Trina Solar Logo
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LAST UPDATED: December 16th, 2022

Trina Solar has made its mark on the global solar industry, operating as one of the world’s largest PV and smart energy manufacturers. In addition to mass producing high quality PV products, the company also offers research and development services advancing solar efforts, manufacturing operations, direct sales, and overall solar energy development solutions. 

Trina Solar has been recognized by multiple entities for its efforts in advancing solar technology. Back in 2019, Bloomberg distinguished Trina Solar as the World’s Top “Bankable” PV Module Manufacturers according to the New Energy Finance initiative. In recent years, Trina Solar has consistently ranked as one of the top three solar PV module manufacturing operations in the world. These manufacturing efforts have received Gold Level ratings and Trina is widely recognized for its environmental focus. 

Currently, Trina Solar is working towards building up its global development strategy and increasing its international workforce in an effort to spread its technology and products on a more accessible scale. Trina products can be found in more than 100 countries and regions globally. 

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The Good

  • Model Options
  • Half-Panels
  • Performance Degradation
  • Power Range

Model Options

With the introduction of the Vertex solar panel line by Trina Solar, residential clients now have the ability to choose from five different solar panels. These panels will vary in terms of capabilities and performance specifications, but all options are reliable for homeowners looking to reduce electricity costs through renewable energy sources. Residential solar panel options include:

  • Vertex S 400W DE09C.05
  • Vertex S 400W DE09C.07
  • Residential 365W DE06X.05(I)
  • Vertex S 395W DE09.05
  • Residential 335W DD06M.05(II)

Depending on what kind of power output and efficiency a homeowner is looking for as well as what can be assembled within a particular budget will determine what Trina solar panel model would work best. 

Half-Cut Panels

One unique characteristic of Trina Solar panels that should be noted is the company’s use of half-cut panels. The use of half-cut panels has led to an increase of solar production. This is done by taking a panel and basically cutting it in half. Then, the top portion of the solar panel will operate independently but in conjunction with the bottom half of the panel. This design allows shade to cover one half of the panel without impacting the other. The residential solar panels available through Trina utilize this half-cut model.

By taking advantage of the half-cut system, the Trina residential solar panels have consistently earned top marks and ratings for power and functionality. This is something its competitors have not been able to consistently replicate. 

Performance Degradation

Solar panels are designed to operate at a high level for two to three decades, depending on what a homeowner has installed. One key measurement to determine the value and sustainability of solar panels is performance degradation. There are a number of factors that go into a solar panel’s performance degradation, but all solar panels will lose efficiency and production over time.

Performance degradation specifically measures the reduction in solar panel output over extended periods of time. The average performance degradation percentage hovers around 0.5 percent to 0.55 percent year over year. Trina Solar panels on average only experience a 0.4 percent performance decline annually, beating out the industry average. This means that Trina Solar panels can perform at a higher level for longer periods of time than many of its competing solar panels. 

Power Range

With the introduction of the Vertex solar panel series in 2021 by Trina Solar, records within the power output/range performance measurement were broken. There was somewhat of a global race to create the most powerful solar panels, and Trina took home the ultimate prize. 

The 670W Vertex panel was showcased in March 2021 with relatively good efficiency ratings making it the most powerful and efficient solar panel available on the market. These panels are still produced on a small scale pilot line, but it demonstrates the Trina Solar commitment to advancing technology and finding new ways to improve its solar products. 

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The Bad

  • Locating Installers
  • Average Efficiency

Locating Installers

One of the most difficult aspects of obtaining Trina Solar panels and subsequently having them installed, at least for U.S.-based clients, is locating an installer or dealer that has access and installation knowledge for the Trina PV products. Despite offering incredible power ranges and costing less than the average solar panel, many U.S. installers still do not carry or work with Trina Solar. 

Prospective buyers set on purchasing Trina Solar panels and having them installed may need to do some additional research to locate an installer. There are far more popular solar products within the states that are easier to find professional installers for. 

Average Efficiency 

Even with its advanced efforts in the power and degradation performance metrics of its solar panels, the efficiency of Trina Solar panels continues to remain at or below average specifications. Currently, Trina Solar panels average a 20.4 percent efficiency rating. 

It should be noted that efficiency rating is what many solar manufacturers turn to in an effort to charge substantially more for solar panels. In panels with 2 percent to 3 percent better efficiency ratings, buyers will pay a great deal more for that slight performance upgrade.

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The Bottom Line

Trina Solar has grown to become one of the largest vertically integrated solar panel manufacturers in the world. The company continuously focuses on making technological improvements, which is one of the reasons the latest line of solar panel modules released through Trina has been sought after by residential buyers.

Trina Solar panels utilize a half-cut model which can increase overall solar production. Even with its increased power capabilities, the performance degradation does not take a hit as a result. In fact, Trina Solar has one of the best performance degradation rates in the industry. Lastly, the power range and new technology released by Trina Solar is currently the leader within the solar panel market. 

While there are a number of reasons to consider purchasing Trina Solar panels for residential projects, prospective buyers should be aware of some of the limitations associated with the manufacturer. Locating installers or authorized dealers within the United States may be a bit more difficult than finding installers from competing panel manufacturers. While power is the strength of Trina Solar panels, the products boast average efficiency ratings at best but are more affordable as a result. 

Homeowners looking to utilize improved solar technology at an affordable price will likely benefit from what Trina Solar has to offer. It may take some time and additional effort for prospective buyers to locate an installer of Trina Solar products. 

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