Solar Panel Review Alert: Phono Solar

Sumec Phono Solar Panel

Phono Solar or Phono Solar Technology Co. Ltd is a part of the SUMEC Group Corporation. SUMEC Group Corporation is a subsidiary of the China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH). SINOMACH was established in Beijing in the year 1997 and is an enterprise owned by the Chinese state. 

Phono panel is not a known name to many people, but that does not mean that the products of this company are not worth anything. Phono manufactures a range of energy products, but their main focus is on polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels. The two main categories of solar panels of Phono panels are the Hyperion and the Twin Plus panels. 

In Australia, Phono rebranded itself to SUMEC Phono Solar Australia in 2018 in order to highlight their parent company, SUMEC Group. The manufacturing facilities of Phono Solar are located in Nanjing, China. Phono Solar manufactures 1.6 gigawatts worth of solar panels, which makes them a small scale solar manufacturer. 

According to various sources, Phono Solar currently has very limited penetration in the Australian solar market. The company does not have a permanent office in Australia yet and currently have a basic AU website. The warranty services of Phono panel in Australia are performed by the supply partners who are exclusive distributors of the Phono panels. 

Not every solar panel can be sold in Australia. To sell a solar panel in the Australian market, the company has to meet the minimum requirements set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The solar panels must also be included in the approved panels’ list by the Clean Energy Council (CEC). These approvals mean that the solar panels are safe and reliable for use.  

An international classification and certification group, Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL), based in Norway, was established in the year 1864. DNV-GL made a comprehensive report on the solar panels available on the market in 2016 to check the reliability of solar panels. DNV-GL developed the tests and invited solar panel manufacturers to provide their panels for testing. 

Test 1: Phono Solar Thermal Cycling:

The IEC standards of thermal cycling require a solar panel to 200 cycles, while DNV-GL did 800 cycles. Phono Solar and Kyocera were the Top Performers in this test, with a degradation rate of 1.5 per cent. 

Test 2: Dynamic Mechanical Load:

This test is about wind and snow. Poor quality panels bend, crack, and break over time as the wind blows. Phono was a Top Performer in this test as well, with a degradation rate of less than 0.5 per cent. 

Test 3: Humidity-Freeze Test:

Moisture can be absorbed by different areas of solar panels, even though the solar panels are waterproof. The water expands when it freezes, and this can cause damage to the solar panels. The IEC conducts this test cycle on a solar panel ten times, while the DNV-GL did the test 30 times. In this test, Phono panel was great, but not the Top Performer. The best degradation rate for this test was 0.13 per cent, and the median was 2.30 per cent. Phono panel was within the 1 to 2 per cent range. 

Test 4: Damp Heat:

Humidity has the power to cause the degradation of a solar panel. Solar panels are stored at a temperature of 85 degree Celsius and humidity of 85 per cent for 1000 hours by the IEC, but the DNV-GL stored the solar panels for 3000 hours. Phono Solar also ranked as great in this test, with a degradation rate of 3 per cent. 

Test 5: PID Test on Phono Solar:

Potentially Induced Degradation (PID) is when power leaks into other parts of the solar power system instead of going straight to the inverter. This occurs due to high humidity and temperatures. Phono Solar was back as a Top Performer in this test, with a degradation rate of less than 0.5 per cent. 

Phono Solar was the Top Performer in three out of these five tests by the DNV-GL and great at the other two tests. 

According to DNV-GL, Phono solar panels are one of the best solar panels in the Australian market. The company has a high level of confidence in their solar panels, and therefore, they increased their warranty of solar panels from 12 years to 15 years. The company also offers a performance warranty of 25 years for their solar panels. 

Phono Solar have the skills and expertise of manufacturing solar panels incorporated with some of the leading solar technologies. For instance, the Twin Plus solar panels of Phono Solar can generate up to 400W of power, with an efficiency rate of 19.9 per cent, by using a combination of Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) and the Half-cut cell technology. Although 19.9 per cent is not the highest efficiency of solar panels available in the solar market, it definitely does quite a good job. You can also purchase solar panels with a 21 or 22 per cent efficiency rate, but you will also have to pay quite a high price for them. 

There are a lot more things to take into account while choosing solar panels for your home, especially regarding temperature. Although sunlight is the main source of generating solar energy, it also heats up the panels, making them less efficient. 

In conclusion, Phono  is one of the less known solar panel manufacturers, but that surely does not mean that they are not good. SUMEC, the parent company of Phono, has been in business for around 40 years now and is one of the fastest growing companies in the world. SINOMACH is one of the largest companies in the world. This means that you are safe with the product and performance of the Phono solar panels, and there is an almost negligible chance that you will be disappointed with the services of the Phono solar panels. 

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