Many solar panel manufacturers distinguish themselves with their technology, making it challenging to determine the best choice. JA Solar and Jinko are two prominent names and have a good reputation in the solar panel industry.
If you take a look at our solar panel tier list, you’ll see that whilst we believe that both brands are great, we isntall many more JA Solar panels because they are better value overall.
Here are our thoughts on their differences. Let us know your thoughts.
Who are JA Solar?
JA Solar, a renowned Chinese solar panel manufacturer, stands out for its impressive production capabilities. Their panels are not only affordable but also boast some of the industry's top metrics, especially in efficiency. With product and performance warranties that rank among the best globally, JA Solar ensures reliability.
Their recognition on the Fortune 500, China 500, and Global Top 500 New Energy Enterprises lists further attests to their financial robustness. With projects spanning over 135 countries and a workforce of 32,544 as of Q4 2022, their global presence is undeniable.
Who is Jinko?
Jinko, another Chinese solar panel manufacturer, has made its mark in Australia. They are known for producing efficient solar panels at a reasonable price. Their commitment to customers is evident in their continuous efforts to strike the perfect balance between quality and cost.
With a global footprint, Jinko has offices in several countries, including China, Australia, Japan, and the US. Their vertical integration ensures prompt shipping of their self-manufactured solar panels. While they emphasize customer service and product reliability, their offerings are somewhat on par with industry standards.
There is a small cost difference between JA Solar and Jinko
JA Solar's panels are priced between $270 to $300 per panel, reflecting their commitment to quality and efficiency. While this might be slightly higher, it's an investment in a trusted brand known for its superior performance.
On the other hand, Jinko offers a more budget-friendly range of $240 to $260 per panel. This competitive pricing makes Jinko an attractive option for those looking to maximize savings.
When you factor this over a 5kW system, this is about a $600 to $800 difference in the final figure.
So why does JA Solar charge slightly higher?
Warranties are a testament to a manufacturer's confidence in their product's longevity and performance. When comparing Jinko and JA Solar, there's a notable difference in their warranty offerings. Jinko provides a 10-year product warranty, which covers defects in materials and workmanship, and a 25-year power warranty, ensuring the panels will produce a specified percentage of their initial output after a quarter-century. In contrast, JA Solar stands out by offering a comprehensive 25-year warranty for both product and power.
What does this mean for you?
Firstly, a longer product warranty, like JA Solar's, indicates a higher level of trust in the durability and quality of their panels. It suggests that JA Solar believes their panels are less likely to experience physical or functional defects over a more extended period. This extended assurance can provide peace of mind, knowing that your investment is protected against potential manufacturing issues for a quarter of a century.
Secondly, with JA Solar's power warranty also spanning 25 years, you're guaranteed consistent energy output for a more extended period. This consistency ensures that the return on your investment remains stable, as the panels' efficiency is maintained over time.
JA Solar is a private company, Jinko is a public company
In the realm of solar panel manufacturers, JA Solar and Jinko represent two distinct corporate structures. JA Solar operates as a private entity, while Jinko has chosen the path of a public company, trading its shares on the stock market.
Jinko is trading on the New York Stock Exchange as JKS. At this point in time, they are trading at $37.91 USD with a market capitalisation of $1.92B.
Being a private company, JA Solar enjoys several inherent advantages:
Flexibility in Decision Making
Without the pressure of quarterly earnings reports and shareholder expectations, JA Solar can make long-term strategic decisions without the immediate scrutiny public companies often face. This flexibility allows them to innovate, adapt, and pivot their strategies more swiftly.
As a private entity, JA Solar isn't obligated to disclose as much information as a public company. This confidentiality can be advantageous in a competitive market, allowing them to keep proprietary technologies, strategies, and financial data under wraps.
Less Short-term Pressure
Public companies often face immense pressure to meet short-term financial targets to satisfy shareholders. In contrast, JA Solar can focus on long-term growth and sustainability without the constant need to appease stock market analysts.
Without the regulatory requirements and the extensive reporting obligations that come with being public, JA Solar can operate with reduced administrative burdens, allowing them to channel more resources into product development and customer service.
While Jinko, as a public company, enjoys its own set of benefits, such as easier access to capital and increased visibility, JA Solar's private status provides it with a unique set of advantages that can be particularly beneficial in the rapidly evolving solar industry.
This structure allows them to prioritize innovation, long-term goals, and customer satisfaction over short-term financial metrics.
Alleged Forced Labour in China
If you've been keeping an eye on the solar industry, you might've heard about the recent controversies surrounding JinkoSolar, a big-name solar panel manufacturer from Shanghai.
According to The Washington Post, In 2021, USA decided to block imports of JinkoSolar's panels due to some pretty serious concerns about forced labour practices in China. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had a particular issue with Hoshine Silicon, a supplier for JinkoSolar, because of its operations in China's Xinjiang region, which have been linked to dodgy labour practices.
The Washington Post and a other human rights organisation have dug deeper and found that Hoshine's been involved in state-run labour programs that unfairly target Uyghurs and other minority groups.
So, what does this mean for you?
Well, if you're thinking of getting solar panels, you might want to think twice about where they come from. No one wants to support brands mixed up in human rights dramas.
Plus, with all the fuss around JinkoSolar, there could be supply issues, meaning you might be waiting longer or encounter warranty issues after installation.
There are differences between JA Solar and Jinko’s solar panels, but the real difference will come down to what’s right for your home. Every residential solar system is different, and both solar panels will fit your needs.
If you are looking at owning a solar system for a long time, you can't go past JA Solar. They are affordable and will be a great investment for you.
Check out our ANYTIME Solar Plan. Your solar system is installed with a $0 upfront cost, and you make interest-free repayments. Contact us today to learn more.