JA Solar Panels Review (Cost, Specs & Performance in 2022)
Here’s what you need to know about JA Solar:
- EcoWatch Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
- Efficiency: 20.1% to 21.2%
- Power Rating: 350 to 395 W
- Warranty Length: 12 to 30 Years
Why You Can Trust EcoWatch
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What is JA Solar?
There are only a few names that really dominate the solar panel global market, and JA Solar Holdings Co. is one of them. The photovoltaics company has shipped over 95 GW’s worth of product in its lifetime — for context, that’s over half of what the world installed in all of 2021 (168 GW).2
JA Solar’s residential solar panels are high-efficiency monocrystalline modules that pack a punch. Much of JA Solar’s success stems from the affordability of its technology relative to the power and efficiency the products generate. The renewable energy company’s bankability has attracted customers and investors for years.
The power of JA’s PV modules lies in its PERC solar cell technology with half-cell configuration. PERC technology (passivated emitter and rear contact), a fancy way of saying an additional layer on the back of the traditional solar cells, has become relatively common in the most efficient solar panels. Half-cell configurations involve separating a panel into two halves that can operate independently to account for shading or malfunctions on the other half.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll stick to outlining JA Solar’s residential products, specifications, warranty and pros and cons.
|JA Solar Fast Facts|
|Manufacturing Facilities||Various locations in China and Southeast Asia|
|Corporate Social Responsibility Report||2020 Report|
What Products Does JA Solar Offer?
JA Solar’s solar modules come in sizes ranging from 54-cell to 72-cell. Measuring a module by its cell count is a way of understanding its size. Larger cell counts like JA’s JAM72S10, a 72-cell module, are used for industrial or commercial applications while 60-cell panels are ideal for the average residential installation.
JA offers two types of 60-cell residential modules: 60-cell MBB half-cell modules and 60-cell bifacial PERC half-cell double glass modules.
JA Solar 60-Cell MBB Half-Cell Modules
The 60-cell MBB half-cell modules are JA Solar’s standard residential solar option — the name refers to its multi-busbar (MBB) Mono PERC cell technology with half-cut cell configuration. This technology provides JA’s stellar efficiency at levels above 20% — ideal for residential projects.
There are two different 60-cell MBB half-cell modules: the JAM60S10/MR and the JAM60S20/MR. The latter has slightly better power and efficiency ratings.
JA Solar also offers its 54-cell modules for budget-conscious customers with low power needs. Availability will depend on your installer, however.
|Solar Panel Specs||JAM60S10/MR||JAM60S20/MR|
|Wattage||350 W||395 W|
|Warranty||25-year power output, 12-year product warranty||25-year power output, 12-year product warranty|
|Data Sheet||Sheet 1||Sheet 2|
JA Solar 60-Cell Bifacial PERC Half-Cell Double Glass Modules
There are only a few subtle differences between the 60-cell MBB and the bifacial half-cell double glass modules. Both are equally high-performance options. Bifacial solar panels use an additional layer of solar cells instead of a traditional backsheet.
As far as customers are concerned, the only difference of note is that the bifacial double glass modules are covered by a 30-year rather than a 25-year linear power output guarantee.
There are two different 60-cell Bifacial PERC half-cell modules: the JAM60D10/MB and the JAM60D20/MB, described in the table below. The JAM60D20/MB has more power and a nominally lower efficiency rating.
|Solar Panel Specs||JAM60D10/MB||JAM60D20/MB|
|Wattage||350 W||385 W|
|Warranty||30-year power output, 12-year product warranty||30-year power output, 12-year product warranty|
|Data Sheet||Sheet 1||Sheet 2|
JA Solar Panel Efficiency
Efficiency is one of the top selling points for JA’s solar solutions. A solar panel’s efficiency measures the percentage of sunlight it can convert into electricity. As of 2022, the most efficient solar panels on the market have conversion efficiencies between 15% and 20%. The more efficient your panels, the more power you can generate with the given space allotted to panels.
With efficiency levels over 20%, JA’s solar modules are very high efficiency, making them ideal candidates for residential solar projects with limited roof space.
JA Solar Panel Power Rating
A power rating refers to how many watts a solar panel can generate. The top solar panel manufacturers produce solar panels between 300 and 400 watts, meaning that’s the rate of energy they’re capable of producing.
JA’s residential solar modules have power ratings between 350 and 395 watts, making them at or above the market average. However, a number of top manufacturers like Qcells, Panasonic and LONGi have already released panels above 400 watts, and we expect JA to shortly follow suit.
JA Solar Panel Temperature Coefficient
Although solar panels are designed to withstand extreme heat, they aren’t impervious to the elements. As with any electrical equipment, extreme heat can affect the overall performance of the panel.
Temperature coefficient measures the extent to which a solar panel’s performance suffers in extreme temperatures. The industry average temperature coefficient for a solar panel falls between -0.3%/C and -0.5%/C. A solar panel with a temperature coefficient of -0.3%/C would lose 0.3% of its power output for each degree of temperature rise above 25C.
JA Solar modules have temperature coefficients averaging at -0.35 %/C, putting them towards the top end of PV systems. This means that there are very few solar panels that will perform better than JA panels in extreme heat.
JA Solar Panel Warranty
It’s common for customers to think that a warranty is only provided through a solar installer — but product performance warranties for your panels or inverters, which come from the manufacturer, are just as important.
A good performance warranty is an indication of a high-quality solar panel. Companies with confidence in their products are far more likely to offer robust warranties to attract customers.
JA Solar’s warranties offer excellent coverage over 25 and 30 years. Here are the basics of what’s covered:
- Product workmanship warranty: This warranty covers the functionality of the module itself —- defects, broken or cracked glass. Basically, workmanship warranties cover anything that’s wrong with the integrity of the panel.
- Linear power output guarantee: Power output warranties cover the amount of energy your solar system produces. These guarantees protect against solar installations that underperform or deteriorate more quickly than expected. You can see JA’s linear power output warranty below.
All of JA’s solar panels have a 12-year product warranty and a minimum 25-year warranty on linear power output.
How Much Do JA Solar Panels Cost?
Solar panel installation prices are notoriously difficult to estimate since they can vary so wildly based on your location, complexity of your project and even the company you choose to hire.
However, JA solar panels (and any panels with Chinese origin) are known to be very cost-effective given their high efficiency levels — above 20%. We estimate the average solar installation cost of JA solar panels to be between $18,000 and $22,000 after the federal tax credit.
JA Solar Panels Pros & Cons
All solar energy brands have their unique pros and cons, attracting different sets of customers. JA’s pros and cons can help you decide if JA panels meet your biggest priorities.
JA Solar Panel Pros
- Excellent efficiency
- Great warranty coverage
- Excellent value for price
JA Solar Panel Cons
- Offerings are not as powerful as those of biggest competitors
- Slightly limited options
- No all-black option
- Not American-made
Are JA Solar Panels Worth It?
JA Solar makes some of the most practical, cost-effective and efficient solar power solutions available on the market today. They’re a great choice if supporting American-made products is not important to you.
JA’s panels don’t yet come with a designer all-black look that is becoming so popular in solar today, but if you prioritize performance over aesthetics, you can’t go wrong with JA.