Yingli Solar panels review 2023: Climbing back to the top
- 26 Jan 2023
- 8 min
The story of Yingli Solar is like a Hollywood movie about hard work and success: quick rise to the top, followed by years of troubles and hardship, followed by slow but steady recovery. Happy end is in sight: we happily report that the PV modules from the Chinese company panels are good once again and you’ll learn more about them in our Yingli Solar panels review.
Rise and fall: a quick story of Yingli Solar
Yingli Solar was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Baoding, China. It quickly became one of the top players on the market. The company even joined the Silicon Module Super League, the group of the biggest manufacturers in the 2000-2010s. The other five members of the group are Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q CELLS, JA Solar, Trina Solar and Jinko Solar.
In the 2010s things went downhill because of a glut in the market. Trying to deal with declining profits, Yingli expanded production in 2015 — just when module prices dropped rapidly. Since then the company was going through a debt restructuring. Yingli had to cut the workforce and decrease R&D expenses. Allegedly, another manufacturer LONGi Solar gave Yingi a helping hand.
In 2016 Yingli Solar posted a profit for the first time since 2011. We can safely say that it is on the slow road to recovery. Some years it makes it into the Top-10 list of the world’s largest solar manufacturers and some years it doesn’t.
Yingli Solar: Panda lovers
Yingli Solar offers panels for all kinds of projects: there are panels for making a home system and there are high-output PV modules for building a solar farm. Chinese engineers seem to really like bifacial modules: half of Yingli Solar products are panels with an active rear side which are called Panda.
The company is known for high-efficiency solar panels. Their conversion rate ranges from 19% to 22.2% which puts Yingli panels among the most efficient ones up to date. This means that you’ll need less space and fewer modules to build a powerful installation.
The prices of Yingli Solar panels are on par with photovoltaics from other Chinese manufacturers. You can find them in the US for $0.6 to $1.3 per watt. Take into account the additional expenses such as installation and shipping when determining the overall cost of a solar panel system. Don't forget that you can claim Federal Solar Credit to deduct 30% of the installation cost from your taxes.
Yingli Solar panels come with a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year linear power output warranty. The panels are guaranteed to produce at least 90% of their rated power output after 25 years. Nothing special, but even a standard warranty gives customers peace of mind.
Yingli Solar: Pros
Let’s list down the good sides of the Yingli Solar product and some things that aren’t so impressive. Advantages go first:
• High-efficiency panels. The conversion rate of Yingli Solar panels ranges from 19% to 22.2%.
• Competitive pricing. Like most Chinese manufacturers, Yingli Solar tries to make its product affordable to everyone.
Yingli Solar: Cons
Still, not everything is perfect about the Chinese manufacturer. Here are some things that hold Yingli Solar back.
• Yingli Solar is based in China, which sometimes makes it hard to find their panels in the US.
• Back when Yingli Solar was struggling, some customers reported issues with service and warranty claims. Since then the company is in the process of mending its reputation back together.
Yingli Solar panel overview: For home and business
As usual, our engineer looked at the best panels from Yingli Solar and shared his opinion. In 2023 the company offers two models on their website: YLM solar panels and bifacial Pandas.
Solar Installation Expert
While the product line seems narrow at the first glance, YLMs and Pandas come in all shapes and sizes. There are standard panels for home and exceptionally powerful ones for big projects. You can find panels of a standard design and all-black PV modules as well.
YLM-J 108 cell: One for your home
This is the most basic solar panel for home from Yingli. The most powerful module in this line provides 415 watt output with 21.25% efficiency. Half-cell structure effectively reduces the impact of shading. The model comes in a standard and all-black design.
Panda 144 cell: Two-faced panda
Here’s a bifacial panel from Yingli for large commercial and industrial installations. The engineers claim: ”Panda 3.0 modules wake up earlier than conventional p-type modules and go to sleep later”. The front side provides up to 575 watt. An active rear side can increase the energy yield of a panel by up to 30%. You can get up to 637 watt output at Standard Test Conditions.
Panda 108 cell: Tamed and domesticated
Another bifacial panel is designed for home use this time. The front side is rated for output from 410 to 430 watts, depending on the variation that you’ll choose. An active rear side increases the production of a module by up to 30%. The bonus depends on the reflectivity of the surface behind the panel so proper installation is crucial in this case. The maximum output of this panel can reach 481 watts.
A1SolarStore recommends YLM 120 cell 210 PERC
Usually, 120-cell panels are small modules with moderate output for home systems. The YLM 3.0 120-cell panel isn’t one of those though. It’s much larger, 85 × 51 inches, and it’s much more powerful. The panel can provide up to 605 watts with a maximum of 21.38% efficiency. It comes with a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year output warranty: the production should not fall below 84.8% by the end of the warranty. A great choice for a commercial installation, where it’s necessary to build a powerful system without compromising on the looks of your shop, cafe or office.
A1SolarStore verdict: Getting back in shape
We’ve covered the history of Yingli Solar, talked about the specifications and pricing of their panels, discussed pros and cons, and even looked at some of their panels. Let’s summarize all that we’ve learned about Yingli Solar so far.
• Yingli Solar is a Chinese brand that was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Baoding.
• It faced financial troubles in the 2010s and since then it’s trying to recover.
• It is still one of the biggest manufacturers in the world, sometimes hitting the Top-10 largest solar brands worldwide.
• Yingli Solar panels are affordable: the prices are on par with brands like Trina Solar or JA Solar.
• The panels show great efficiency numbers that range from 20% to 22%.
• The warranty for Yingli Solar panels is nothing but standard: 12 years for the product and 25 years for performance. Bifacial panels get a 30-year output warranty.
• During the years of Yingli Solar's decline, some customers reported having trouble with getting warranty support. Hopefully, we’re past these times.
• The company offers two models on its website but they come in various sizes and designs, making them suitable for home installations and projects of a large scale.
After having several hard years, getting back on your feet is not easy. The panels that Yingli Solar brings to the table show that the recovery is going well: it’s a modern, competitive product at a good price. We wish the company nothing but success and end our Yingli Solar panels review 2023 here — but we will be back with more.
Learn about the latest arrivals and discounts first!