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Phono solar panels review

Overall Rating From 23 Reviews:

Phono solar panels review

Average Customer Rating:

Tier 1

Phono Solar is a Chinese company that produces tier one solar panels with a 10 year product warranties and 25 year performance warranties. They are certified as corrosion resistant and so are suitable for installation by the sea. Phono Solar does not have an Australian office, so the company that imports the panels will be responsible for their warranties.

Company History

Phono Solar was founded by the Sumec/Sinomach conglomerate, apparently in 2004. The huge Sumec/Sinomach conglomeration has so fingers in so many pies they have probably had extra hands grafted on to accommodate them all. They are involved in everything from large and small scale generator manufacture, to lawn mowers, to clothing.

Phono Solar first started large scale manufacture of solar panels in 2008 with a 120 megawatt solar panel production line. They expanded this to 200 megawatts the following year and by 2014 they were considered to be a tier one manufacturer by Bloomberg.

Manufacturing Capacity

At the end of 2016 Phono Solar’s manufacturing capacity was around 800 megawatts. While that adds up to a lot of solar panels it only makes them a small manufacturer in the scheme of things. The world’s largest manufacturer, Jinko Solar, produced over 8 times as much with around 6.6 gigabytes of production in 2016.

Manufacturing Location

Phono Solar manufactures their panels in Nanjing, a city that is often known as Nanking to English speakers. It is on the Yangtze River and is only a one and a half hour express train ride from Shanghai.

Phono Solar Is Very Proud Of How Their Panels Performed in DVN GL Tests

DNV GL is, among other things, an international certification body. They perform independent tests of solar panels. Phono Solar did extremely well in testing, coming second overall in an extensive round of tests completed in 2016, which I wrote about here.

Phono Solar Panels

Datasheets for Phono panels can be acquired from their download page. If you get information on their standard module from there you’ll find the datasheet actually calls them premium modules. These standard/premium modules can be up to 17.3% efficient.

Ultra High Efficiency Panels

Phono produces PERC panels that they refer to as ultra high efficiency panels, which are up to 18.4% efficient.

Smart Modules

Phono smart modules are panels with built in SolarEdge optimizers. These work to maximise the output of each panel so if one panel performs poorly it won’t drag down the performance of others. Phono Solar says they can provide up to 25% more output, but 10% to 15% is more realistic under most circumstances..

Warranties And Corrosion Resistance

All the above panels come with 10 year product and 25 year performance warranties and they are all definitely certified as corrosion resistant.

Dual Glass Module

Phono produces a dual glass module that operates at a higher voltage than standard panels. Its product warranty is for 10 years, the same as other Phono panels, but their performance warranty is 5 years longer at 30 years. These panels are made for larger and higher voltage inverters than are normally used by Australian homes.

My Recommendation

I would have no problem with installing Phono Solar modules on my roof, especially since the did so well in DNV GL testing. They are also very competitively priced. Personally, I’d take them over a considerable number of other tier one panels.

As Phono Solar has no office in Australia, this means the warranty will be held by the importing company. As many people prefer the warranty to be held by an Australian based company rather than one in China, this may be considered an advantage.

Rating Comments Name State Postcode
When it gets cloudy I thought they would perform better. As we were told in low light conditions they would perform excellent. Overall they seem to perform good.
Bought From: Sunsource Group Review Date: 28 July 2016
Gerard NSW 2558
They seem to be doing a good job so far
Bought From: Solar Australia Review Date: 4 July 2016
RON NSW 2710
Estimated average system output has been exceeded in nearly every month since installed.
Bought From: Solar Australia Review Date: 24 June 2016
Matt NSW 2850
Again, no problems so can only say fantastic.
Bought From: Solar Australia Review Date: 4 June 2016
Louise NSW 2445

Bought From: Solar Australia Review Date: 17 May 2016
Patrick NSW 2264

Bought From: Solar Australia Review Date: 11 April 2016
Allan NSW 2282
After 7 months the panels had not gained very much surface dirt or debris and appear to be highly efficient with good gains during overcast but bright days - mine are arranged in eastward and westward in two groups of 4x2 panels each for a total rated output of just over 4KW Battery charge levels are nearly always over 80% and regularly get to 99% Power bills are lower than $2 per day even with the use of the reverse cycle a/c While I do not want to site test the hail resistance there are stated values for size and speed of the hail stones - much more valid information for East Coast Australia than information on snow loadings provided for some of the Canadian panels - at least impact damage has been considered in the design of the panels - I purposefully delayed the installation until the adjacent land was cleared of major trees that were dropping branches and other debris on my roof
Bought From: STS Services Review Date: 6 April 2016
Graeme NSW 2428
I think they are working quite OK.
Bought From: Solar Australia Review Date: 29 March 2016
Ray NSW 2319

Bought From: Solar Australia Review Date: 12 March 2016
John NSW 2289

Bought From: Solar Australia Review Date: 11 March 2016
Peter VIC 3728
Panels cannot be seen from most angles The weather has kept the dust the panels in the winter, but we are aware that they will need an occasional hosing off in the summer.
Bought From: Solar Australia Review Date: 15 February 2016
Ronald VIC 3630

Bought From: Negawatts Solar And Electrical Review Date: 7 February 2016
David QLD 4560

Bought From: Next Generation Energy Review Date: 31 January 2016
Brian VIC 3690

Bought From: Next Generation Energy Review Date: 19 January 2016
Chris VIC 3723

Bought From: Advanced Solar Technology Review Date: 1 January 2016
Ken WA 6148
Derating on solar panels with temperature is extreme. System is 2.5kW, but is lucky to peak at 2kW. System seems to work consistantly, but I would not use or recommend the Phono panels if I was doing it again. Installer scratched the colorbond roof in numberous locations (discovered some time after the installation). A bit disappointing, but there is not much you can do about it.
Bought From: Advanced Solar Technology Review Date: 3 December 2015
Mike WA 6100

Bought From: Advanced Solar Technology Review Date: 8 December 2015
Peter WA 6030

Bought From: Cola Solar Review Date: 1 December 2015
No problems with the panels after a year
Bought From: Advanced Solar Technology Review Date: 14 November 2015
Simon WA 6027

Bought From: Sunsource Group Review Date: 16 October 2015
Anon VIC 3153

Bought From: Coffs Solar Energy Review Date: 8 October 2015
Richard NSW 2450

Bought From: Enviren Pty Ltd Review Date: 6 May 2014
Eileen QLD 4301
Panels performing very well
Bought From: Uni-Industries Review Date: 19 December 2016
Errol QLD 4550

Phono has 42 solar panels in our database

Model Type Size PTC Performance Ratio Californian Approved
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