-sufficient during much of the day (assuming there is enough sun!)

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$6,000 to $10,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

I think it's still a bit too early to make an informed judgement. I think a survey at two or three years would be better; but so far so good!

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$3,000 to $6,000

System Size

2kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

SolarEdge

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

SAJ

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Shenzen Sofar Solar

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

8kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$15,000 to $20,000

System Size

7kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Panels appear to be doing the job they are designed to do.

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$15,000 to $20,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Very happy

Inverter Brand

Alpha Technologies

System Cost

$12,500 to $15,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Panels are performing exceptionally so very happy - most impressed -

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

Never installed I’ve been scammed.

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Enphase

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

4kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$12,500 to $15,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

15kW

Installed By

An incentive was offered by Koala Solar for this review. Learn more here.

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$2,000 to $4,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

SolarEdge

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Working very well so far!

Inverter Brand

Solis

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

7kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

SolarEdge

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

The last few days were still able to generate some powers despite the stormy clouds glooming over the SEQ skies.

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

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