Key takeaways


ith the surge in solar energy interest, selecting top-notch, reliable solar panels has never been more critical. Kiwa PVEL, a leading testing lab, dives deep into the performance and durability of these panels, offering crucial insights for both homeowners and industry pros. This SunValue solar guide is here to decode the results, making sure you know exactly what to look for as you dive into the world of solar energy.

What is the Kiwa PVEL Scorecard?

Going solar is a major investment, so you want to ensure your panels are up to the task and built to last. Luckily, there are tools available that offer an in-depth analysis of how different solar modules withstand various stresses, making sure you get the most bang for your buck.

One essential tool is the Kiwa PVEL (Photovoltaic Evolution Labs) PV Module Reliability Scorecard – the ultimate annual showcase of solar panel performance from a diverse lineup of manufacturers. Over the past ten years, it has become the trusted standard for identifying the most reliable and efficient solar panels. These ratings are backed by the Product Qualification Program (PQP), where solar panels undergo intense stress tests that replicate real-world challenges. It’s the gold standard for proving solar technology’s resilience and quality.

2024 Scorecard goes further than ever, extending its reach to feature more manufacturers and rolling out new tests to tackle the industry's hottest issues. This year's edition breaks records with 53 manufacturers and 388 models.

Here are some standout highlights:

  • Surge of Excellence: This year's list crowned 53 manufacturers and 388 models as Top Performers, marking the highest count in its decade-long history. This surge emphasizes the industry's heightened drive for solar module reliability.
  • Upgraded Testing Protocols: The testing procedures have been revamped to tackle new industry challenges head-on. For instance, the hail stress sequence (HSS) now includes rigorous tests to ensure panels can withstand hail impacts without shattering. Similarly, the mechanical stress sequence (MSS) has been fine-tuned to better judge module durability.
  • All-Around Aces: Special recognition is given to manufacturers that shine across multiple tests. Climbing to Top Performer status in every single category is a rare triumph, with only about 6% of models making the cut.

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The Testing Categories

The Scorecard challenges solar modules in various arenas to measure their reliability and performance. Here’s the breakdown of each test and why you should care:

Thermal Cycling (TC)

The TC test is the ultimate weather simulation, putting solar panels through intense temperature changes, from scorching days to frosty nights, to ensure they’re tough enough to handle real-world conditions.

  • Why it Matters: This test is crucial for homes that experience dramatic temperature swings between day and night.
  • 2024 Highlights: A whopping 84% of tested modules were solid, with less than 2% power loss. Glass/glass modules performed better than glass/backsheet, with the former showing a median degradation of 0.6%.

Damp Heat (DH)

The DH test is like throwing solar modules into a steamy rainforest, subjecting them to prolonged high humidity and heat to test their durability.

  • Why it Matters: Important for areas with high humidity or frequent rainfall.
  • 2024 Highlights: 69% of modules had less than 2% degradation. Glass/glass modules again outperformed glass/backsheet, with 85% showing less than 2% degradation compared to 46% of the latter.

Mechanical Stress Sequence (MSS)

The MSS test assesses the durability of modules under mechanical stress, such as heavy snow and high winds.

  • Why it Matters: Essential for places that regularly deal with severe weather.
  • 2024 Highlights: 95% of modules kept power loss under 2%. Some modules, particularly glass/backsheet, showed some weak spots under tracker mounts.

Hail Stress Sequence (HSS)

The HSS test throws ice balls of different sizes at solar modules to see if they can take a hit

  • Why it Matters: Important for areas prone to hailstorms.
  • 2024 Highlights: A staggering 89% of 2.0 mm glass/glass modules cracked under 50 mm hail, while the more robust 3.2 mm fully tempered glass/backsheet modules only saw 40% breakage. And, glass/glass modules didn’t lose power.

Potential Induced Degradation (PID)

Th The PID test checks how well solar panels handle high voltage stress over long periods.

  • Why it Matters: It keeps your solar panels running smoothly for the long haul.
  • 2024 Highlights: 58% of modules lost less than 2% of power. Interestingly, encapsulant choice significantly impacted PID results, even with identical cell models.

Light Induced Degradation (LID) and Light and Elevated Temperature Induced Degradation (LETID)

These tests reveal how solar panels hold up against the scorching sun and high temperatures, particularly tough for certain cell technologies.

  • Why it Matters: Keeps your panels operating at peak performance, especially in sun-drenched and hot climates.
  • 2024 Highlights: 96% of panels had minimal power loss, under 1%. Gallium-doped p-type PERC and n-type cell technologies performed best.

PAN Performance

PAN testing uses empirical data to simulate real-world energy yields, providing essential insights for precise energy modeling.

  • Why it Matters: It’s a go-to tool for predicting solar module output, crucial for savvy financial planning.
  • 2024 Highlights: Meanwhile, HJT technology boasts the highest bifaciality and best-modeled energy yield.

Top Performers in 2024

The Scorecard highlights a roster of manufacturers that excelled across multiple tests, offering solar buyers a treasure trove of reliable choices.

Let’s take a look at the Top Performers Per Test table to see where each manufacturer’s models stood out in 2024:

Solar manufacturer’s models stood out in 2024

And here is the Historical Scorecard, showing which brands have ranked as top performers consistently throughout the years:

Solar manufacturers ranking 2014-2024

Leaders Up Close

In this part, SunValue Solar reviews some of the leaders, focusing on those that are easily accessible in the US market. Some of these brands are emerging as new stars in 2024, while others have consistently delivered excellence year after year.

Trina Solar

Trina Solar stands out as a consistent top contender across several tests, showcasing their panels' unmatched durability and stellar performance. If you're in the market for reliable solar options, Trina should be at the top of your list.

This manufacturer packs its panels with the latest tech, from multi-busbar PERC cells to 210mm third-cut and N-type TOPCon cells. With 700-watt models in the Vertex N series for commercial use and the highly efficient Vertex S+ options for homes, both achieving around 22.5% efficiency, these panels are among the most efficient photovoltaic panels in the market.

Boviet Solar

Boviet Solar panels have earned a reputation for rock-solid reliability and great quality. Their repeat appearances as top performers highlight their ability to withstand severe stress tests, including thermal cycling, damp heat, and potential-induced degradation.

Boviet Solar's Gamma and Vega Series panels, especially the high-efficiency monocrystalline ones, are the go-to for robust performance. Their models, featuring PERC, half-cut, multi-busbar, and large cell designs, are an excellent option for residential areas where space is at a premium and power is a priority.

SEG Solar

Fully manufactured in the US, SEG Solar panels are celebrated for their cutting-edge technology and superior solar power efficiency, making them favorites for both home and commercial use. The standout SEG Solar panels often feature N-type TOPCon technology.

For those looking for the most efficient home solar panels, the YUKON N Series models offer top-notch efficiencies of up to 22.45%. Plus, these modules boast almost no LID/LeTID impact and exceptional performance in low-light conditions, adding great value for customers.

Jinko Solar

Jinko Solar is another manufacturer that has shown strong results in multiple tests. Their products are renowned for their robustness and consistent performance, providing exceptional value for those looking to go solar.

Jinko panels are famed for their high solar PV efficiency, lasting durability, and sleek design. The cutting-edge Tiger Neo series, utilizing N-Type cells, delivers maximum power and reduced degradation, making them a reliable and eco-friendly energy choice.

JA Solar

JA Solar panels have also excelled in a range of tests, proving their robustness and high energy yield. They're a good pick for anyone prioritizing efficiency and durability in their solar setup.

JA Solar's JAM72D40 GB panel is their flagship model, delivering a powerful 580W and leading the field with a 22.5% efficiency. Plus, it’s covered by a great warranty, ensuring it operates at 87.4% efficiency even after 30 years.


LONGi's reputation for high-performing panels is well-deserved, especially with their impressive results in the TC and DH tests. Built to tough it out in harsh environments, their panels offer long-term reliability and exceptional performance.

Hi-MO series combines affordability with impressive performance. Despite being in the cheapest solar system category, these panels deliver results that are on par with, if not better than, many of the higher-priced options available.

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How to Use the Scorecard for Your Solar Purchase

  • Spot the Top Performers: Start by looking for modules that have nailed top performer status in the tests that matter most for your location. For example, if you’re in an area with wild temperature swings, pay close attention to the TC test results.
  • Check the Track Record: Look into the historical performance of manufacturers. This track record speaks volumes about their reliability and quality.
  • Prioritize Versatility: Whenever possible, opt for modules that have shined across multiple tests. These all-rounders are likely to deliver dependable performance no matter the conditions.
  • Get Expert Advice: While the Scorecard is a great starting point, don’t stop there. Read solar company reviews and consult with solar installation professionals who can offer tailored advice and ensure you make the best choice for your home’s unique needs. Talk to solar installation pros who can offer extra insights and help you make the smartest choice for your unique situation.


In a nutshell, venturing into the world of solar panels can be overwhelming, but having the right tools at your disposal makes the journey much smoother. The 2024 Scorecard, with its thorough testing and increased manufacturer participation, offers goldmine insights into the reliability and performance of different solar modules.

By zooming in on the top-tier performers and understanding which tests are key for your region, you’re set to make a solid investment in solar energy. Don’t forget to tap into expert advice and take into account the historical performance of manufacturers to ensure you get long-lasting and the most efficient solar panels.


Key takeaways


  • Kiwa PVEL: Leading lab testing solar panel reliability.

Key Testing Categories

  1. Thermal Cycling (TC): Simulates extreme temperature changes; 84% had <2% power loss.
  2. Damp Heat (DH): Tests durability in high humidity; 69% had <2% degradation.
  3. Mechanical Stress (MSS): Assesses durability under stress; 95% kept power loss <2%.
  4. Hail Stress (HSS): Tests resistance to hail; glass/backsheet panels showed better resilience.
  5. PID: Checks resistance to high voltage; 58% lost <2% of power.
  6. LID and LETID: Tests under sunlight and heat; 96% had minimal power loss.
  7. PAN Performance: Simulates real-world energy yields; HJT technology performed best.

Top Performers

  • Trina Solar: Advanced, reliable panels.
  • Boviet Solar: Strong stress test performance.
  • SEG Solar: High efficiency in low light.
  • Jinko Solar: Robust and efficient.
  • JA Solar: High yield and durability.
  • LONGi: Affordable and high-performing.

Tips for Using the Scorecard

  1. Identify top performers.
  2. Check historical reliability.
  3. Opt for versatile panels.
  4. Get expert advice.


  • Use the Scorecard and professional advice for the best solar investment.
Jun 28, 2024
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