top solar panel companies and manufacturers

Top 10 solar companies and manufacturers in 2022

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When choosing a solar panel brand, there are a number of factors to consider, from efficiency, to temperature coefficient, to warranty. But a growing number of people also care about where their solar panels are manufactured, especially as supply chain constraints lead to installation delays. So, who are the top solar companies in the world and in the U.S.?

There were some major changes over the past few years, including some new leaders in solar manufacturing who were once no names in the PV industry. JA Solar is grabbing market share with a passion while Q CELLS has slumped. The question for you as a solar shopper: should you care if your solar panels are made by one of the big 10 manufacturers in the world? Are American made solar panels truly the better product when the majority of manufacturers are located elsewhere? Here’s our breakdown of the best solar manufacturers around the globe.

Key takeaways

  • The top 3 global manufacturers are LONGi Solar, Tongwei Solar, and JA Solar.
  • Most solar panels are manufactured in China, but some companies in Canada and the U.S. are gaining traction.
  • Some well known solar panel companies with manufacturing facilities in the U.S. include: LG Solar, CertainTeed, Q CELLS, Silfab Solar, JinkoSolar, Solaria, and Tesla.
  • While location of manufacture may be important to you, it’s also important to consider factors such as price, efficiency, brand, quality, and more.
  • Use the EnergySage Marketplace to receive free, custom quotes from solar installers near you.

What’s in this article?

The top 3 solar manufacturers

Currently, based on 2020 shipment capacity data from theNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)’s H1 2021 Solar Industry Update, the top 3 solar manufacturers globally are LONGi Solar, Tongwei Solar, and JA Solar.  

LONGi Solar

Headquartered in Xi’An China, LONGi Solar is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells and panels. LONGi was founded in 2000 and in 2020 shipped 14.7 gigawatts (GW). Based on PV-Tech’s Q4 2021 bankability report, LONGi is the only company to achieve its highest bankability rating. To learn more, check out LONGi Solar’s supplier profile.

Tongwei Solar

Founded in 2009, Tongwei Solar is one of the largest crystalline silicon solar cell production companies in the world. Tongwei Solar has four locations in China and is a subsidiary of the large agricultural product company Tongwei Group. They manufacture both polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar cells and panels, shipping 12.1 GW in 2020.

JA Solar

JA Solar was founded in 2005 and their first manufacturing hub was built in Fengxian, China, where their main manufacturing hub now lives. They produce budget solar panels with half-cell technology that fall in the mid-range for efficiency – although they do outperform most of their mid-range competitors. In 2020, JA Solar shipped 10.8 GW. To learn more, take a look at JA Solar’s supplier profile.

How to compare the best solar energy companies in the world

Because solar panel manufacturer rankings are based on the total volume of solar panels that the companies ship, being in the top position does not necessarily mean they offer the highest quality panel. Some of the smaller manufacturers specialize in premium products, whereas most of the larger manufacturers have gotten to where they are by either making a panel for the high volume market or by focusing their efforts on large-scale projects. That being said, a company’s proven ability to produce and sell a large amount of product is testimony to its brand’s credibility, buildng trust among consumers and installers alike.

The important thing for you to keep in mind as a solar shopper is the ability to differentiate between them to find the panel that best suits your needs and budget. To this end, EnergySage has developed a solar panel quality ranking system of our own so that our customers can confidently choose a panel and manufacturer.

If you’re interested in learning more about how panels are ranked, visit our Solar Decision Guide. When it comes to metrics like solar panel efficiency, the simple cost per watt of a single solar panel is not a unit of measure that can stand on its own. It’s important to understand the conversion potential of your panels as a way to decide which brand to go with. SunPower, for example, is heralded for its impressive conversion efficiency which has regularly fluctuated over the past 10 years for holding the world record. That being said, SunPower panels are much more expensive than a cheaper brand such as AXITEC and thus the size of your solar system and panel output will help you decide what will generate the most solar savings and most immediate payback period.

Where are the best solar panels being made?

The simple answer to this commonly asked question is East Asia, and you will notice that the majority of the top ten manufacturers are Chinese as the bulk of global solar panels are manufactured there. East Asia has become the solar manufacturing hub of the world and the latest emerging trend is that companies outside of China are starting to have success, including Canadian Solar.

As we’ve noted before, however, a panel’s country of manufacture is not usually the most important consideration for someone going solar. Instead, most people will find a balance between cost and quality, with a panel’s country of manufacture being a secondary consideration – a possible deal-breaker. For some homeowners, the importance of energy independence is a major factor when considering what brand of panels they would prefer. Though we at EnergySage support American companies and sustainability of the U.S. nation, we do recommend getting advice from your installer and considering their suggestions. After all, they will have the most up to date experience with long term efficiency, maintenance and durability of various solar panel brands and will also know which models are most popular on the market.

What are the top companies making solar panels in the U.S.?

Though the large majority of solar manufacturers import their equipment from southeast Asia (even in the case of leading American solar companies like SunPower), there is a short list of American solar companies that actually make their solar panels here in the U.S. It’s important to note that not all of these companies have headquarters in the U.S., but they all have manufacturing facilities – or obtain their panels from companies that have manufacturing facilities – in the U.S.

Top American solar companies

CompanyHeadquartersU.S. locationTypes of panels offeredPower warranty
CertainTeedUSASan Jose, CAMonocrystalline10 years
Crossroads SolarUSASouth Bend, INMonocrystalline10 years
First SolarUSAPerrysburg/Lake Township, OHThin film12 years
GAF EnergyUSASan Jose, CAShingle25 years
Q CELLSSouth KoreaDalton, GAMonocrystalline25 years
HelieneCanadaMountain Iron, MN & Riviera Beach, FLMonocrystalline & polycrystalline15 years
JinkoSolarChinaJacksonville, FLHalf-cell technology & monocrystalline25 years
LG SolarSouth KoreaHuntsville, ALMonocrystalline25 years
Merlin SolarUSASan Jose, CAMonocrystalline15 years
Mission SolarUSASan Antonio, TXMonocrystalline25 years
Next Energy AllianceUSARiverside, CAMonocrystalline10 years
Silfab SolarCanadaBellingham, WA & Burlington, WAMonocrystalline25 years
SolariaUSAFremont, CAMonocrystalline25 years
TeslaUSABuffalo, NYMonocrystalline & shingle25 years

Part of these data were obtained from Solar Power World.

Who are the biggest solar installers in the U.S.?

Most companies that manufacture solar panels don’t install the panels themselves. In the U.S., the biggest solar installation companies are Sunrun and Tesla – and Tesla also manufactures their solar panels in the U.S. To connect with our network of local solar installers, sign up for free quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace.

The top 10 list of solar panel manufacturers (global)

A big part of calculating solar panel quality is understanding the metrics and factors that determine it such as module efficiency and performance. Check out our solar panel analysis to better understand significant characteristics that will impact your solar system’s panel performance. Also notable is the fact that not every company that made this list has a significant share of the US residential solar power market.

Included in the table below are the solar panel manufacturers with the highest shipment capacity in GW based on data from 2020 (the most recent data available as of 2022).

 Top solar panel manufacturers

RankCompanyHeadquartersTypes of panels offered2020 shipment capacity (GW)Power warranty
1LONGi SolarChinaMonocrystalline14.7 GW12 years
2Tongwei SolarChinaMonocrystalline & polycrystalline12.1 GW10 years
3JA SolarChinaHalf-cell technology10.8 GW12 years
4Aiko SolarChinaMonocrystalline10.5 GWUnknown
5Trina SolarChinaMonocrystalline9.0 GW25 years
6JinkoSolarChinaHalf-cell technology & monocrystalline8.7 GW12 years
7Canadian SolarCanadaMonocrystalline & polycrystalline8.3 GW12 years
8ZhongliChinaMonocrystalline7.4 GW12 years
9SuntechChinaHalf-cell technology6.3 GW12 years
10First SolarUSAThin film5.5 GW12 years

These data were obtained from NREL’s H1 2021 Solar Industry Update.

What are solar panels made of?

Most panels on the market are made of monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin film “amorphous” silicon. On a more granular level, solar panels are comprised of six different components including the following: 

  • Silicon solar cells: convert sunlight into electricity using the photovoltaic effect
  • Metal frame: protects against inclement weather and helps mount the panel at an angle
  • Glass sheet: shields the silicon solar cells, and allows sunlight through
  • Standard 12V wire: regulates the amount of energy being transferred into your solar inverter
  • Bus wire: connects the solar cells together in parallel 

To learn more about the processes and materials that leading manufacturers use, read our blog about cell types and parts of solar panels

Frequently asked questions about solar panel companies

What are the top 10 solar panel companies?

The top 10 solar panel companies globally with the highest shipment capacity are, in order, LONGi Solar, Tongwei, JA Solar, Aiko Solar, Trina Solar, JinkoSolar, Canadian Solar, Zhongli, Suntech, and First Solar. 

What country is the largest producer of solar panels?

As noted earlier, China is the largest producer of solar panels worldwide. In 2017, the nation’s market share reached 51% and has since declined to just 27% in 2019—this indicates that new countries are producing and installing solar panels at a higher rate in a short period of time. As for the company with the largest production rate, JinkoSolar, headquartered in Shanghai, China, ranked first according to the most recent data.

How do I find a reputable solar company?

When you select an installer, you want to know that it’s a reputable company, with a strong track record, that has all the licenses and certifications required in your state, and with the expertise to design a solar panel system that’s right for your needs. 

Picking between solar installers can be a daunting task, but EnergySage is here to help. We vet the installers that quote on our Marketplace, present installer-specific differentiators in the quotes you see, and have created a badge tier system that helps you find the top solar installers in your area.

Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to explore solar quotes

For any homeowner in the early stage of shopping for solar that would just like a ballpark estimate for an installation, try our Solar Calculator that offers upfront cost and long-term savings estimates based on your location and roof type. For those looking to get quotes from local contractors today, check out our quote comparison platform.

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61 thoughts on “Top 10 solar companies and manufacturers in 2022

  1. James McKnight

    All countries should provide their citizens with FREE solar power if they’re serious about global warming.

  2. D d wagh

    Sir I like to join socioeconomics and I am optimistic about solar energy use in india please guide me where I get solar panel efficient,cost economics ,and easy to install

  3. Syabughangise Noah

    lower the prices of solar so as all people globally can save the environment by using solar energy and light

  4. Stephen Otieno

    Am happy to be part of the team that fills its time to save this only planet we have am a development officer here in kenya and i work with community groups in areas of conservation and Socio economic activities even though we are dealing with real effects of climate change we are optimistic that ouir efforts in whichever way they are littel they will help change the situation we are in currently


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