Jinko Solar panels: An in-depth review

Updated

A solar panel being made at the Jink Solar manufacturing plant
Jinko Solar opened its American solar panel factory in February 2019. The $50 million plant is capable of producing 1.2 million solar panels per year. Image source: Jacksonville Daily Record

Are you trying to decide which brand of solar panels to get for your home?

You’ve likely come across Jinko solar panels, either during your research or as one of the brands offered to you by a solar installer.

They are one of the few major solar companies with production facilities here in the U.S., which allows them to bypass tariffs on solar imports and offer their panels at competitive prices.

But how do Jinko Solar’s panels compare with other brands? And are they a good choice for your home?

We'll answer both those questions, and more, as part of my comprehensive review of Jinko Solar’s panels.

On this page

    Jinko Solar panels at a glance

    • Jinko Solar is a Tier 1 brand from China. They are one of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers.
    • Jinko Solar is ranked fifth-best (#5) overall by the SolarReviews solar panel scoring system.
    • U.S. homeowners can choose between two models: the high-end Eagle G4, or the entry-level Eagle G2.
    • The Eagle G4 boasts a very high module efficiency (21.6%).
    • Jinko Solar’s panel warranties could be better.
    • While they’re not the very best, Jinko Solar panels’ high quality and affordability make them an excellent value proposition.

    About Jinko Solar

    Jinko Solar lacks the brand recognition of better-known rivals, such as U.S.-founded SunPower, or electronics conglomerate Panasonic.

    But make no mistake: Jinko Solar is no ordinary solar company. They are, in fact, a solar manufacturing giant, having shipped as many as one of every 10 solar panels installed globally.

    And it’s not just volume that they excel at. Their solar panels are also well known for their high quality, accumulating an impressive number of accolades over the years.

    How did they get here? Let’s take a look.

    Company profile

    Jinko Solar is a Tier 1 manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) products including solar panels, solar cells, and solar wafers.

    The company has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) since 2010, with the ticker symbol JKS.

    The company was founded in 2006 in China and its HQ is in Shanghai.

    One of the world's biggest solar companies

    Jinko Solar manufactures solar panels at a massive scale.

    Between 2016 and 2019, they were the largest global panel producer by shipment volume, and are still ranked among the five biggest.

    The company reported over $6 billion in global revenue in 2021 and currently has offices in over 20 countries.

    Production locations

    While Jinko Solar is believed to do most of its manufacturing in China, its production facilities are spread over at least 10 other countries.

    The solar panels Jinko Solar sells here are made in factories located in the U.S. and Malaysia.

    American presence

    Jinko Solar has a 400 MW factory located in Jacksonville, Florida. This places it among the top U.S. solar manufacturers based on local production capacity.

    There is a full-service office located in San Francisco, CA; the American version of their website is jinkosolar.us.

    Jinko Solar ratings, awards, and reviews

    Let’s now look at how Jinko Solar has been assessed by solar experts, independent assessment bodies, and homeowners who use their solar panels.

    #5 solar panel brand overall

    SolarReviews’ expert panel rated Jinko Solar as the fifth-best solar panel brand in 2021.

    The company earned high points for its massive size and strong financial position, as well as the excellent value proposition it offers.

    Leader in panel reliability

    Jinko Solar is a top performer on Berkeley-based PVEL’s solar panel reliability scorecard.

    In fact, the company has won this award every year from 2014 through 2021, one of just two brands to do so (Trina Solar is the other).

    This speaks to the company’s consistently high manufacturing standards.

    Sustainability leader

    Jinko Solar won gold for sustainability in the Green World Awards 2022.

    They also earned the #1 spot in an environmental sustainability and social justice scorecard recently issued by The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, scoring a perfect 100/100.

    High consumer review score

    Jinko solar panels have a consumer review score of 4.5 / 5.0.

    This score is based on 100+ reviews by homeowners with Jinko panels, so it serves as a pretty accurate reflection of consumer experiences.

    A 4.5 rating is very good; it places Jinko Solar just outside the top 10 brands.

    Jinko solar panel cost

    A solar energy system built with Jinko solar panels typically costs around $2.25–$2.50 per watt. That means a 6 kilowatt (kW) system will cost you between $13,500 and $15,000 before incentives.

    After applying the 30% federal tax credit - available till the end of 2032 - the total installed cost for a 6 kW Jinko solar system works out to be between $9,450 and $10,500.

    Among the leading Tier 1 solar brands, Jinko Solar can be considered a ‘value’ choice. Their solar panels usually work out to be $0.25–$0.50 cheaper than more premium rivals (e.g. SunPower and Panasonic). On a 6 kW system, that’s a savings of $1,500–$3,000.

    Bear in mind that many factors can affect solar panel installation costs, so the figures above are only indicative. For a more detailed discussion of costs, check out our solar panel cost page.

    Estimate the cost of Jinko solar panels for your home

    Jinko Solar panel models

    Jinko solar panels stood upright next to each other

    The Eagle G2 and Eagle G4 have versions suitable for residential rooftop systems.

    Globally, Jinko Solar offers three main lines of solar panels, all named after animals: Eagle, Tiger, and Cheetah.

    The Eagle Series is the product line that’s available in the United States. It includes three models:

    • Eagle G2
    • Eagle G4
    • Eagle G5

    Eagle G2

    The Eagle G2 is available in two variants: a 310-330 watt (W) 60-cell version for residential use, and a larger 72-cell version for commercial/industrial use.

    Our take: As Jinko Solar’s entry-level model, this panel is aimed at homeowners seeking a ‘value’ solar panel combining reliability and a budget price.

    Eagle G4

    The Eagle G4 is a mono PERC module that uses half-cut cells and Jinko Solar’s “tilting ribbon” (TR) technology. This tech features a special round busbar, allowing more cells to be packed onto a single panel.

    The 66-cell version generates 380-400 W of output and is designed for residential use. There are also two larger 72-cell versions, with 455-475 W of capacity.

    Our take: The smaller 66-cell version of the Eagle G4 is a high-performance option suitable for residential rooftop installations. It’s a worthy option for a homeowner who is willing to pay slightly more for superior performance but doesn’t want to shell out for an expensive premium panel like SunPower.

    Eagle G5

    The Eagle G5 is a 520–545 watt (W) module, available as either a standard monofacial (one-sided) panel or a bifacial one that can generate power from both sides of the panel. Both versions have a large 72-cell (144 half-cell) configuration.

    Our take: The Eagle G5 generates a very high level of output. However, its large 72-cell dimensions mean it works best on ground-mounted or customized structures, such as those used on commercial and industrial installations.

    Overseas models: Tiger and Cheetah series

    The Tiger series is Jinko Solar’s flagship line of solar panels and the place where they try out their latest solar panel tech. The Cheetah Series, on the other hand, is their budget line. Both of these model series are only available overseas.

    Jinko Solar panel efficiency

    In the U.S. the Eagle G4 is Jinko Solar’s most efficient panel at the time of writing (May 2022). The G4 has a maximum module efficiency of 21.16%.

    Overseas, Jinko sells the Tiger Neo, a panel designed for solar farms that is up to 22.30% efficient. We don’t expect this product to be sold in the U.S. market

    For reference, most Tier 1 panels in 2022 have module efficiencies of 18-20%, while the most efficient panel on the market is 22.80% efficient (the M-Series by SunPower).

    In short, Jinko Solar’s panels have high-efficiency ratings compared to the competition.

    Jinko solar panel efficiency (U.S. models)
    Series Max efficiency
    Eagle G4 21.16%
    Eagle G5 21.14%
    Eagle G2 19.78%

    Jinko Solar got here by making large investments in R&D, which has allowed them to manufacture advanced solar cells.

    This is a welcome development. Previously, Jinko solar panels were known for their affordability and reliability - but did not boast particularly impressive performance specs.

    Learn more: The most efficient solar panels in 2022

    Jinko solar panel warranties

    With solar panels, there are two warranty types to consider: a product warranty and a power warranty guaranteeing a minimum level of output over time. We look at each one below.

    Product warranty

    All Jinko solar panels offer a 12-year product warranty.

    This is slightly better than the 10-year product warranty for budget Tier 1 solar panels. But it’s well short of the 25-year periods offered by premium solar panel brands like SunPower and Panasonic.

    Power warranty

    Jinko solar panels have a standard power warranty period of 25 years.

    In terms of power output, Jinko guarantees a performance of at least 83.1%–84.8% of panel capacity at the 25-year mark, depending on the model.

    This once again places Jinko Solar behind the best premium brands, whose power warranties promise output at 90%+ at 25 years.

    Jinko solar panel warranties
    Solar panel Product warranty Power warranty Year 25 power
    Eagle G5* 12 years 25 years 84.8%
    Eagle G4 12 years 25 years 84.8%
    Eagle G2 12 years 25 years 83.1%

    *Warranty information displayed for the monofacial G5 variant. The bifacial G5b has a power warranty of 30 years.

    Should you buy Jinko solar panels?

    Jinko Solar is an excellent solar manufacturer, one that has earned its place as one of the biggest in the business.

    If there is one major downside to Jinko solar panels, it’s their relatively weak warranties. Both the product and performance warranties fall well behind the coverage offered by top premium brands.

    But this should be balanced against the many positives.

    Firstly, you’re unlikely to have any problems with your panels; not only is solar panel failure rare, but Jinko Solar panels are as reliable as they come.

    Secondly, if any warranty issues do arise, you can be confident that your claims will be honored. Based on Jinko Solar’s huge size, and profitability, we expect it to be around for many years to come; the same can’t be said for many of its competitors.

    Finally, there is the ever-important matter of cost: Jinko Solar’s panels are much cheaper than the priciest brands.

    All said, if you are looking for a very reliable, high-quality brand — one that combines good specs with reasonable prices — then it’s hard to go wrong with Jinko solar panels.

    Calculate your costs and savings from going solar with Jinko solar panels
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Zeeshan Hyder

    SolarReviews Blog Author

    Zeeshan is passionate about promoting renewable energy and tackling climate change. He developed these interests while studying at beautiful Middlebury College, Vermont, which has a strong focus on sustainability. He has previously worked in the humanitarian sector — for Doctors Without Borders — and in communications and journalism.

    Related solar news