Solar Panel Manufacturers

Solar Panel Manufacturers & Distributors

I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.
– THOMAS EDISON

Solar power is used in 2 primary forms: thermal solar uses heat from sunlight to heat water; and photovoltaic, which produces electricity directly from sunlight. While some of the below listed manufacturers may produce systems to use thermal solar, all information pertains to solar panels – which use photovoltaic cells.

The photovoltaic effect was discovered by a French experimental physicist in 1839. Production of solar panels by AT&T and Hoffman Electronics for commercial and space applications began in the 1950’s. 

 Unlike wind turbines, which come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and power outputs, solar panels generally look similar and have similar power outputs.  Consequently, price, efficiency, reliability and the likelihood the manufacturing company will be around in the future should be the primary considerations when buying a solar panel.

There are a fairly large number of wind turbine manufacturers in the world, and new ones are starting all the time.  No doubt well designed, superbly engineered and cost effective solar panels are produced by small manufacturers, but there is a risk involved in buying a solar panel from a small manufacturer that hasn’t been in business for many years.  You don’t know which of the new or small manufacturers will survive and still be in business in 5, 10 or 15 years.  

The below listed companies include the ten largest solar manufacturers in the world, the companies that produce the most highly rated solar panels, and the company that produces the most cost effective solar panels.  Most of them have been in business for decades.  Unless you have a compelling reason to buy from a different manufacturer, buy from one of them.  You’ll know they will be in business in 10, 15 or 20 years, if you need replacement parts or warranty work done.  Any price differential between them and other companies won’t be enough to off-set a possible future lack of replacement parts, or an inability to have warranty work done.  

If you’re planning on buying a system from a contracting company that installs solar panels, make sure the panel manufacturer is one of the listed companies.

Solar panel manufacturers don’t always price their components or systems the same way.  Make sure the system you are looking at contains all the following components, or if you are separately pricing individual components, be sure to check the price of all the following components when deciding what to buy:

  • Solar panel: converts solar radiation (sunlight) directly into electricity.  
  • Controller – controls electrical input to the inverter.
  • Inverter – required to convert the alternating electrical current (AC) produced by the solar panel to direct current (DC) that is supplied by the electrical grid system and used by everything in your house.  Can represent a significant percent of the cost of the solar energy system.
  • Wiring & conduit – you have to get the energy from the solar panel to your house.
  • Metering – tracks and records how much electricity your solar panel is producing (if you’re on the grid and on a tight budget, you might just use your existing meter and assume it is accurately metering the electricity you’re producing).
  • Batteries – Primarily for locations not connected to the grid.  Batteries can be charged during periods of high electricity production and/or low demand, and discharged during periods of low electricity production and/or high demand.  If your location is grid connected, you should probably skip the batteries.  They are costly, and your electrical provider will most likely buy your excess electricity production (spin the electric meter backward).

 All companies are listed alphabetically in their home country; unless it is a foreign company with a U.S. sales office, which is listed and noted.

Quick Jump:
United States | China | England | Germany | Japan | Taiwan | Other

United States

 
First Solar, Inc.                               
www.firstsolar.com
350 West Washington Street, Suite 600
Tempe, Arizona 85281
(602) 414-9300
(602) 414-9400 (Fax)

Models: FS-260 – 60 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                               47.2” x 23.6” x 0.3” (7.7 SF panel) – 26.5 lbs

              FS-260 – 62 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                               47.2” x 23.6” x 0.3” (7.7 SF panel) – 26.5 lbs

              FS-265 – 65 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                               47.2” x 23.6” x 0.3” (7.7 SF panel) – 26.5 lbs

              FS-267 – 67 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                               47.2” x 23.6” x 0.3” (7.7 SF panel) – 26.5 lbs

              FS-270 – 70 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                               47.2” x 23.6” x 0.3” (7.7 SF panel) – 26.5 lbs

              FS-272 – 72 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                               47.2” x 23.6” x 0.3” (7.7 SF panel) – 26.5 lbs

              FS-275 – 75 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                               47.2” x 23.6” x 0.3” (7.7 SF panel) – 26.5 lbs

              FS-277 – 77 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                               47.2” x 23.6” x 0.3” (7.7 SF panel) – 26.5 lbs

Up to 25 year limited output warranty.  ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 production standards.

Produces some of the most highly rated solar panels in the world.  One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.  *Also see information about SolarCity below.

SunPower Corporation                                       
www.solar-world.com 
3939 N. 1st Street
San Jose, California 95134
(408) 240-5500
(408) 240-5400 (Fax)

Models: SunPower 210 – 210 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            61.4” x 31.4” x 2” (17.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               SunPower 215 – 215 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            61.4” x 31.4” x 2” (17.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               SunPower 225 – 225 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            61.4” x 31.4” x 2” (17.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               SunPower 230 – 230 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            61.4” x 31.4” x 2” (17.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               SunPower 315 – 315 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            61.4” x 41.2” x 2” (17.5 SF panel) – 41 lbs

25 year limited warranty.  Produces some of the most highly rated solar panels in the world.  One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.  The SunPower 315 is rated as the most powerful and most efficient solar panel in the world.

China

 
JA Solar PV Technology Company     
www.jasolar.com/
860 Hillview Court, Suite 100 (U.S. headquarters)
Milpitas, California 95035
(408) 956-9501
(408) 956-9505 (Fax)

Models: JAP6-200 to JAP6-240 – 200 to 240 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                                                          65” x 39” x 1.4” (17.6 SF panel) – 43 lbs

              JAM5-155 to JAM5-190 – 155 to 190 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                                                          62.2” x 31.8” x 2” (13.7 SF panel) – 34 lbs

              JAM6-200 to JAM6-250 – 200 to 240 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                                                          65” x 39” x 1.4” (17.6 SF panel) – 43 lbs

25 year limited power output guarantee.  ISO 9001 production standards.  One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world. 

Suntech Power Holdings            
www.suntech-powercom/ 
Suntech America (U.S. Headquarters)
71 Stevenson Street, 10th Floor
an Francisco, California 94105
1-(866) 966-6555
(415) 882-9922
(415) 882-9923 (Fax)

Models: STP175S-24/Ab-1 – 175 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                  62.2” x 31.8” x 1.4” (13.7 SF panel) – 34.2 lbs

              BLKSTP175S-24/Ab-1 – 175 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                  62.2” x 31.8” x 1.4” (13.7 SF panel) – 34.2 lbs

              STP085S-12/Bb-1 – 85 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                  47” x 21.3” x 1.2” (7 SF panel) – 17.6 lbs

25 year limited power output warranty.  Produces the most cost effective solar panels.  One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world. 

Trina Solar Limited                       
www.trinasolar.com 
No. 2 Tian He Road
New District Electronics Park
Changzhou, Jiangsu, China 213031
86 519 8548 2008

Models: TSM 165-DC01 – 165 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            62.2” x 31.8” x 1.6” (13.7 SF panel) – 34.4 lbs

              TSM 170-DC01 – 170 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            62.2” x 31.8” x 1.6” (13.7 SF panel) – 34.4 lbs

              TSM 175-DC01 – 175 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            62.2” x 31.8” x 1.6” (13.7 SF panel) – 34.4 lbs

              TSM 180-DC01 – 180 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             65” x 39” x 1.8” (17.6 SF panel) – 34.4 lbs

              TSM 200-DC05 – 200 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            65” x 39” x 1.8” (17.6 SF panel) – 43 lbs

              TSM 210-DC05 – 210 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             65” x 39” x 1.8” (17.6 SF panel) – 43 lbs

              TSM 220-DC05 – 220 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            65” x 39” x 1.8” (17.6 SF panel) – 43 lbs

              TSM 230-DC05 – 230 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            65” x 39” x 1.8” (17.6 SF panel) – 43 lbs

              TSM 240-DC05 – 240 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                            65” x 39” x 1.8” (17.6 SF panel) – 43 lbs

25 year limited power output warranty. One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.

Yingli Solar                                      
www.yinglisolar.com 
3055 Fuxing Middle Road
National New & High Tech Industrial Development Zone
Baoding, China
P.C.: 071051
(86) 312-892 9700 (General)
(86) 312-892 9801 (Sales)
(86) 312-315 1881 (Fax)

Models: YL150 – 150 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                              51.5” x 39” (14 SF panel) – 34 lbs

              YL155 – 155 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                              51.5” x 39” (14 SF panel) – 34 lbs

              YL160 – 160 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                              51.5” x 39” (14 SF panel) – 34 lbs

              YL165 – 165 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                              51.5” x 39” (14 SF panel) – 34 lbs

              YL170 – 170 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                              51.5” x 39” (14 SF panel) – 34 lbs

              YL175 – 175 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                              51.5” x 39” (14 SF panel) – 34 lbs

25 year quality warranty.  One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.

 

England

 
BP Solar
www.bp.cm/modularhome.do?categoryId=8050+contentid=7035481
BP Solar USA
630 Solarex Court
Fredrick, Maryland 21703
1-(866) 277-6527

Models: SX380J –   80 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                  47.6” x 21.1” x 2” (7 SF panel) – 16.9 lbs

              BP3125J – 125 watt panel (maximum rated power output); 
                                  59.4” x 26.5” x 2” (10.9 SF panel) – 26.6 lbs

              SX3140J – 140 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                  59.4” x 26.5” x 2” (10.9 SF panel) – 26.6 lbs 

              SX160B – 160 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                  62.7” x 31.1” x 2” (13.5 SF panel) – 33.8 lbs

              BP170B – 170 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                  62.7” x 31.1” x 2” (13.5 SF panel) – 33.8 lbs

              BP175B – 175 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                  62.7” x 31.1” x 2” (13.5 SF panel) – 33.8 lbs

              SX3190B – 190 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                    66” x 33” x 2” (15.1 SF panel) – 37.8 lbs

              SX3195B – 195 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                    66” x 33” x 2” (15.1 SF panel) – 37.8 lbs

              SX3200B – 200 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                    66” x 33” x 2” (15.1 SF panel) – 37.8 lbs

25 year solar module warranty.  One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.

Germany

 

Q-Cells
www.q-cells.com/en
OT Thalheim
Sonnenallee 17-21
06766 Bitterfeld-Wolfen
Germany
49 3494 6699 0
49 3494 6699 199 (Fax)

Models: CALYXO CX 35 – 65 – 35 to 65 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                                                     47.2” x 23.6” x 2” (7.7 SF panel) – 26.5 lbs

SOLIBRO SL1-65 to SL1-85 – 65 to 85 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                                                      46.9” x 24.8” x 0.9” (8 SF panel) – 29 lbs

SONTOR SN2-125 – SN2-145 – 125 to 145 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                                                      66.3” x 41.6” x 0.9” (19 SF panel) – 81.6 lbs

The largest solar manufacturer in the world.  ISO 9001 production standards.

 

SCHOTT Solar, Inc.                       
www.schottsolar.com/us/products.html 
U.S. Sales and Marketing Office
2260 Lava Ridge Court, Suite 102
Roseville, California 95661
1-(888) 457-6527 (Toll free)
(916) 774-3000
(916) 784-9781 (Fax)

Models: Schott Poly 210 – 210 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                              66.3” x 39” x 2” (18 SF panel) – 50.6 lbs

               Schott Poly 217 – 217 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                              66.3” x 39” x 2” (18 SF panel) – 50.6 lbs

               Schott Poly 220 – 220 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                              66.3” x 39” x 2” (18 SF panel) – 50.6 lbs

               Schott Poly 225 – 225 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                              66.3” x 39” x 2” (18 SF panel) – 50.6 lbs

               Schott ASE 300 – 300 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                               74.5” x 50.5” x 2” (26 SF panel) – 107 lbs      

20 year performance guarantee.  Produces some of the most highly rated solar panels in the world.  Over 50 years experience producing solar panels.  The Schott ASE 300 is one of the largest solar panels in the world, and is primarily for schools, churches and commercial buildings.

SolarWorld AG                               
www.solarworld.de/ 
Martin Luther King Street 24
53175 Bonn
Germany
49 228 559 20 0
49 228 559 20 99

Models:
Sunmodule SW160 to SW185 – 160 to 185 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                                                        63.4” x 32” x 1.3” (14 SF panel) – 33 lbs

Sunmodule SW200 to SW225 – 200 to 225 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                                                        65.9” x 39.4” x 1.3” (18 SF panel) – 48.5 lbs

Sunmodule SW220 to SW245 – 220 to 245 watt panels (maximum rated power output);
                                                        65.9” x 39.4” x 1.3” (18 SF panel) – 48.5 lbs

25 year limited performance warranty.  Produces some of the most highly rated solar panels in the world. One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.


www.kyocerasolar.com 
7812 East Acorna Drive (U.S. Headquarters)
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
1-(800) 223-9580
(480) 948-8003
(480) 483-6431 (Fax)

Japan

 

Kyocera Solar

Models: KD130GX – LP – 130 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             59” x 26” x 1.4” (10.6 SF panel) – 28.7 lbs

               KD135GX – LP – 135 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             59” x 26” x 1.4” (10.6 SF panel) – 28.7 lbs

               KD180GX – LP – 180 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             52.8” x 39” 1.4” (14.3 SF panel) – 36.4 lbs

               KD205GX – LP – 205 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             59” x 39” x 1.4” (16 SF panel) – 40.8 lbs

               KD210GX – LP – 210 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             59” x 39” x 1.4” (16 SF panel) – 40.8 lbs

25 year limited power output warranty.  ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 production standards.

One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.

Mitsubishi Electric Solar
www.mitsubishielectricsolar.com 
Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc. (US Headquarters)
Solar / Photovoltaic Division
5665 Plaza Drive
Cypress, California 90630
(714) 20-2500

Models: PV-UE115MF5N – 115 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                58.9” x 26.5” x1.8” (10.8 SF panel) – 29.8 lbs

               PV-UE120MF5N – 120 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                58.9” x 26.5” x1.8” (10.8 SF panel) – 29.8 lbs

               PV-UE125MF5N – 125 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                58.9” x 26.5” x1.8” (10.8 SF panel) – 29.8 lbs

               PV-UE130MF5N – 130 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                58.9” x 26.5” x1.8” (10.8 SF panel) – 29.8 lbs

               PV-UD175MF5 – 175 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                65.3” x 32.8” x1.8” (14.9 SF panel) – 37 lbs

               PV-UD180MF5 – 180 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                65.3” x 32.8” x1.8” (14.9 SF panel) – 37 lbs

               PV-UD185MF5 – 185 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                65.3” x 32.8” x1.8” (14.9 SF panel) – 37 lbs

               PV-UD190MF5 – 190 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                65.3” x 32.8” x1.8” (14.9 SF panel) – 37 lbs

25 year limited power output warranty.  One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.

Sanyo Solar Products                 
www.sanyo.com/solar/ 
Sanyo Energy (U.S.A.) Corp. – Solar Division
2600 Network Blvd., Suite 600
Frisco, Texas 75034
(469) 362-5600
(469) 362-5699 (Fax)

Models: HIT Power 180 – 180 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             51.9” x 34.6” x 1.8” (12.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               HIT Power 186 – 186 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             51.9” x 34.6” x 1.8” (12.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               HIT Power 190 – 190 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             51.9” x 34.6” x 1.8” (12.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               HIT Power 195 – 195 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             51.9” x 34.6” x 1.8” (12.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               HIT Power 200 – 200 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             51.9” x 34.6” x 1.8” (12.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               HIT Power 205 – 205 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                             51.9” x 34.6” x 1.8” (12.5 SF panel) – 33 lbs

               HIT Power 210N – 210 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                62” x 31.4” x 1.8” (13.5 SF panel) – 35 lbs

               HIT Power 215N – 215 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                                62” x 31.4” x 1.8” (13.5 SF panel) – 35 lbs

20 year limited power output warranty.  ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 production standards.

One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.

Sharp Solar                                     
http://solar.sharpusa.com/solar/home 
1-(800) 765-2706 (SOLAR-06)

Sharp sells their residential and commercial solar panels through Sharp certified independent installers.  The installers can be reached by calling 1-(800) 765-2706 or by visiting their website at: http://solar.sharpusa.com/solar/home.

25 year limited power output warranty.  One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.  Over 45 years experience producing solar panels.

 

Tiawan

 
Motech Solar                                  
www.motech.com.tw
Tainan Science – Base Industrial Park
No. 2, Da-Shun 9th Road, Hsin-Shi
Tainan, Taiwan 74145
886-6-505 0789
886-6-505 1789 (Fax)

Models:
NCT-SM-168W-G61 – 168 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                      51.8” x 39.2” x 2” (14 SF panel)

NCT-SR-170W-G51 – 170 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                      62” x 32.5” x 2” (14 SF panel)

NCT-SR-180W-G51 – 180 watt panel (maximum rated power output);
                                      62” x 32.5” x 2” (14 SF panel)

ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 production standards.  One of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.  28 years experience producing solar panels.

_________________________________________________________________

Other

 
Green Mountain Energy Company       
www.greenmountain.com/ 
P.O. Box 689008
Austin, Texas 78768
1-(888) 380-9410 (Toll free)
(866) 301-3120 New Customer Signup (Residential)
(866) 767-5817 New Customer Signup (Commercial)

If you don’t have the money to buy a wind turbine or solar panel, and you live in Texas, New York or New Jersey,  sign up to get your electricity from Green Mountain Energy Company.  Green Mountain is an Austin, Texas based electricity provider that produces electricity from large wind farms. 

Their rates may very well be lower than what you’re currently paying, especially if you take advantage of the six month program they offer.

DIY
For mechanical engineers, electrical engineers or true do-it-yourselfers willing to spend the necessary time and effort to complete the project, the following two websites sell do-it- yourself instruction manuals on how to relatively inexpensively build your own wind turbine or solar panel.

Energy 4 Green                   
www.energy4green.com

Home Made Energy             
www.homemadeenergy.org

About the Author

Mark H. Witte is a strong proponent for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and believes individuals should have more control over how the energy for their homes is produced.