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The best solar panels in our past tests

At a glance: what we found in our solar panel tests up to 2019.

solar pv panels installed on an australian home

CHOICE partnered with the CSIRO from 2015 to 2019 to test solar panels from Opal, LG, JA Solar, Suntech and more. The results from those tests are summarised in this article.

As of 2022 we have since begun a new round of solar panel tests with a new partner, PV Lab Australia.

We also surveyed CHOICE members in 2018 about their home solar PV systems to find out about their experience with various solar technologies, solar installers and energy companies.

Which solar panels did best in the CSIRO tests?

Chris Barnes – solar expert

We recommended panels that score 80% or more. But the other solar panels in our test also performed well, scoring at least 75%.

Note that all these panels have long since been superseded by newer and better-performing models.

Previously tested solar panels in order of CHOICE score

JA Solar JAP6-60-255/3BB 82%
Tindo Karra-270 82%
Trina TSM-270PD05 82%
Jinko JKM270PP-60 81%
Winaico WST-285P6 80%
JA Solar JAM60S01-285/SC 78%
LG LG300S1C-A5 78%
Suntech STP300S-20/Wfm 77%
Opal QSA300M-60-S 76%
Yingli YL270P-29b 76%
Opal QSA270P-60-S 75%

For our latest reviews of currently available panels, see our solar panel reviews.

What our members told us

We surveyed more than 1000 CHOICE members across Australia in 2018 about their experience buying and owning a solar system.

The most commonly owned solar panel brands were Suntech, Trina, LG, Jinko and Sunpower.

Although 33% reported having problems with their solar system, only 2% reported problems with the panels themselves.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.