Top Photovoltaic Brands Identified

SunPower make the best solar panels in the world, Kaco make the best inverters in the world and Direct Power and Water make the best mounting systems in the world. These are findings from new research conducted by ENF among directors of photovoltaic installation companies in 45 different countries.

SunPower make the best solar panels in the world, Kaco make the best inverters in the world and Direct Power and Water make the best mounting systems in the world. These are findings from new research conducted by ENF among directors of photovoltaic installation companies in 45 different countries.


The directors were asked to name which brands of photovoltaic components they have purchased in the last 12 months, and rate the products for their quality and value for money. An average of these two scores has been used to find the companies whose customers thought most highly of their products. The top ranking companies receiving awards are:

Solar Panels
No.1 in World - SunPower (USA)
No.2 in World - Schott Solar (Germany)
No.3 in World - SolarWorld (Germany)

Best Product Quality - Sanyo (Japan)
Best Value for Money - Suntech (China)


Solar Inverters
No.1 in World - Kaco (Germany)
No.2 in World - OutBack (USA)
No.3 in World - Mastervolt (USA)

Best Product Quality - OutBack (USA)
Best Value for Money - Kaco (Germany)


Solar Mounting Systems
No.1 in World - Direct Power and Water (USA)
No.2 in World - UniRac (USA)
No.3 in World - Schüco (Germany)


Solar Trackers
No.1 in World - Zomeworks (USA)


Solar PV Systems
No.1 in World - Sharp (Japan)


The research found that 49% of companies thought the cell brand in a panel was important, and the most commonly named cell brands that installation companies thought were high quality were Sharp, Q-Cells and BP Solar.

Another key finding was that the average price installers paid for their solar panels in 2006 was €3.17 / $4.16 per Watt. Installers in Europe paid on average 10% more for their panels than installers in Asia Pacific.


Notes on the research:

- The research was conducted by contacting installation directors by telephone and asking them to fill in an online questionnaire, which was available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. 297 responses to the questionnaire were received.

- For the brand results, a minimum of 5 customers rating a brand were required for the brand to be considered big enough to count as a potential top ranking company. A company's ratings of its own products were removed from the survey (eg. a panel manufacturer that also does installation work).

- Average prices mentioned were weighted by each company's 2006 installation volume.

- Solar trackers and PV systems had less than 100 customers giving brand scores for the products they had purchased, so only the No.1 brand has been given an award.

- Further coverage of the awards can be found at www.enf.cn/magazine/issue9/brand.html


About ENF Ltd.

ENF is an information company specialising in the photovoltaic sector. Areas of activity include market surveys and analysis reports on the PV industry, assisting companies to purchase solar cells and panels from Chinese manufacturers, and publishing a free directory of photovoltaic manufacturers.

ENF website: www.enf.cn

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