JA Solar Panels: Are They Worth It? Written by Tatiana Lebreton Updated on 2 August 2023 ✔ JA solar panels range from 20.7% to 22.5% efficiency✔ They have a warranty of 12 years, less than the industry average of 15 years✔ The power output of JA solar panels ranges from 405 watts to 625 wattsSolar panels are a great investment. They can save you money on your energy bills, and help lower your carbon footprint. But with the average cost of solar panels at £7,860 for a three-bedroom house, you want to make sure you're getting your money’s worth.If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already heard of JA solar panels, and you’re wondering if they’re worth buying. We’ll help you decide this by comparing their output, efficiency, and warranty period to industry averages.Tired of comparing different solar panels? We can make it easier for you. Just fill in our short form with a few details about your house, and we’ll pass them to certified solar panel installers. They’ll get in touch and offer you their best prices. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started What's on this page? 01 Who is JA Solar? 02 JA Solar’s solar panel range explained 03 Are JA Solar’s solar panels any good? 04 What’s JA Solar’s best solar panel? 05 Next steps 06 FAQs Who is JA Solar?JA Solar is a Chinese company that manufactures solar panels and solar batteries, as well as solar panel-adjacent materials such as frames and junction boxes.It’s a ‘Tier 1’ manufacturer, which means it’s an established and trusted solar panel business, with its own production facilities.JA Solar sells products in 135 countries, and its solar panels are intended to be used in both domestic and commercial settings, as well as in solar farms.It's also one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world, regularly featuring in the top 10 list. JA Solar’s solar panel range explainedJA Solar has two types of solar panels: ones with ‘n-type’ solar cells, and ones with ‘p-type’ cells. The difference between these two is that n-type cells are generally more efficient than standard p-type cells – up to 3.9% more, according to JA.However, n-type cells are also more expensive than p-type cells, and are less widely available. This might be why only five out of the 18 solar panels currently in JA Solar’s range have n-type cells.The power output of JA solar panels ranges from 405 watts (W) to 625 W. They weigh between 19.5 kilograms (kg) and 34.6 kg, and measure between 19.5 and 27.9 square metres.As for efficiency ratings, JA solar panels range from 20.7% to 22.5% efficiency, which is quite good by solar panel standards. The solar panels are also guaranteed to perform at between 84.8% and 87.4% of their original efficiency after 30 years, depending on the panel.In terms of appearance, most JA solar panels are a standard black colour with a silver frame, and a white backing that’s visible through the solar cells. They also offer three types of fully black panels. Where do you want to install solar panels? Roof Ground Both Other / not sure Get started Are JA Solar’s solar panels any good?JA solar panels are a decent option. They aren’t the best solar panels on the market, but they’re above average in terms of efficiency.They also have quite a high power output, though this means they’re a little larger and heavier than standard.The main disadvantage of JA solar panels is that they have a short product warranty – 12 years – compared to competitors.We’ll get into the details of how JA solar panels stack up against the industry average in the following sections.EfficiencyTaken as a whole, JA solar panels have an average efficiency of 21.78%. This is more than the industry average of 20%, and not far off the 22% efficiency that top-tier solar panels operate at.It’s also important to factor in how temperature will affect a solar panel’s efficiency. Solar panels are designed to operate at maximum efficiency up to 25 degrees Celsius (°C), and their efficiency will drop slightly when temperatures rise above this.For JA solar panels, the efficiency will drop by either 0.3% or 0.35%, depending on the panel, if the temperature goes above 25°C. The industry average is between a 0.35% and 0.5% drop in efficiency, so JA panels fare quite well in this regard.But given that the temperature in UK summers now regularly goes above 25°C, it’s a good idea to pick a solar panel with a high heat resistance. Ideally, look for a solar panel that doesn’t decrease more than 0.3% in efficiency in high temperatures.PowerIn terms of power, JA solar panels are on the higher end of the scale. The average power output for solar panels is 350 W, whereas the JA solar panel with the lowest power output is 405 W, well above this. Its most powerful solar panel is 625 W, almost twice the industry average.Just remember that bigger doesn’t always mean better. If a solar panel has a high power output but low efficiency, it might not actually generate as much electricity as one with a low output but high efficiency. And the average three-bedroom house will only need around 10 350 W panels.Solar panels with a high output are really only an advantage if you have a large house with high energy needs. You can find out how many solar panels you need, as well as what size and what power output, by reading our guide.WarrantyProduct warranty is JA solar panels’ weakest point. Each panel only has a warranty of 12 years – less than half a solar panel’s lifetime. This isn’t great, especially when you consider the industry average is 15 years, and many solar panel manufacturers offer warranties of 25 or 40 years – or even lifetime warranties.Product warranties are important, because they offer protection against defects, many of which can emerge later down the line. So the longer a warranty is, the better.You should also look at performance warranties. Solar panel efficiency decreases over time, so it’s important to look at what a manufacturer guarantees your panel’s efficiency will be by the end of its lifespan.On average, solar panels are guaranteed to perform at 80% of their original efficiency after 25 years. JA solar panels beat this by a little, and are guaranteed to operate around 85.57% efficiency (more or less depending on the panel) after 30 years.This isn’t bad, but it could be better. Ideally, customers should look for panels that guarantee over 90% efficiency after 25 years. What’s JA Solar’s best solar panel?JA Solar’s best solar panel is the JAM72D40 GB. It’s 580 W, and has a 22.5% efficiency rating – the highest of any JA solar panel.It’s also guaranteed to perform at 87.4% of its original efficiency after 30 years – again, the best guarantee of all JA solar panels. And it has a high heat resistance, only experiencing a 0.3% drop in efficiency if temperatures go above 25°C.There’s also a JAM72D40 MB model that has all the same characteristics, but it loses out in terms of appearance, in our opinion.That's a matter of taste of course, but the JAM72D40 GB has a sleek, discreet look. It’s almost fully black, with a silver frame. It also has few visible gaps between its solar cells.The JAM72D40 MB has a more standard look, with the white backing of the panel visible between the solar cells, creating a grid effect. Next stepsSo there you have it: JA solar panels aren’t the best on the market, but they're decent, as long as you don’t mind the short product warranty.When choosing solar panels, it’s important to pick ones that are efficient and will last a long time. Hopefully you’re also now an expert at judging a solar panel’s quality based on its efficiency rating and warranties.If you’re ready to get started with solar panels, we can lend you a hand. All you need to do is put a few details into our short form.We’ll pass them on to professional solar panel installers, who’ll be in touch and offer you their best prices. They can help you find the best solar panel system for your home. FAQs What’s the most efficient solar panel? The most efficient solar panel is the SunPower Maxeon 6 AC. It’s 22.8% efficient, and is guaranteed to work at 92% of its original efficiency after 25 years.Other top contenders are the Canadian Solar HiHero, and the SunPower Maxeon 3. You can see the full list of the most efficient solar panels by going to our page. What happens to solar panels after 30 years? After 30 years, most solar panels will only operate at around 80% or less of their original efficiency, meaning they’ll produce less electricity.But that’s not to say you can’t keep using them after that point. If your solar panels are still producing enough electricity to meet your needs, there’s really no reason to replace them. How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves? It takes around 12.9 years for solar panels to start paying for themselves, if you live in an average three-bedroom house in the UK.This will vary depending on the size of the solar panel system, how much sunlight the panels are exposed to, and how efficient they are. Written by: Tatiana Lebreton Tatiana has written about multiple environmental topics, including heat pumps, energy-efficient household products, and solar panels. She is dedicated to demystifying green tech to make eco-friendly living more accessible.