Complete review of ZNShine solar panels

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ZNShine solar logo
ZNShine Solar is a solar panel manufacturing company headquartered in China’s Jiangsu Province with North American offices in Canada and San Francisco, CA. Image source: SolRenew

ZNShine Solar is a Chinese solar panel manufacturer whose panels are becoming more popular, partly because of their low prices. Despite being in the solar industry for over 15 years, ZNShine isn’t as widely known as brands like SunPower or Qcells.

So, if you got a solar quote for ZNShine panels, you’re probably wondering if these are the panels you should invest in. We explain what you need to know about ZNShine’s panels before installing them on your roof.

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ZNShine Solar key takeaways:

  • ZNShine is a Chinese-based Tier 1 solar panel manufacturing company that produces solar modules for residential and large-scale solar projects.
  • ZNShine offers three main residential solar panel lines, with power ratings ranging from 360 W to 415 W.
  • The average ZNShine solar panel system will cost around $14,000 after the solar tax credit, which is slightly less expensive than the industry average.
  • Solar panels from ZNShine have great performance specifications and solid warranty terms.
  • ZNShine has appeared on BloombergNEF’s Tier 1 solar manufacturer list, meaning the company is considered bankable.

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    ZNShine manufactures monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels for residential, commercial, and utility-scale projects. The company partners with the China University of Science and Technology to develop innovative solar module technologies to improve performance. 

    One such development is the use of graphene on solar cells, which is supposed to improve efficiency, minimize damage caused by environmental factors, and increase lifespan. Many of ZNShine’s commercial products are bifacial, meaning the back of the panels can absorb light reflected from the surface below and generate more electricity. 

    ZNShine also offers double-glass solar panels. Instead of a traditional backsheet, double glass panels have another layer on the back. This is said to increase durability and decrease the risk of chemical reactions within the PV modules. However, double glass is still somewhat new, so we don’t know the full advantages and disadvantages of these panels yet. Plus, this means some solar companies won’t have much experience installing them, which could be a bit risky. 

    ZNShine manufacturers many different models of solar panels, but the three most popular for home installations are:

    • ZXM8-SP120 Series
    • ZXM6-NHLD120 Series
    • ZXM6-NHLD132 Series

    How much do ZNShine solar panels cost?

    An average-sized ZNShine solar panel system will cost roughly between $19,250 and $20,000 before any incentives are taken into account. Once you consider the 30% federal solar tax credit, the price falls to about $14,000. 

    This works out to about $2.75 to $2.85 per watt of ZNShine solar panels installed. Most solar systems today cost around $3.00 per watt installed, so ZNShine systems are a bit cheaper. 

    Remember that the actual price of a solar installation will vary based on several factors like how many solar panels you need and what installer you choose.

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    How do ZNShine panels compare to other solar panel brands?

    We know that ZNShine solar panels are a bit cheaper than average, but does that mean you should install them? In the table below, we list some of the important performance specifications of ZNShine’s solar panels.

    Model ZXM8-SP120 Series ZXM6-NHLD120 Series ZXM6-NHLD132 Series
    Power output 385 W - 405 W 360 W - 380 W 395 W - 415 W
    Efficiency 20.03% - 21.07% 19.76% - 20.86% 19.89% - 20.78%
    Cell type Half-cell mono PERC, 10 busbar Half-cell mono PERC, 9 busbar Half-cell mono PERC, 9 busbar
    Glass Single glass Double-glass Double-glass
    Product warranty 12 years 12-years 12-years
    Performance warranty 25 years, 2.5% degradation Year 1, 0.55% annual degradation 30 years, 0.5% annual degradation 30 years, 0.5% annual degradation

    ZNShine panel performance

    ZNShine’s residential solar panels come with great performance specifications. Most solar panels sold today have a power rating of between 370 W and 400 W. ZNShine offers panels ranging from 360 W to 415 W, falling right in line with competitors.

    These panels are also highly efficient. Solar panels today generally have efficiency ratings of at least 17% but typically closer to 19%. ZNShine’s panels start at 19.76% efficient and go all the way up to 21.07%. The high power output and module efficiency can be attributed to the types of cells ZNShine uses: monocrystalline half-cut PERC cells. These types of solar cells have lower resistive losses and can turn more sunlight into electricity than standard monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells.

    Other performance specifications for ZNShine’s panels, like the temperature coefficient and power tolerance, also meet or exceed industry standards. Between the high power and efficiency ratings, ZNShine panels will have no problem producing the solar energy you need to run your home.

    ZNShine is a Tier 1 solar panel brand. BloombergNEF created a system to rank solar panels based on the manufacturer’s bankability. Tier 1 solar panels are generally considered to be “the most bankable”. ZNShine has appeared on Bloomberg’s quarterly Tier 1 list multiple times. In general, SolarReviews recommends using Tier 1 solar panels, as the company should be able to honor warranties and have high-quality standards. However, this isn’t always the case, and many panels not featured on the list are high-quality products.

    ZNShine’s product warranty

    ZNShine offers a 12-year product warranty that guarantees the panels will be free of defects caused by the manufacturing process. This is pretty standard for most solar panels. However, a few bigger brands, like Panasonic and SunPower, extend this warranty to 25 years if you register the panels online.

    So, getting a better product warranty from another company is technically possible, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t install ZNShine panels. Like we said, 12 years is the standard for solar panel product warranties.

    ZNShine’s performance warranty

    Performance warranties give you an indication of how the panels should operate over time.

    The performance warranty you get depends on which solar panel model you purchase. The ZXM8-SP120 Series panels come with a 25-year performance warranty. Under this warranty, the panel’s solar power output will drop by no more than 2.5% in the first year of operation and no more than 0.55% annually until the end of the warranty period. This is a pretty standard performance warranty, but the degradation rate is a little bit higher than average. This difference is negligible, but technically, these panels will produce slightly less energy over time than some competitors.

    The ZXM6-NHLD120 Series and the ZXM6-NHLD132 Series come with a 30-year performance warranty, five years longer than the industry average of 25 years! In the first year, the panels won’t degrade more than 2.5%, and each year after the output won’t drop more than 0.5%. This is better than ZNShine’s other warranty, as the panels degrade slower and are covered by the warranty for longer.

    Performance warranties are based on Standard Test Conditions (STC). Keep in mind that the degradation rates are based on how the panels operate in a laboratory setting. So, just because your solar panel isn’t generating 400 W of power the day it’s installed doesn’t mean it’s not operating correctly. If you see significant drops in production that environmental factors cannot explain, call your solar installer to help identify the problem.

    Should you get ZNShine solar panels?

    ZNShine panels are a good choice for anyone considering switching to solar. The panels come at a good price and should perform well once installed on your roof. We wish the ZXM8-SP120 Series panels came with a little bit of a better warranty, but the slightly higher degradation shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you. 

    If we’re being totally honest, there is something more important to consider than the brand of the panels you’re getting installed - it’s who you have installing them. Choosing a reputable solar installation company is perhaps your most important decision when going solar. Solar panels are designed to last 25 years (or, with some ZNShine models - 30 years!). That means you need to choose an installer that can support you for the entire lifetime of your solar panels.

    We recommend getting quotes from at least three different solar installation companies to find the one that’s right for you. Getting quotes is easy - simply use our state-of-the-art solar panel calculator and get an estimate of how much solar can save you and connect with reliable solar installers in your area.

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     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Catherine Lane

    Written Content Manager

    Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews. She has been researching and writing about the residential solar industry for four years. Her work has appeared in Solar Today Magazine and Solar Builder Magazine, and has been cited by publications like Forbes and Bloomberg.

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