INDUSTRY NEWS

 

Trina Honey M Plus 290 Watt Solar Panel Best Performance In The Business for a Monocrystaline Panel. Same Size as Polycrystraline Panels yet with Much more more power. Less Roof Space More Power
optimize-performance-with-trina-m-plus-solar-panelhoney_m_plus_logo_p


Products Honey M Plus

Residential Commercial Utility
Trina Honey M plus products meet all of your rooftop PV needs. Advanced surface texturing and back surface field techniques have enabled Honey products to set world output records, 2014 record of 335.2Wp output for a 60-cell module.

Excellent Low Light Performance On Cloudy Days, Mornings And Evenings
– Advanced surface texturing
– Back surface field
– Selective emitter Maximize Limited Space With Top-End Efficiency
– Up to 180 W/m2 power density
– Low thermal coefficients for greater energy production at high operating temperatures Highly Reliable Due To Stringent Quality Control
– Over 30 in-house tests (UV, TC, HF, and many more)
– In-house testing goes well beyond certification requirements
– 100% EL double inspection
Certified To Withstand Challenging Environmental Conditions
– 2400 Pa wind load
– 5400 Pa snow load
– 35mm hail stone at 97 km/hr SPECS (DD05A(II).08 60-Cell Monocrystalline) 270-295W 18.0% maximum module efficiency DD05A.08(II) Black Frame 60 cells, 156mm x156mm MC4

Contact us for further details. 

 

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How String Inverters Work As Compared To MicroInverters

 

micro-versus-string micro-inverter-benefit

 

Envoy Communications Gateway

communications-gatewayThe Enphase Envoy Communications Gateway is the network hub for the solar system that allows each individual solar panel and micro inverter to connect with the internet. This allows for industry leading system monitoring and management capabilities.

The Envoy uses advanced powerline communications technology to connect to the solar array. System owners can check the status of their solar system using the Envoy’s display, or get more detailed information through the Enlighten website.

Envoy Features

  • Plug & Play setup
  • Installation flexibility in connecting to a router
  • Communicates over existing electrical wires
  • Enables remote troubleshooting of solar array
  • Connects up to 600 microinverters

ENPHASE AC MICRO INVERTER SYSTEM       https://youtu.be/Fzj2a-9M4qo

The New Enphase 5th Generation S-Series Micro Inverter Now Available In Australia

s230-enphase-micro-inverterWith Enphase, Quality is Everything

Tested to the limit

The S230 Micro Inverter has been tested for 1 million hours. That’s over 100 years. Your New Enphase Microinverter Solar Power system is the perfect Electricity producing System in all weather conditions. Early Morning and Evening Light, Shaded Areas, Cloudy Days will See Maximum Power Production.

Enphase Microinverters have no moving parts

It’s simple but true: the more moving parts in a system, the more frequently something breaks. In an Enphase system, all the action takes place inside a small, efficient box. String inverters are complicated, with lots of separate and easily breakable components, such as fans. If one tiny part breaks in a string solar inverter, it can cause the whole system to fail.

A 10-year warranty, out of the box

Enphase stand by the S-Series Micro Inverters with an industry-leading 10-year product repair & replacement warranty. Because you’ve already got enough things to worry about, and replacing your solar shouldn’t be one of them.

Enphase S230 Microinverter

s230-enphase-micro-inverterBuilt on the fifth-generation platform, the Enphase S230 Microinverter achieves the highest inverter efficiency for module-level power electronics. With its all-AC approach, the S230 simplifies design and installation, and delivers optimal energy harvest.

  • Output Power: 220/230VA
  • Commonly used module pairing – input power: 195 W – 285W
  • Peak Power Tracking Voltage: 27 – 37 V
  • 95.8% EU Efficiency
  • 96.7% Peak Efficiency
  • Integrated ground, eliminating the need for a copper grounding wire or WEEB
  • Compliance: AS 4777.2, AS 4777.3, RCM, IEC/EN 61000-6-3, IEC/EN 62019-1, IEC/EN 62109-2
  • Configurable for variable grid profiles

Enphase S270 Micro Inverter Systems

enphase-s270-micro-inverterThe 5th Generation S270 is now available. Packed with the world’s most advanced micro inverter technology, the S270 has an incredible efficiency rating of 96.9% and is compatible with high powered solar panels.

Built on the fifth-generation platform, the Enphase S270 Microinverter supports both 60-cell and high-powered 72-cell modules. With its all-AC approach, the S270 simplifies design and installation for 270 VA installations, and delivers the most reliable energy solution for your customers.

Enphase S270 Key Features

– Output Power: 260/270VA

– Commonly used module pairing – input power: 230 W – 350 W

– Peak Power Tracking Voltage: 27 – 48 V

– 95.6% EU Efficiency

– 96.9% Peak Efficiency

– Integrated ground, eliminating the need for a copper grounding wire or WEEB

– Compliance: AS 4777.2, AS 4777.3, RCM, IEC/EN 61000-6-3, IEC/EN 62019-1, IEC/EN 62109-2

– Configurable for variable grid profiles

How the Enphase Microinverter System works

 

Latest enphase envoy S metered

 

 enphase_envoy_s_-metered

The smarter choice in solar technology.

  • Speed gage icon to represent higher production
    Higher production, best savings

    Enphase microinverters are proven to produce more energy than other technologies.

    • Microinverters operate independently, so each panel performs to its fullest. One shaded or dirty panel won’t affect the rest of the system.
    • Burst technology lets microinverters produce more at dawn, dusk, and in low-light conditions, for a longer solar day.
  • Inverter icon with green checkmark to represent reliability
    More reliable

    Because they function independently, microinverters are inherently more reliable:
    there’s no single point of failure in a microinverter system. Plus, we’re obsessive about quality, and our products reflect that.

    • If one panel goes down, the others won’t go down with it.
    • Enphase microinverters undergo the most rigorous product testing in the industry.
    • We stand by our products with the industry’s highest warranties.
  • Shield with AC power to represent safe inverter
    Safer

    Microinverters are safer than other inverter technologies.

    • An all-AC system means no high-voltage DC power on your roof.
    • Enphase Microinverters are commonly chosen for schools, since they meet even the strictest government safety requirements.
  • Image of bar graph to represent Enphase micro inverters are more cost effective
    More cost-effective

    In addition to the greater energy savings from higher production, Enphase microinverters are just a better long-term investment.

    • Enphase microinverters come with a 25-year warranty; string inverters need to be replaced at least once in the lifetime of the system.
    • Streamlined components make for quicker and less costly installations.
    • High-quality materials and remote problem-solving save money on repairs.
Image showing three solar panels with micro inverters with an empty space for a fourth panel and inverter to be added to the system later

A system that fits your needs, now and later.

The Enphase System is flexible, so you can design a system to fit today’s budget and energy needs, and expand it later as your needs evolve. Want to add more panels, or a solar battery? With microinverters, it’s no problem.

Illustration of solar panels and micro inverters on home showing energy production even when panels are partially shaded

Higher production, no matter what nature brings.

Maybe your roof isn’t shaded, so you think microinverters aren’t for you. Well, think again.
First, every system experiences some shading at some point during the day — and Enphase tolerates shading better than others. Second, shading is only a part of the story. Think dirt, leaves, scratches, snow….
Third, even if you keep your panels spotlessly clean, wear and tear won’t happen uniformly, and temperature differences occur naturally. No matter what, you’ll deal with panels operating at different levels of efficiency (an occurrence known as module mismatch). And if you’ve got microinverters, you’ll maximize your production in spite of it.

Installation is easy — just plug and play

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We recommend the team at Captain Green, as they lead the industry in True Value Solar packages.  You can contact Captain Green, www.captaingreen.com.au as they also install in Sydney, including Western Australia, Queensland, Adelaide, Melbourne, Tasmania. Captain Green Solar have been in business for around 7 years and have developed a trusted name in the solar power industry.

Solar Power deals from www.captaingreensolar.com.au ,   6.24 kilowatt system using Tier 1 Solar Panels ZEVER Inverter fully installed for from just $3,999 produces approx 8,800 kilowatts in a year. Call Con Amvrazis 0421107661 of Captain Green to discuss securing this offer.

Both SMA and ZEVER are owned by the SMA Group of Companies with over 30 years of proven reliability.

BOTH THE NEW MODELS OF SMA AND ZEVERLUTION now come with WiFi included as a standard feature. 

ZEVER introduces their new model ZEVERlution 5 kilowatt solar inverter which includes WiFi as standard. Currently delayed till December 2016, this new 5 KW ZEVER Inverter will come Wi Fi as standard.

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How Home Energy Storage works ?

 

LG CHEM offers 3.3 KW-6.5KW-10 KW Batteries in Low and High Voltage Systems.

The new generation energy storage solar package is installed complete as a system giving you 24 hours access to your own electricity.

RETROFIT A SOLAR BATTERY

You can retro fit an electricity storage battery to your existing solar panels, but you may have replace the existing inverter with the new generation SMA hybrid inverter, or SOLAX hybrid inverter that come  with inbuilt controller and integrated battery charger.

Those of you new to solar and planning on installing solar power to your home and considering Battery storage in the future, we recommend that you first purchase  the solar power system that best fits your requirements and down the track then consider a solar storage battery and hybrid inverter. Only because matching the most appropriate brands and models to your future home energy storage battery will make more sense to ensure that the components will work well together,  as currently some hybrid inverters may as yet not work with either TESLA POWER WALL Battery,  or LG CHEM Batteries or GCL Battery.

______________________________________________________________________________Based in Chester Hill Sydney, Captain Green has been operating for almost seven years supplying and installing quality products such as SMA and ZEVER inverters matched with the Australian owned Tier 1 rated OPAL solar panel. OPAL solar panel is manufactured by RISEN Energy and listed  in the top 6 solar panel manufacturers by BLOOMBERG. OPAL Solar panels are Australian owned based in Wetherill Park Sydney and offer Australian warranties.  25 years performance warranty and a factory backed 12 year products warranty which includes all parts and all labour cost. At solar quotes sydney we congratulate the team at Captain Green Solar that offers both quality and best rate of ROI  value for money solar power systems. The success in the New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland markets is a testament to Captain green in providing the very best in solar products with the best Australian warranties in the business. We asked the Director of Captain Green about the Queensland market and was told that because of the closure of  Queensland based companies such as BIOSOLAR last year and SUNSOURCE recently in 2016  Captain green saw a market where longevity and stability in a company was needed by Queenslanders looking at installing solar on their homes  and requiring a trusted name in the business along with local backed Australian warranties.

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SMA releases the new new generation 5 KW inverter with WiFi  as a standard inclusion. Surprising that their Inverters up to5 Kilowatts are now made in CHINA. Considering stiff competition from FRONIUS the AUSTRIAN Made Solar Inverter, you would think that keeping the SMA as a “MADE IN GERMANY” would be the wiser move especially when asking for slightly more of a price. “MMM”

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Solar Quotes Sydney congratulates the team at Skylight Energy based in Rockdale Sydney for supplying and installing top brand Tier 1 products. Skylight Energy offers various Tier 1 brands including the SMA Inverter, fast installation times with the most reputable installers in the industry. Skylight Energy operates in Sydney , South Coast and the Central Coast offering customers exceptional value for money for Tier 1 solar power packages. The feedback from customers which we selected at random has also reflected their personal service and needs for each client. We asked the Director about his values and was told that, it is important that we listen and understand the requirements of each of our clients in order to maximise the reduction of their electricity bills for the long term by supplying and installing the best matched system to their individual  needs.  We are about the right products backed by the best service we can offer.

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Yingli Green Energy Holding Co, once the world’s biggest solar manufacturer, plunged the most in more than four months after signaling it may be teetering toward bankruptcy.

Yingli declined 13 per cent to US$3.98 at 12:11 pm in New York, the most intraday since Dec 17.

That followed an 8.1 per cent drop Friday after the Chinese solar company acknowledged “substantial doubt as to its ability to continue as a going concern.”

Yingli said Friday that it’s still in talks with creditors about repaying loans due in two weeks, and its losses for 2015 probably would widen because of a series of write-offs, the sliding price of solar panels and declining shipments caused by a shortage of working capital.

“It looks like they are not getting bailed out and they will need to file for bankruptcy,” Gordon Johnson, an analyst at Axiom Capital Management, said in an e-mail Monday.

Yingli hasn’t reported a quarterly profit since 2011 and has been in breach of loan covenants for at least a year. It has been kept alive by state-backed lenders led by China Development Bank Corp.

The company said in April it would be “very difficult” to repay 1.4 billion yuan (S$290 million) of notes due May 12.

BLOOMBERG

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C SUN SOLAR PANELS MANUFACTURE R China Sunergy Announces Receipt of Delisting Notice

NANJING, China, March 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: CSUN) (“China Sunergy” or “the Company”), a specialized solar cell and module manufacturer, today announced that it had received a letter from the Listing Qualifications Department of the NASDAQ Stock Market (“NASDAQ”), on March 3, 2016 (the “Letter”), informing the Company that it failed to regain compliance with the Listing Rule related to the maintenance of minimum Market Value of Publicly Held Shares (“MVPHS”) of US$15,000,000 within a compliance period of 180 calendar days.

Brisbane based solar company, SunSource Group Pty Ltd, has gone into liquidation.  SunSource’s insolvency notice was officially released on July 1st 2016. A company that used door to door marketing known as ambush marketing overcharged selling 3 kilowatts systems for up to $12,000 to trusting consumers. Although Sunsource did offer quality products,, the return on investment would take around 15 years.

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More Solar a solar retailer based in Liverpool Sydney closes its doors.

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BOSCH EXITS THE INDUSTRY AND CLOSES PRODUCTION OF THE BOSCH INVERTER. So much for the German made BOSCH inverter. Just over a year from its introduction to the Australian market BOSCH has made the decision to exit the solar power industry. BOSCH also closed the Solar panel manufacturing 2 years ago.

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EUROSOLAR FINED BY THE ACCC for the record amount of $143,000 for False and Deceptive conduct

$145,000 penalty for fake testimonials and false solar energy country of origin representations

The Federal Court has ordered by consent that P & N Pty Ltd and P & N NSW Pty Ltd (trading as Euro Solar) and Worldwide Energy and Manufacturing Pty Ltd (WEMA, formerly trading as Australian Solar Panel) pay combined penalties of $125,000, for publishing fake testimonials and making false or misleading representations about the country of origin of the solar panels they supply. This followed action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The sole Director of P&N and WEMA, Mr Nikunjkumar Patel, was also ordered to pay a penalty of $20,000 for his involvement in the conduct.

Today the Court found that video testimonials published on Youtube by P&N and P&N NSW and written testimonials published by WEMA on its website were not made by genuine customers of the companies.

“This is the ACCC’s first litigated outcome in relation to the specific prohibition against fake testimonials under the Australian Consumer Law,” Mr Sims said.

“Consumers should be able to trust that testimonials give honest feedback about a consumer’s experiences with a service or product. If they are not genuine, consumers may be enticed into making a purchase that they would not have otherwise made.”

The Court also found that P&N, P&N NSW and WEMA made false or misleading representations to consumers that they manufactured or supplied solar panels that were made in Australia – when they were in fact made in China.

The misleading representations were made online, in newspapers and on television between November 2012 and September 2013 and were brought to the ACCC’s attention by competing businesses.

“Credence claims such as country of origin can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses, with consumers often prepared to pay a premium for products made in Australia,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Businesses making misleading representations can harm consumers by influencing them to purchase products, sometimes at a premium price, they otherwise wouldn’t choose to. They can also harm competitors who accurately represent their products by creating an unfair playing field.”

In his judgment, Justice Besanko found that the companies and Mr Patel engaged in careless and reckless conduct and knew that the representations made were both false and misleading.

His Honour also found that it was “suggested in some of the advertisements that not only were the solar panels made in Australia but that customers or potential customers ought to be supporting them because of that fact” and that these representations “were a central part of the respondents’ business and marketing strategy”.

In addition to penalties, the Court also made other orders by consent including declarations, injunctions, corrective advertising and a contribution towards the ACCC’s costs.

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Finally, a push to crack down on dodgy solar panel and inverters

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The Clean Energy Council has outlined new rules and standards that will allow it to delist rooftop solar modules and inverter products that fail to meet safety and performance standards, or do not deliver on marketing and warranty claims.

The CEC says the new initiatives will allow it to take action against suppliers that fail to meet standards, and it will also introduce a random testing program for solar panels and inverters to ensure that the actual performance of products being sold in Australia live up to their marketing claims.

The initiatives have been welcomed by the solar industry, and are considered long overdue. Australia is ranked as possibly the cheapest market in the world for rooftop solar installations, but that is at least partly because a small, but significant section of the market is, well, cheap in price and cheap in nature.

“The amount of rubbish that is being imported into the country is staggering,” said the head of one wholesaling group. He said the issues were poor quality, relabeled and copied products.

Numerous companies have been caught out. Some installers have collapsed because of the cost of trying to fix poorly performing equipment. It hits the big end of town too. Origin Energy last year said it had to pay out $17 million to repair poor inverters.

And there is much anecdotal evidence about poorly performing products, backed up by a survey by the Clean Energy Regulator which found that 15 per cent of the then 1.3 million solar installations in Australia were of poor quality. (There are now 1.52 million systems in Australia, with total capacity of 4.7GW, or more than 24 million panels).

This situation left the industry exposed when the Coalition government took pot shots at the industry last year over quality issues, with environment minister Greg Hunt raising “safety issues” – eventhough the CER had found no evidence of safety issues at all, despite 13,000 inspections.

That led to some alarmist stories in the mainstream media that put the issue out of context, as Tristan Edis pointed out in an article in the now defunct Climate Spectator. (from where this graph below is sourced).

tier one panels

While Hunt overplayed the safety issues, it is true that Australian households have installed a higher proportion of “tier 3” panels than other countries.

This trend is now reversing, particularly after the more generous “money-making” premium tariff structures were wound down and because there is a greater push to educate consumers about the need for quality products. Most analysts advice not touching any panel that is not “tier one”. But quality issues persist.

The most significant of the new rules introduced by the CEC appears to be the decision to conduct random and ongoing testing of panels and inverters.

Previously, a manufacturer or importer needed to subject its products to testing just one, on applying for CEC listing – leading to accusations that the organisations were producing a “golden panel” with no scrutiny on the rest of its products.

The CEC, on the prompting of complaints from consumers, will now get an independent panel to test those modules and if they are found to be substandard, will delist the product.

CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said products will also de-listed if suppliers breach consumer law – such as a failing to honour warranties. Delisting means they are no longer eligible for government incentives, and will make them unable to compete on price with better quality panels.

“These changes will improve overall product quality in the solar industry by making sure customers get what they pay for when buying panels and inverters, and by penalising companies that do the wrong thing. Protecting consumers is our highest priority,” Thornton said in a statement.

Thornton said the introduction of other initiatives by the Clean Energy Council such as the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct and the continuous professional development program for solar installers were also helping to progressively improve standards across the industry.

Another initiative is labelling of modules with serial numbers so that the origin can be properly traced. The CEC is also seeking to ensure that the country of manufacturing is also made clear.

Some manufacturers, it seems, liked to pretend that their panels came from elsewhere. Some, it is said, would refuse to reply to requests on maintenance and warranty, but quick to respond on sales enquiries.

Darren Gladman, the head of solar energy division at the CEC, said the new rules were designed to lift standards overall, and were particularly targeted at “fly-by-night” suppliers who might seek to sell “one-off” container loads of cheap and poor quality equipment in Australia.

The changes to the panel listing process are as follows:

  • New terms and conditions will allow products to be de-listed from the registers of approved modules and inverters if suppliers breach consumer law – such as a failure to honour warranties.
  • An independent testing program will be introduced to ensure the alignment of marketing claims and product performance. Products that fail this program will be removed from the Clean Energy Council’s list of approved products.
  • An independent Product Listing Review panel has been appointed.

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Fines imposed by Fair Trading on Solar Companies.

http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/pdfs/Tenants_and_home_owners/Solar_panel_installers_compliance_actions.pdf

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SOLAR INSTALLERS FINED LOSE LISENCE

AT LEAST 15 electricians who installed potentially dangerous solar panels have been fined thousands of dollars and many have had their licences suspended following an audit that found hundreds of systems across Sydney had defects.

An audit by NSW Fair Trading inspectors in June revealed that 122 homes in Baulkham Hills, Blacktown and Kellyville had major defects in their solar panel systems that could cause fires and another 418 homes had minor defects.

The latest figures published yesterday show that Fair Trading has fined almost 20 electricians between $1500 and $9000 for their defective work, suspended some licences and ordered some to be retrained in solar installation.

More than 10 installers were not licensed when they installed the solar panels and many did not have insurance.

Most of the defects related to the incorrect wiring of DC breakers, which could potentially cause fires, and all related to cases where the electricians had at least two major defects discovered in their work.

The Fair Trading Minister, Anthony Roberts, warned that more fines were expected to be issued and ”strong action” would be taken against any installer responsible for two or more major defects.

”Now that the bulk of the work of identifying those responsible for major defects has been completed, work will turn to identifying those responsible for minor defects and to providing advice to consumers and to identified installers about the defects. Identified installers will be required to rectify the defects,” Mr Roberts said.

”Ultimately Fair Trading may recommend prosecution for installers that are found to be responsible for repeated defective work, or work without appropriate contracts.”

Mr Roberts said a substantial fine was given to a northern beaches man who was convicted in Parramatta Local Court of fraud and unlicensed electrical work and ordered to pay $20,481.

Barry Eli Kibblewhite, trading as Chaser Electrical, was found guilty of carrying out unlicensed electrical work, conducting safety and compliance tests while unqualified and dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.

Mr Roberts said Kibblewhite had gone to great lengths to cover his tracks.

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A SUNSHINE Coast solar provider has been fined $10,000 for failing to supply a solar battery system to a consumer.

Ernest John Gavey, trading as Solazone Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty to one charge of wrongly accepting payment.

The charge was brought by the Office of Fair Trading.

Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard Mr Gavey accepted a $14,000 up-front payment from a consumer in November 2013 for a battery solar system.

He was to supply and install the system on the off-grid property, but failed to do so for 11 months despite repeated requests from the consumer, whose existing system was failing.

The court also heard Mr Gavey, when placing the order with his supplier, paid only a $1000 deposit despite knowing the system was worth more than $10,400.

Due to the delay caused by Mr Gavey, the consumer was forced to incur additional costs in keeping his home and business powered, and to source a second solar system directly from the manufacturer at his own additional expense.

The court was told Mr Gavey refunded the consumer only after prosecution action was commenced by the Office of Fair Trading.

In sentencing, the court considered Mr Gavey’s resistance to refunding the monies owed for a substantial period of time, despite the OFT’s intervention.

Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer warned businesses that showed an ongoing disregard for the law would be vigorously pursued by the office.

“It’s an offence for a business to accept payment from a consumer if they can’t supply the goods within a reasonable time,” Mr Bauer said.

“The OFT can assist consumers in their disputes with businesses, and take action against businesses who break the law.

“To protect themselves, consumers should avoid large upfront payments for goods, set firm delivery dates and follow up immediately if these are not met.”

More information on the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses is available from http://www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.

The Sunshine Coast Daily

TOPICS: MAROOCHYDORE MAGISTRATES COURTOFFICE OF FAIR TRADINGRENEWABLE ENERGYSOLAR POWER

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A solar company and its Director have been fined a total of $18,000 by the Joondalup Magistrates Court for misleading consumers over their rights relating to warranties and door to door trading.

Total Action Pty Ltd, formerly of Balcatta, was fined a total of $15,000 on 4 March 2014 for misleading a consumer regarding the warranty on a product, and for breaching unsolicited trading laws. Charles Posselt, a director of Total Action Pty Ltd, was also fined a total of $3,000 for the same breaches. Mr Posselt and the company, which has now ceased to trade, were each ordered to pay court costs of $1,968.

Lawyers for Consumer Protection told the court that, in May 2011, Mr Posselt had entered into a contract with a consumer to supply and install solar panels at their Edgewater home. The contract stated that the company would not accept liability for the warranty which would be provided by the manufacturer. This contravenes the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) which makes it an offence for a trader to make false or misleading representations concerning consumer guarantees.

Six other charges related to an uninvited visit to a consumer’s home in Piara Waters in March 2011 where a contract was signed for the supply and installation of solar panels. In breach of unsolicited trading provisions of the ACL, the company and Mr Posselt failed to supply the consumer with information on their termination rights and how they could terminate the contract during the ten business day cooling off period. Payment had also been accepted during this period.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said it was essential for traders to know their obligations under consumer law so they do not remove or reduce consumer rights.

“Not accepting responsibility for the warranties on products and services is a clear breach of the consumer guarantees provided by the ACL and this obligation cannot be fobbed off to manufacturers,” Ms Driscoll said.

“Traders and their employees need to ensure that their written or verbal advice to consumers doesn’t contradict the legal right of consumers for redress in the event of major or minor failure: where the product is not fit for its intended purpose; or does not match the sample or demonstration model.

“It is also the right of consumers to have a ten business day cooling off period if the approach by a salesperson is unsolicited. Traders who engage in door to door trading should provide the correct information, not take payment within the cooling off period and not mislead consumers who may not necessarily be aware of these laws.”

Information on your rights and obligations under the ACL is available on the Consumer Protection website:www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerprotection or contact us by email: consumer@commerce.wa.gov.auor by calling 1300 30 40 54.

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Company Fined $106,575 for Consumer Protection Law Increases

Company Fined $106,575 for Consumer Protection Law Increases

The penalty handed to a Victorian company for several breaches of South Australia’s consumer protection laws should serve as a warning to all traders to ensure they’re aware of, and operate within, the law.

In the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday, Green Engineering (Vic) Pty Ltd was fined $106,575 for breaches of both State and national consumer law.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Robert Templeton welcomed the penalty, saying it sends a clear message to businesses operating in South Australia.

“Consumer and Business Services had received numerous complaints about Green Engineering (Vic) Pty Ltd, resulting in last year’s public warning notice against them,” he said.

The company has now pleaded guilty to ten charges, including breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), the Fair Trading Act 1987 and the Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995.

The Victorian company admitted to failing to inform customers of their cooling off rights for unsolicited sales, failing to attend compulsory conciliation conferences and contracting for electrical work while unlicensed in South Australia.

Three counts related to door to door sales in regional South Australia.

“Under Australian consumer laws, these sales are referred to as unsolicited sales,” Mr Templeton said.

“Representatives of the business did not tell customers of their right to a 10-day cooling off period, a mandated protection for consumers.”

A representative of the business also failed to attend a series of compulsory conciliation conferences, arranged by CBS in an attempt to resolve complaints customers had made against Green Engineering (Vic) Pty Ltd.

“By ignoring their legal obligations to attend conciliation conferences, this company has shown contempt for both their customers and the law,” Mr Templeton said.

The court also heard that, between September 2013 and August 2015, Green Engineering (Vic) Pty Ltd installed photovoltaic solar panels at South Australian homes, whilst they were not licensed to do so, although registered electricians were engaged to perform the electrical work.

“These protections – and our licensing system – are in place to help protect consumers and give them greater confidence in the services they buy,” Mr Templeton said.

“This penalty should serve as a clear warning to contractors to play by the rules, or be ready to face the consequences.”

Consumers can report concerns about suspected unlicensed builders and tradespeople by contacting CBS on 131 882 or visit www.cbs.sa.gov.au

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Consumers warned after complaints surge against solar companies

Posted

Consumers are being warned about signing up to expensive solar power systems after a surge in complaints about shonky solar companies and unscrupulous sales methods.

In December last year Peter Georgopolous signed up for a $13,800 solar system on the roof of his Greenvale home after a sales representative from Ires Asia Pacific promised he would never pay for electricity again.

Seven months on it is still not working.

“I don’t even know how they work, if they work, because I got an electricity bill for $340 but they promised me I would get a bill for $32,” he said.

Mr Georgopolous said that was not the only broken promise.

“He promised me it was all made in Germany and that it would be a German unit but when they came to install them and I saw the boxes the solar panels came out of, I could see it all said ‘made in China’.

“They installed them and then I tried to ring the company [Ires] and after a few calls, five or ten calls, I eventually got through to one of the supervisors.

“I explained what happened. He apologised and said ‘everything is made in China these days, but they’re German quality’.

“It’s like buying a Mercedes Benz and all of a sudden you get a Holden or Ford delivered.

“I looked it up on the internet and I made a few enquiries and the system is not worth more than five, six or $7,000 maximum. They charged me $13,800,” he said.

Solar salesman promised ‘impossible system’

Wendy Jones lives on a farm at Katunga in Victoria’s north east.

She signed up to a $13,500 contract with Elite Solar and Electrical last year after a salesperson told her they could put panels on the roof of her house and on her shed and run them under the one system, meaning she would not have to pay for electricity again.

“I had received previous quotes from other companies which were around $7,000 – $8,000 but went with Elite because they promised to put the house and the shed on the one system,” she said.

“The salesman had the real gift of the gab but didn’t know what he was talking about. We’ve since been told by other contractors that would never have been possible.”

Ms Jones said the panels were still not working and her electricity bills were exactly what they were before the panels were installed.

She spent hours trying to chase the solar company but no one returned her calls. Elite Solar and Electrical has since gone into liquidation.

“The Finance Company [Certegy Ezi Pay] refunded our money and we still have the panels on the shed, but we don’t know what we’ll do about the warranty if anything goes wrong down the track,” Ms Jones said.

‘They sometimes struggle to ensure panels even work’

The Consumer Law Action Centre (CALC) has already received 50 complaints this year about solar power operators.

“We’ve had clients who have been targeted by door-to-door sales people or telemarketers being told they will never have to pay electricity again, only to find that they have been signed up to very expensive solar panels on finance arrangements,” chief executive Gerard Brody said.

“And they sometimes struggle or have difficulty ensuring that those solar panels even work or are connected to the system.”

All of the customers the ABC spoke to were signed up to payment plans by Certegy Ezi Pay.

“With these new finance offerings there isn’t the same responsible lending obligations that you might see in the mainstream credit and lending markets, getting a loan from a bank for example, they have to ensure that you can afford the repayments,” Mr Brody said.

Calls to overhaul solar industry regulation

In the case of Mr Georgopolous, Certegy refunded payments for the Ires system.

In response to questions from the ABC, Certegy said it “investigated and promptly agreed an outcome with the relevant consumer and we suspended IRES Solar’s use of our service with the merchant”.

“Some matters relating to IRES Solar remain under investigation and they cannot use our service.”

But many in the business still do. Certegy Ezi Pay has 435 solar retailers on their books.

In the last 12 months, 15 have gone into administration and the finance company has terminated seven more for failing to meet Certegy’s compliance requirements.

“Overall we have very few complaints regarding solar, with typically 96.5 per cent of customers paying their payment plans on time,” the company said.

The ABC left a number of messages for Ires Asia Pacific but it did not return the calls.

The CALC has called for an overhaul of regulatory framework to better protect consumers.

“The risks are that with this quickly-changing marketplace, that poor business practices and selling practices can become imbedded quite quickly and many people can get ripped off in the desire to save on their electricity bills and generate their electricity more sustainably,” Mr Brody said.

Ombudsman cannot investigate new energy businesses

But it is not always easy to get help if consumers have problems with a solar company.

Each state has an energy and water ombudsman, but their scope does not include new energy businesses like solar so consumers must take the matter to court.

“People need to have a place to go to resolve disputes quite easily and simply. The energy and water ombudsman service at the moment can’t consider these sort of disputes with solar providers,” Mr Brody said.

“We’re seeing more solar providers enter the marketplace and we’ll soon see battery storage come into the marketplace.

“The risk is that pretty poor practices could get into the sales and marketing of those products and people could find themselves without an easy place to resolve those disputes.”

______________________________________________________________________________

The ist of solar panel manufactures is vast and how many or how few will be left standing in the next decade we know will be far fewer than the ones listed here. Infact several have closed.  we remain concerned about the 25 year performance guarantees offered by solar panel brands and also expecting that a great deal have now shut down their production and some have left the Australian marketplace, again exposing consumers to poor or voided warranties situation.

AIDE JIANGSU
Aleo Solar AG
ALINGO DRAGON
All PV Australia Pty Ltd
Ameresco Solar
AMPLESUN
Anhui Rineng Zhongtian Semiconductor Development Co Ltd
Anhui Schutten Solar Energy Co Ltd
Anhui Sino Silicon Photovaltaic Technology Co Ltd
Apollo New Energy Corp
APOLLO SOLAR
ASTRONERGY
AU Optronics Corporation (BenQ Solar)
Australian Premium Solar Pty Ltd
AUSTRALIAN SM
Australian Solar Manufacturing Pty Ltd
Australian Solar Panel
Autarco Ltd
AUXIN
Auxin Solar LLC
Avancis GmbH & Co KG
AXITEC GmbH
Bayerische Solar AG
BeiJing Chiner New Energy
Beijing Hua Xin Liu He Investment (Australia) Pty Ltd
Beijing Zhongkexin Electronics
Best Oz Pty Ltd
Beyond Building Energy
Beyond Building Group Ltd
Binzhou Zhongjie Solar Co Ltd
Blue Sun Group (HongKong) Pty Limited
Blueline Solar
BOSCH
Bosch Solar Energy AG
BP SOLAR
BP SOLAR & SUNTECH
BYD Company Limited
CANADIAN SOLAR INC
Carbon Management Solutions Pty Ltd
CEEG
CEEG (Nanjing) Renewable Energy Co Ltd
CEEG (SHANGHAI)
CEEG (Shanghai) Solar Science & Technology
Changzhou City Tianshun Energy Technology Co Ltd
Changzhou EGing Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd
Changzhou NESL Solartech
Changzhou Nesl Solartech Co Ltd
CHANGZHOU TRINA
Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co Ltd
CHINA SUNERGY
China Sunergy (Nanjing) Co Ltd
Chinaland Solar Energy Co Ltd
CHINER NEW ENERGY
CHINT SOLAR
Chint Solar (Zhejiang) Co Ltd
CHROMAGEN
CNBM Germany GmbH
CNPV Dongying Photovoltaic Power Company
CNPV Dongying Solar Power Co Ltd (CNPV Power)
CNPV POWER
CNPV Solar Power SA
CONERGY AG
Conergy Pty Ltd
Conergy SolarModule GmbH & Co KG
CP-Solar Co Ltd
CSE Solar Technology Co Ltd
CSG PVTECH
CSG PVTech Co Ltd
Day4Energy Inc
DELSOLAR
DelSolar Co Ltd
Dongfang Electric (Yixing) MAGI Solar Power Technology Co Ltd
Du Pont Apollo Ltd.
Eco Future Manufacturer Industry (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
ECO-KINETICS
eco-Kinetics Propriety Ltd
Econess Energy Co Ltd
Ecosol PV Tech Co Ltd
EGING
ENERTECH
Eoplly New Energy Technology Co Ltd
Era Solar Co Ltd
ET Solar Industry Ltd
Evergreen Solar
First Global Energy Australia Pty Ltd
First Solar Inc
FIVESTAR GUANGDONG
Fortends Pty Ltd
FORTUNE-WIDE
Future Solar Energy Ltd
FXSolar Co Ltd
GD SOLAR
GERMANSOLAR AG
Gista Sunnyenrgy Pty Ltd
GLOBAL PV ZHEJIANG
GREEN ENERGY TECH
Green Energy Technology Inc
GREEN POWER PV
GS-SOLAR
GS-Solar (Fujian) Company Ltd
Guangdong Fivestar Solar Energy Co Ltd
Guanxi Energy GmbH
Guilin Xinyou Photovoltaics Industry Co Ltd
Hang Zhou Jianing New Material Co Ltd
Hangzhou Amplesun Solar Technology
Hangzhou GPHLAMS Renewable Energy Technology Co Ltd
Hangzhou ZGSM Technology Co Ltd
Hangzhou Zhejiang University Sunny Energy Science& Technology Co Ltd
Hanover Solar GmbH
Hanwha QCELLS GmbH
Hanwha SolarOne (Qidong) Co Ltd
HAREON
HC Solar Power Co Ltd
Hengdian Group DMEGC Magnetics Co Ltd
HENGJI PV ZHEJIANG
HHV SOLAR
HHV Solar Technologies PVT Ltd
HONDA
HONGCHEN ZHEJIANG
Huangshan Kinguo New Energy Technology Co Ltd
Hunan Red Solar New Energy Science and Technology Co Ltd
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd
Infinity Energy Group Pty Ltd
Infinity New Energy Co Ltd
IRES
IRES Asia Pacific
IRES GmbH
JA SOLAR
Jetion Solar (China) Co Ltd
JIACHENG WUXI
JIANGSU
Jiangsu Aide Solar Energy Technology Co Ltd
Jiangsu Bright Solar Co Ltd
Jiangsu Green Power PV Co Ltd
Jiangsu Hosun Solar Power Co Ltd
JIANGSU JIASHENG
Jiangsu Jiasheng Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd
Jiangsu KingSun Solar Power Technology Co
Jiangsu Linyang Renewable Energy Technology Co Ltd
JIANGSU LINYANG SOLARFUN
Jiangsu Linyang Solarfun Co Ltd
Jiangsu Prefersolar Photovoltaic Co Ltd
Jiangsu Runda PV Co Ltd
Jiangsu SunLink PV Technology Co Ltd
Jiangsu Tihein Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd
Jiangsu Wangfen PV Co Ltd
Jiangsu Xinghuo Solar Energy Lighting Co
Jiangsu Xuyang Solar Energy Co Ltd
Jiangsu Zhongchao Solar Technology Co Ltd
Jiangyin Guangye PV-Tech co.ltd
Jiangyin Hareon Power Co Ltd
Jiangyin Shine Science and Technology Co Ltd
JieYang Zhongcheng Group Co Ltd
Jinko Solar Co. Ltd.
Jinzhou Jinmao Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd
JM Solar Co Ltd
JT SOLAR
Juli New Energy Co Ltd
Kaneka Corporation
King-PV Technology Co. Ltd.
Kinve Solar Power Co Ltd (Maanshan)
Kotak Ujra Private Ltd
Kyocera Corporation
Kyung Won Co Ltd
LDK Solar International Co Ltd
LG Electronics Inc.
Lifeline Energy International Inc
Lightway Green New Energy Co Ltd
Luxco Co Ltd
Luxen Solar Energy Co Ltd
Luxor Solar GmbH
Mage Solar AG
Malaysian Solar Resources Sdn Bhd
Martifer Solar SA
MAXSOLAR
MICROSOL
Microsol International LL FZE
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
MOSER BAER
Moser Baer Photovoltaic Limited
MS Munsterland Solar GmbH
Munchen Solarenergie GmbH
Nanjing Daqo New Energy Co., Ltd.
Nantong Infisolar Co Ltd
NESL
Ningbo Ardson Solar Power Co Ltd
Ningbo Best Solar Energy Technology Co Ltd
Ningbo Dragon Solar Systems Co Ltd
Ningbo Huashun Solar Energy
Ningbo Komaes Solar Technology Co Ltd
Ningbo Maxsolar
Ningbo Maxsolar Co Ltd
Ningbo Qixin Solar Electrical Appliance Co Ltd (Qixin Solar)
Ningbo Solar Electric Power Co. Ltd.    (Now Sun Earth)
Ningbo South New Energy Technology Co., Ltd.
NINGBO SUN EARTH
NINGBO ULICA SOLAR SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Ningbo Ulica Solar Science&Technology Co Ltd
Ningbo Xinyou Photovoltaics Industry Co Ltd
Ningxia Yinxing Energy Photovoltaic Equipment Manufacturing Co Ltd
No. 36 Research Institute of CETC
Noah Energy Limited
Oviera Solar Co Ltd
Perlight Solar Co. Ltd
PHONO SOLAR
Phono Solar Technologies Co. Ltd.
PHOTONIC
PM & JD Pedler Electrical
PM & JD Pedler Electrical Pty Ltd
Powertile Ltd
PREFERSOLAR
PV POWER TECH
Q-CELLS
Q-Cells International GmbH
Q-Cells SE
REC Solar AS
REC Solar Pty Ltd
Recom Ltd
ReneSola Jiangsu Ltd
Renogy LLC
Rezeko Pty Ltd
Rich Solar Technology Co. Ltd
Risen Energy Co Ltd
Risun Technology Co Ltd
Ritek Corporation
S-ENERGY
S-Energy Co. Ltd
SANYO
Sanyo Electric Co Ltd (Panasonic)
Sapphire Solar Pty Ltd
SAVOLLO
Scheuten Solar Logistics BV
Schott Solar AG
Schueco International KG
Senersun Ltd
Senso Tecnologie S.R.L
Seraphim Solar System Co Ltd
Shandong Linuo Photovoltaic Hi-Tech Co Ltd
Shanghai Aerospace Automobile Electromechanical Co Ltd
Shanghai Alex Solar Energy Science & Technology Co Ltd
Shanghai Biaodi Industry Co. Ltd
Shanghai JA Solar Technology Co Ltd
Shanghai Prairiesun Solar Technology Co Ltd
Shanghai Propsolar New Energy Co Ltd
Shanghai Shanghong Energy Technolog
Shanghai Solar Energy S&T Co Ltd
Shanghai ST Solar Co Ltd.
Shanghai Topsolar Green Energy Co Ltd
SHANXI TIANNENG
Shanxi Tianneng Technology Co Ltd
SHARP CORPORATION
Shenzhen Suoyang New Energy Co Ltd.
SHENZHEN TOPRAY
Shenzhen Topray Solar Co Ltd
SHIN SUNG
SHINE SCIENCE
Shinsung CS Co., Ltd.
SHUQIMENG ZHEIJIANG
Silex Solar Pty Ltd
Siliken S.A.
Simax (Suzhou) Green New Energy Co Ltd
Simax Green New Energy (Europe) GmbH
SINODEU
SOLAHART
Solahart Industries Pty Ltd
Solar 360 Pty Ltd
Solar Enertech (Shanghai) Co Ltd
Solar Frontier KK
Solar Frontier Ltd
Solar Juice Pty Ltd
Solar Power Inc
SOLARFUN
SOLARFUN JIANGSU
SOLARIVER
Solarland Australia Pty Ltd
Solarland USA Corp
SOLARPARK CO LTD
Solarwise Solutions
SOLARWORLD
SolarWorld AG
Solimpeks Solar Energy Systems Corp
SOLON Energy GmbH
Solon SE
SOLYNDRA
Solyndra Inc.
Sovello AG
Stonestar Wholesale Pty Ltd
STX Solar Co Ltd
Sun Earth Solar Power Co Ltd
Sun World Solar Energy Technology (Luoyang) Co Ltd
SUNGEN & PERLIGHT
Sungen International Limited
SUNGOLD
Sungold Solar Co Ltd
Sungrid Ltd
Sungrid Ltd (Suntelligence)
Sunlink PV Co. Ltd
SUNNY ENERGY
SUNPOWER CORPORATION
Sunrise Energy Technology Co. Ltd.
Sunrise Solartech Co Ltd
Sunseap Enterprises Pte Ltd
SUNSET
Sunset Energietechnik GmbH Industri
Sunset Energietechnik GmbH Industriestr
SUNTECH POWER (WUXI)
Suntech Power Holding Co. Ltd
SUNTELLIGENCE
Suzhou Shenglong PV.
SYMPHONY
Symphony Energy Co Ltd
System Photonics SPA
TAIZHOU SOPRAY
Talesun Solar Co Ltd
TBEA Xinjiang SunOasis Co Ltd
TDG Holding Co Ltd
TIANWEI
Tianwei New Energy (Chengdu) PV Module Co. Ltd
Tianwei New Energy (Yangzhou)Co Ltd
Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co Ltd
Tindo Manufacturing Pty Ltd
Tivok Energy Pty Ltd
TN Solar Co Ltd
TOPPER SUN
Topper Sun Energy Technology Co Ltd
TOPSOLAR
TOPSUN
Topsun Co Ltd
TRINA SOLAR
TRUNSUN
UE Solar Co Ltd
ULICA
United Solar Ovonic
Universal Solar Panel
Upsolar Group Co Ltd
VHF TECH SA
Vikram Solar Pvt Ltd
WANXIANG
WANXIANG & UNIVERSAL
Wenzhou Changlong Photovotaic Technology Co Ltd
WENZHOU JINGRI
Wenzhou JingRi Electrical & Mechanical Co Ltd
WENZHOU JINGRI PV TECH
Wenzhou SMS Solar Energy S&T Co Ltd
Win Win Precision Technology Co Ltd – Winaico
WORLDWIDE ENERGY
Worldwide Energy & Manufacturing Australia Pty Ltd
Worldwide Energy & Manufacturing USA Co Ltd
Worldwide Energy & Manufacturing USA Inc
Wuhu Zhongfu PV Co Ltd
WUXI JIACHENG
Wuxi Jiacheng Solar Energy Technology Co Ltd
Wuxi Saijing Solar Co Ltd
Wuxi Shangpin Solar Energy Science and Technology Co Ltd
Wuxi Suntech Power Co Ltd
WUXI TIANRAN
Wuxi Tianran Photovoltaic Co Ltd
Xi’an Huanghe Photovoltaic Tech Co Ltd
Xiamen Fortune-Wide Solar Energy Tech Co Ltd
Xiamen M&J Energy Technology Co Ltd
XINGHUO
YANGZHOU TIANHUA
Yangzhou Tianhua PV Tech Co Ltd
Years Solar Co Ltd
Yingli Energy (China) Company Limited
Zhangjiagang City SEG PV Co Ltd
Zhejiang ASN-Solar New Energy Co Ltd
Zhejiang Aurora PV Solar Co Ltd
Zhejiang BLD Solar Technology Co Ltd
Zhejiang Bowei Industrial & Trading Co Ltd
Zhejiang ERA Solar Tech
Zhejiang Global Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd
Zhejiang Hengji PV Tech Co Ltd
Zhejiang Hongchen Photovoltaic Energy Co. Ltd
Zhejiang Huibao New Energy Co Ltd
Zhejiang Jinbest Energy Science and Technology Co Ltd
Zhejiang Jingshang New Energy Technology Inc
Zhejiang Jiutai New Energy Co Ltd
Zhejiang Leye Photovoltaic Science & Tech Co Ltd
Zhejiang Longbai Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd
Zhejiang Riyuewang Solar Technology Co Ltd
Zhejiang Shangcheng Solar Tech Co Ltd (SC Solar)
Zhejiang Shengfa New Energy Technology Co Ltd
Zhejiang Shuqimeng Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd
ZHEJIANG SOLAR BEST
Zhejiang Sopray Solar Co Ltd
Zhejiang Sunflower Light Energy Science & Technology LLC
Zhejiang Wanxiang Solar Co Ltd
Zhejiang Xinshun Guangfu Science and Technology Co Ltd
Zhong YI New Energy Co Ltd
ZHONGKEXIN
ZHUHAI TIANBAO TECH
Znshine PV-Tech Co. Ltd