Trina solar panels review
Trina Solar is one of the biggest solar panel manufacturers in the world. Founded in 1997 in Changzhou, China, this company scaled the international markets quickly, and in 2006, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2008, it was ISO 14001- certified.
By October 2020, the company had already delivered over 56GW of solar modules globally, making it to the top 5 global solar panel suppliers for the fifth time in a row.
It’s now part of the Silicon Module super league – a group comprising the six biggest solar module suppliers in the world PV market.
Being one of the first PV solar module manufacturers in China, Trina solar took a different approach to their manufacturing – and this has been the reason for their global success.
The company has invested in innovation and technology geared towards improving their panel’s efficiency and quality. This has enabled them to break the world record on solar module power and efficiency nearly 30 times!
Trina also strives to provide the right balance between modern cell technologies and cost-effectiveness, making their prices much cheaper than other brands out there.
With Trina solar panels, you also won’t have to worry about your warranty fulfillment. The company has built a strong reputation for financial stability and has been in the industry for decades now. This makes an excellent Tier 1 solar panel choice.
Having one of the best research and development teams in the market, Trina Solar has come up with numerous ground-breaking technologies that now define their solar panels.
The half-cell technology, combined with the bifacial technology, has so far been among their most effective tech pieces. The Half-cut cell technology increases the efficiency of the panels by limiting the resistance in your PV modules.
Recently, the company has also started using the 1/3 cut cell technology on some of the Vertex cells, and the results look promising.
On the other hand, the bifacial cell technology allows the solar panels to generate light from both sides of the panel. This increases the amount of light absorbed by the panels hence increases the overall generated output.
The multi-bar module technology is also a useful model used by most Trina solar panels. This design shortens the conductive distance for current, limiting the ribbon resistance, thereby reducing cell power losses.
Are Trina solar panels perfect for rooftop solar?
Yes! Trina solar panels are among the most efficient and cost-effective panels you can have on your roof. The panels are designed to withstand adverse weather conditions, including heavy snow and wind loads, and are also resistant to salt erosion.
With some of their latest panel models expected to attain outputs of up to 600W, Trina panels also make it easier for homes with small roofs to enjoy max solar power.
The frame design on all Trina solar panels also makes them very easy to transport, deploy, and install on any standard surface.
Range of Trina panels
|TALLMAX Series||Tallmax 350-385W - TSM-DE14H(II)
Tallmax 5BB, 385-410W - TSM-DE15H(II)
Tallmax 9BB, 390-415W - DE15M(II)
|DUOMAX Series||Bifacial, MBB, 390-410W -DEG15MC.20(ii)
Bifacial, 380-405W - DEG15HC.20(II)
Big Cell, 390-415W - DEG15M.20(II)
|VERTEX Series||Vertex 550W TSM-DE19 MBB / 535 - 555W
Vertex 550W TSM-DEG19C.20 MBB / 530 - 550W
Vertex 600W TSM-DE20 MBB / 585 - 605W
Vertex 600W TSM-DEG20C.20 MBB / 580 - 600W
Vertex TSM-DE18M(II) 1/3-cut, MBB, 480-505W
Vertex TSM-DEG18MC.20(II) Bifacial, 1/3-cut, MBB, 485-505W
Trina’s TALLMAX series solar panels have been long-time market favorites because of their efficiency, reliability, and performance. These solar panels were designed for large utility-scale projects and industries due to their high-power density.
Size: 2015 x 996 x 35 mm and 2000 x 992 x 40mm
Cell type: Monocrystalline
Cell number: 144
Output: 350 – 415 w
Weight: 22 – 23kgs
Models: TallMax 345-385W – TSM-DE14H(II)
TallMax 5BB, 385-410W – TSM-DE15H(II)
TallMax 9BB, 390-415W – DE15M(II)
Trina solar uses the split-cell (half-cell) technology in their production, where they replace all their full cells with half-cut solar cells. The two half-cell pieces are then arranged in a series formation. This helps reduce the power loss due to ribbon resistance to just a ¼ of that in full cells and improves their efficiency by 2%.
This technology also comes with a string cell design that ensures every cell string work independently. The cell design is great at reducing the impacts of module shading and overall power loss.
Additionally, the monocrystalline technology used gives your roof a uniform and aesthetically pleasing look.
Trina Solar’s emphasis on cell efficiency ensures that their panels’ output is at least 90% of its initial output after the first 10 years and around 80% after 25 years. After the first year, its degradation rate stands at 0.5% annually.
This is an indication that you can depend on the panel for a long time, even past the 25-year mark, with the right maintenance.
The solar panels come with an extended 25-year linear power warranty and a 12-year product workmanship warranty. This is a bit longer than the standard 10-year warranty period for most Tier 1 panels and shows the faith Trina Solar has in their products.
The TallMax 345-385W – TSM-DE14H(II), however, still has a 10-year product workmanship warranty.
Depending on the panel you choose, the TallMax 9BB, 390-415W – DE15M(II) solar panel can achieve a 415W output with a 20.4% module efficiency. The TallMax 5BB, 385-410W – TSM-DE15H(II) can achieve up to 410W with a 20.2% efficiency, and the TallMax 345-385W – TSM-DE14H(II) can attain a 385W output with a 19.9% efficiency.
Panels needed for 6.6kW solar system
The high efficiency and power output of Trina Solar panels means that homes don’t need many panels on the roof. For a 6.6kW solar system, you’ll only need between 15-19 solar panels, depending on the model you choose.
DUOMAX TWIN Series
The DUOMAX Twin Series solar panels feature Trina’s Bifacial technology that allows the panels to convert electricity from the light that strikes both sides of the panel modules.
Size: 2031 x 1011 x 33mm
Cell type: Monocrystalline
Cell number: 72 – 144
Output: 380 – 415W
Models: Bifacial, MBB, 390-410W -DEG15MC.20(ii)
Bifacial, 380-405W – DEG15HC.20(II)
Big Cell, 390-415W – DEG15M.20(II)
This solar panel series combines double glass technology, half-cell technology, Multi busbar technology (MBB), and the N-Type Cell technology to produce a more efficient, reliable, and better performing solar panel.
The dual glass tech increases the electricity generation of the panels by up to 25%, and the MBB technology reduces the conduction distance of the current by nearly 50%. This helps reduce the internal ribbon resistance by almost 15%.
It also increases the energy efficiency of the panels by minimizing microcracks.
During your first year, the solar panels experience a 2.5% degradation in power output. Between the 2nd and the 30th year, the degradation rate declines to 0.5% annually. So, within 10 years, you can still expect an output efficiency of 91% or higher, and at least an 83% power output performance of its initial performance after 30 years.
The DUO MAX Twin series from Trina comes with a very strong 30-year power warranty, besides the 10-year product workmanship warranty. However, the Big Cell, 390-415W – DEG15M.20(II), has an extended 12-year workmanship warranty.
The strong warranties show great backing from Trina Solar – which is reassuring.
Trina’s R&D strides have enabled them to provide excellent power outputs and module efficiencies. For instance, the Big Cell, 390-415W – DEG15M.20(II), can generate around 415W from a 144-cell module with a 20.2% efficiency.
The Bifacial, MBB, 390-410W -DEG15MC.20(ii) produces about 410W with a 144-cell module and 19.9% efficiency, while the Bifacial, 380-405W – DEG15HC.20(II) generates about 405W with a 72-cell module and a 19.7% module efficiency.
Panels needed for 5kW solar system
Dual MAX solar panels are the ideal panels for structures with limited roof space as they are designed to maximize power output. For a 5kW solar system, you might only need around 12 – 14 of these panels.
Trina’s Vertex solar panels are by far the best in power output, efficiency, and general performance. The series boasts of the 500 – 600 W high-power modules that are projected to be the future for Trina Solar.
Size: 2394 x 1096 x 35mm
Cell type: Monocrystalline
Cell number: 110 – 150
Output: 480 – 600W
Weight: 28.6 – 35.3kgs
Models: Vertex 550W TSM-DE19 MBB / 535 – 555W
Vertex 550W TSM-DEG19C.20 MBB / 530 – 550W
Vertex 600W TSM-DEG20C.20 MBB / 580 – 600W
Vertex TSM-DEG18MC.20(II) Bifacial, 1/3-cut, MBB, 485-505W
The Vertex Prime solar panels adopt Trina’s game-changing multi-busbar technology alongside the 210mm side wafer, non-destructive cutting, and the high-density interconnected tech to achieve the high 600W output and up to a 21.4% efficiency. This new cell string setup also helps in reducing the BOS (Balance of system) costs.
The panels also use the double glass ‘bifacial’ technology that maximizes power generation by almost 30%.
The use of 1/3 cut solar cells instead of the half-cut solar has also proven to be critical in reducing power losses and increasing the power generated per watt.
Trina Vertex solar panels use their high-density encapsulation technology and the square mono-cells to drive their panel’s efficiency to 21%.
After 10 years, the panels generate around 92% of their initial power output, and after 25 years, the efficiency goes slightly lower to 84 – 85%. The degeneration rate, therefore, for the first year is 2% and between 0.45 – 0.55% for the subsequent years till the 25th year.
This slow degeneration rate is great as it ensures your solar panels last longer and pays back faster.
Contrary to Trina’s standard 10-year workmanship warranty, most Vertex solar panels come with a 12-year warranty and 25 – 30 years power warranty.
The maximum output of Vertex panels is quite higher than that of other Trina solar panels. The Vertex 550W TSM-DE19 MBB / 535 – 555W has a max output of 555W on a 110-cell module, with a 21.2% module efficiency.
Their Vertex 550W TSM-DEG19C.20 MBB / 530 – 550W has a max output of 550W on a 110-cell module with a 21.0% efficiency. The Vertex 600W TSM-DEG20C.20 MBB / 580 – 600W generates a max of 600W under optimum conditions, with a 120-cell module and a 21.2% module efficiency.
Their newest model in the series, the Vertex TSM-DE18M(II) 1/3-cut, MBB, 480-505W, has a max output of 505W on a 150-cell solar panel and 21.0% module efficiency.
Panels needed for 10kW solar system
For a 10,000w or 10kW solar system, you’ll only need 16 Vertex solar panels to get the most of your system. But due to the high output of each solar module, these panels are suitable for solar farms and large-land solar installations.
Does Trina have an Australian office?
Yes. Trina Solar has offices and call centers in more than 21 cities around the world. Its main office in Australia is based in Sidney. The company has also forged partnerships with several universities in the country, which are crucial in its research and development program.
Why an Australian office is important
After purchasing and installing your solar panels, one of the biggest worries for Australian homeowners is whether the company will be in the market long enough to fulfill their warranties.
Having an office in the country makes it easier for the homeowners to contact the support team when they need help, and also have the assurance that the company will be in operation for a long time.
Trina solar panel specification/ datasheet
|Cell Number||144||72 – 144||110 – 150|
|Power Output||350 – 415W||380 – 415W||480 – 600W|
|Panel Efficiency||19.9 – 20.4%||19.7 – 20.2%||21.2%|
|Annual Power Degradation||0.5%||0.5%||0.45 – 0.55%|
|Dimensions||2015 x 996 x 35 mm and 2000 x 992 x 40mm||2031 x 1011 x 33mm||2394 x 1096 x 35mm|
|Weight||22 – 23 kg||26.8kg||28.6 – 35.3kg|
|Product Warranty||10 years||10 years||12 years|
|Performance Warranty||25 years||25 - 30 years||25 years|
|Operational Temperature Range||-40~+85°C||-40~+85°C||-40~+85°C|
Yes. Trina solar panels are among the most popular Tier 1 panel in the markets, as recognized by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Corporation. Note, however, that the ‘Tier 1’ rating is merely a measure of the company’s financial stability and not the solar panel’s performance effectiveness.
Trina solar company in China. The company has employed over 13,000 employees and has 852 patents to their name as of June this year.
Trina has its main manufacturing facilities in China and Vietnam. There’s also a smaller factory in Thailand.
25 – 30 years. Most Trina solar panels now come with a performance and product warranty of around 30 years, which is an indication of the company’s backing for their products.
Author: Ben McInerney is a renewable energy enthusiast with the goal of helping more Australians understand solar systems to make the best choice before they purchase. Having an accredited solar installer in the family helps give Ben access to the correct information, which allows him to break it down and make it easily understandable to the average homeowner.