Suntech solar panels reviews

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About Suntech, Solar Panels

Suntech solar panels review

Suntech Power is a Chinese producer of tier 1 solar panels with 15 year product warranties and 25 year performance warranties. They have an Australian office in North Sydney.

Suntech is unique because it is the only major solar panel manufacturer in that world that was founded by an Australian.

Solar Panel Production

Suntech Power was started by Shi Zhengrong in 2001 and it rapidly expanded to become the largest solar panel producer in the world in 2011 with 2.4 gigawatts of production capacity. But due to massive financial problems the company has not expanded much since then - in 2018 it shipped around 3GW of solar panels.

Company History

Shi Zhengrong was born in 1963 in Yangzhong, which is what counts as a small city in China, 200km north-west of Shanghai, next to the giant brass puffer fish. His parents were so poor they kept his twin brother and adopted him out. You might think his parents ended up kicking themselves for not keeping the one who became a billionaire, but apparently his brother made it big in the world of business also. But I have no information on whether or not his business also came crashing down around him.

Shi Zhengrong studied at Shanghai University and obtained a Masters degree in “lasers”. He then went on to study at the University of NSW and obtained a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. He obtained Australian citizenship and after failing to obtain both investors and government support in Australia, he returned to China to found Suntech in 2001.

The company expanded rapidly and became a world leader in solar technology and in August 2009 they broke the record for both polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar cell efficiency. In 2011 they became the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer.

But Suntech’s financial position started deteriorating in 2008 and by March 2013 they became a world leader in financial disasters by being the first mainland China company to default on their US bonds. At the time the bonds were worth $541 million US and the company declared bankruptcy soon after. Shi Zhengrong was forced out of his position as Chairman and CEO.

Suntech Was Scammed Out Of 560 Million Euros

Their default wasn’t the first time Suntech had trouble with bonds. In July 2012 they suddenly realized 560 million Euros worth of German Government bonds they had held for two years were actually forgeries that were part of an Italian scam.

Not noticing they were being conned in the first place and then not realizing it for two years, or if you are of a suspicious turn of mind - keeping it hidden for that long, was an act of incredibly stupid negligence. So if your boss is ever down on you for a money losing mistake, you can console yourself with the fact that you probably haven’t saddled your company with 560 million Euros worth of counterfeit bonds from scammers.

Shi Zhengrong’s Fate

In 2007 Shi Zengrong was apparently the richest person in mainland China. But as the financial position of Suntech deteriorated the value of his share of the company fell from $3 billion to $32 million, which isn’t even enough to buy 33 Sydney homes. But he is still working to promote solar power and fighting to further develop clean energy to oppose climate change. His next goal is for the world to reach 100% renewables. He says life should be green, sustainable, and enjoyable. So good on him.

It’s hard to keep a good former billionaire down. There should be more people like him. And genetically speaking, there is one more.

Suntech Returns From The Dead

While Suntech went bankrupt, it never actually died. After restructuring, the Suntech website says they have now have nearly zero debt. However, I have some conflicting information on how good Suntech’s financial position is.

This analysis from 2016 using Altman Z-scores said Suntech’s financial position was not good. But a representative of Shunfeng International Clean Energy, or SFCE, told me they own Suntech 100% and their own financial position was good. I was informed, “The diversified nature of SFCE actually puts Suntech is an incredibly strong position financially.”

While diversification certainly can help companies survive economic downturns, I’m not a massive fan of it and think that what really makes a company financially secure is not being over leveraged and consistently not losing money. Companies that manage to pull that off can hang around, more or less, forever.

Suntech Solar Panels

Suntech produces a range of solar panels which are up to 18.4% efficient. They are certified as corrosion resistant, which makes them suitable for installation in coastal areas. They have 12 year product warranties and 25 year performance warranties.

Suntech Panels Obtained The Prestigious VDE Certification

VDE is a massive German association which, among other things, is a standards body that devised a rigorous testing process for solar panels that simulated exposure to harsh conditions for decades. Suntech was the third manufacturer in the world to have panels pass their test and contract VDE certification.

Warranty Procedure For Orphaned Suntech Customers

If you have purchased Suntech panels from a solar installer who has since gone out of business, the responsibility for warranty claims shifts to Suntech. Their customer service line in Australia is 02 8188 2450 - affected customers should contact this line for warranty assistance. Suntech have advised that they are able to refer customers to installers who can diagnose issues with the panels and carry out any warranty replacement work. Labor costs involved with panel replacement are covered under warranty - $120 for the first panel, and $60 for each additional panel.

My Recommendation

Suntech makes reliable, tier one panels, so I would be fine with putting them on my roof. Despite their previous financial dramas, they seem to have come through and built up a relatively sound financial position. And because their panels are reliable, hopefully you’ll never be in the position of needing to make a warranty claim.

Suntech Solar Panel Reviews

Bought From: Electric Cool Geraldton Show additional information
Bought From: Your Green Planet Show additional information
Bought From: BREAZE Energy Solutions Show additional information
30 x 330kw Suntech panels
Bought From: Arise Solar
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Bought From: Your Green Planet Show additional information
Bought From: Skyline Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Stag Electrical Solar and Refrigeration Show additional information
Bought From: Arise Solar Show additional information
Bought From: G Solar and Electrical Pty Ltd Show additional information
370 watt panels, so don't need as many panels for the 6.6 Kw capacity.
Bought From: Exceed Solar
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Bought From: Central Coast Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Your Green Planet
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Bought From: AC Electrical - Bundaberg/Fraser Coast/Gladstone Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Your Green Planet Show additional information
these suntech full black panels look super sexy
no doubt other manufacturers will need to get on board asap.
for a "budget" panel, REALLY happy with the performance so far
Bought From: Adapt Energy
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Bought From: Your Green Planet Show additional information
Bought From: Advanced Solar Technology (North) Show additional information
appear to be working very well
Bought From: VV Electrical and Solar
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These panels seem to work really well. Particularly on a hazy day. Working great in August. Interesting to see how they perform over the summer.
Bought From: Adapt Energy Gold Coast - Brisbane
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Bought From: Green Wiring Show additional information
Bought From: Adapt Energy Show additional information
Bought From: SolarEZE Brisbane Show additional information
Suntech 370 w
Bought From: DES Electrical Contractors
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Bought From: Alliance Solar Show additional information
A bit early to tell but all seems to be good
Bought From: Midland Solar Pty Ltd
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Bought From: Geelong Solar Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Sunboost Show additional information
Bought From: Neon Solar Systems Show additional information
Bought From: Green Star Solar Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Your Green Planet Show additional information
Bought From: Perth Solar Force Show additional information
Bought From: Geelong Solar Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Cola Solar Show additional information
Bought From: Your Green Planet Show additional information
Bought From: OTI Power QLD Show additional information
Bought From: Sunshine Coast Solar Show additional information
Looks great in black
Bought From: Arise Solar
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Bought From: Greencell Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Midland Solar Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Midland Solar Pty Ltd Show additional information
Bought From: Perth Solar Force Show additional information
Bought From: Aussie Farmers Group SA Show additional information
12 months on and no problems encountered at all .
Bought From: Perth Solar Force
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Although I have only had the system for a month or so, so far so good.
The app for my phone is great as I can see in real time what the system production is.
Bought From: Perth Solar Force
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Bought From: Keystones Electrical QLD Show additional information
Bought From: Your Green Planet Show additional information
Bought From: Geelong Solar Energy Show additional information
Bought From: Perth Solar Force Show additional information
I'm very happy to have finally had a system installed. This is one small way I can reduce my carbon foot print. They appear to work efficiently. A couple of panels occasionally are partially covered by shade. The installers advised us to have these optimised (I think this is the term) so that the whole system is not disadvantaged when this occurs. Even on a cloudy day the panels are putting energy into the system.
Bought From: Cola Solar
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Bought From: Geelong Solar Energy Show additional information

Suntech has 147 solar panels in our database

Model Type Size PTC Performance Ratio Californian Approved
Pluto 190-Ada (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline19017391.05Yes
Pluto 190-AdbMonocrystalline19017391.05Yes
Pluto 190-Ade (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline19017592.11Yes
Pluto 190-AdfMonocrystalline19017391.05Yes
Pluto 195-Ada (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline19517891.28Yes
Pluto 195-AdbMonocrystalline19517891.28Yes
Pluto 195-Ade (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline19518092.31Yes
Pluto 195-AdfMonocrystalline19517891.28Yes
Pluto 200-AdaMonocrystalline20018391.50Yes
Pluto 200-AdbMonocrystalline20018391.50Yes
Pluto 200-Ade (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline20018592.50Yes
Pluto 200-AdfMonocrystalline20018391.50Yes
Pluto 205-AdaMonocrystalline20518891.71Yes
Pluto 205-AdbMonocrystalline20518891.71Yes
Pluto 205-Ade (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline20519092.68Yes
Pluto 205-AdfMonocrystalline20518891.71Yes
Pluto 210-AdaMonocrystalline21019391.90Yes
Pluto 210-AdbMonocrystalline21019291.43Yes
Pluto 210-AdeMonocrystalline21019492.38Yes
Pluto 210-AdfMonocrystalline21019291.43Yes
Pluto210-Udm (54 Poly cells)Polycrystalline21019291.43Yes
Pluto215-Udm (54 Poly cells)Polycrystalline21519691.16Yes
Pluto220-Udm (54 Poly cells)Polycrystalline22020191.36Yes
Pluto225-Udm (54 Poly cells)Polycrystalline22520691.56Yes
Pluto235-Wdm (60 Poly cells)Polycrystalline23521390.64Yes
Pluto240-Wdm (60 Poly cells)Polycrystalline24021790.42Yes
Pluto250-Wdm (60 Poly cells)Polycrystalline25022790.80Yes
STP165S-24/Ab-1 Monocrystalline16514386.67Yes
STP170S-24/Ad+ Monocrystalline17015188.82Yes
STP180S-24/Ad+ (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline18016189.44Yes
STP185S-24/Ad+ (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline18516589.19Yes
STP185S-24/Adb (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline18516790.27Yes
STP185S-24/Adb+ (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline18516790.27Yes
STP190S-24/Ad (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline19017290.53Yes
STP190S-24/Ad+ (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline19017290.53Yes
STP195S-24/Ad (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline19517690.26Yes
STP195S-24/Ad+ (72 Mono cells)Monocrystalline19517690.26Yes
STP200-18/Ud (54 Poly cells)Polycrystalline20018190.50Yes
STP205-18/Ud (54 Poly cells)Polycrystalline20518690.73Yes
STP210-18/Ud (54 Poly cells)Polycrystalline21019190.95Yes
STP215-18/Ud (54 Poly cells)Polycrystalline21519590.70Yes
STP230S-20/Wd (60 Mono cells)Monocrystalline23020890.43Yes
STP235-20/Wd (60 Poly cells)Polycrystalline23521491.06Yes
STP240-20/Wd (60 Poly cells)Polycrystalline24021991.25Yes
STP245-20/Wd (60 Poly cells)Polycrystalline24522391.02Yes
STP250-20/Wd (60 Poly cells)Polycrystalline25022891.20Yes
STP250-20/Wd (AC module)Polycrystalline25022891.20Yes
STP255-20/Wd (60 Poly cells)Polycrystalline25523391.37Yes
STP260-24/Vd (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline26023590.38Yes
STP270-24/Vd (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline27024590.74Yes
STP280-24/Vd (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline28025490.71Yes
STP285-24/Ve (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline28525990.88Yes
STP290-24/Vd (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline29026390.69Yes
STP290-24/Ve (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline29026390.69Yes
STP295-24/Vd (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline29526790.51Yes
STP295-24/Ve (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline29526790.51Yes
STP300-24/Vd (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline30027290.67Yes
STP300-24/Ve (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline30027290.67Yes
STP305-24/Vd (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline30527790.82Yes
STP305-24/Ve (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline30527790.82Yes
STP310-24/Vd (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline31028190.65Yes
STP310-24/Ve (72 Poly cells)Polycrystalline31028190.65Yes
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