Knowledge News

Are Autarco modules bankable?

Do banks finance projects with Autarco modules?

Yes, Autarco modules are bankable. ABN Amro, Triodos, ASN and most major banks in The Netherlands are willing to finance projects using Autarco’s products. If this isn’t the meaning of bankable, then what is?

We could end there and have the shortest blog post ever. However, we are aware that our proposition is different to other component brands and are happy to explain more. Autarco handles product risks and product quality better than any component brand and we can back that claim up with reports from independent and well recognized companies in the industry as well as historical system performance data.

We are very proud of our approach to manufacturing high quality and reliable products and have nothing to hide.

What is our manufacturing approach?

Autarco does not own any factories ourselves. We have our own designs and specifications that are tighter than the industry standard and then contract the best factories in the market to manufacture these products on our behalf. This is a modern approach to manufacturing that is the standard in many industries more mature than the relatively young solar PV industry. Good examples are the electronics and automobile industries where brands work with a variety of specialized component manufacturers and themselves focus on design, assembly and service.

This approach not only allows us to deliver exceptional levels of quality and reliability, but also gives greater flexibility in rapidly changing markets, such as the solar market we are in.

Where do we produce our products?

Our MHE Series modules are produced by Chint, a global electronics giant with annual revenues greater than US$10bn. Founded in 1984, Chint has developed a business network in over 140 countries and regions with more than 30,000 employees. Chint’s solar brand Astronergy is one of the most recognized brands in the market and is regularly featured in:

  • DNV GL Top Performer in all tests (Thermal Cycling / Damp Heat / PID).
  • Bloomberg Tier 1 lists.

How does solar panel production actually work?

Typically products are defined and produced as follows:

  • A single certified product code relates to a set of endorsed components (cells, backsheet, glass, etc.) called a Constructional Data Form (CDF) or simply a Bill of Materials (BOM).
  • For each component in the solar panel there is a range of certified suppliers of higher and lower quality, meaning it is possible to have different levels of quality within the same product code. Without proper control, buyers should assume they will get the most convenient (cheapest) option.
  • The certificate will also list a number of allowed factories. Many of the other “OEM” factories are smaller locations with poorer quality equipment, lower automation and looser quality control than the main factory. Even within the main factory, different production lines will often have different levels of automation and equipment age.
  • The module will have a production process with criteria for each step with regards to tolerances that are acceptable. This defines among other things the number and length of micro-cracks that are allowed before a module is deemed to be defective.
  • So when you buy a solar panel from a factory or third party without knowing the exact BOM, production location and quality specifications you may be receiving an inferior product to one that the same brand would use in their own projects. Component brands know they can get away with delivering cheaper versions to the rooftop/distribution market and as long as there are no massive failures, lower performance will have no consequence for them.

How does Autarco manage quality?

Autarco has a stake in the performance of all of our systems so we do everything possible to control quality:

  • We restrict the components used to a specified BOM of only the best components.
  • We only allow production on the most advanced production lines.
  • We enforce higher quality specifications than industry standard.

In this manner, an Autarco module is not just identical to any other module produced by Astronergy, it is in actual fact likely to be of superior quality. To give two concrete examples with the MHE series (without going into nerdy quality assurance details):

  • We only use the superior original Staubli MC4 on our modules, while Astronergy normally uses an MC4-like connector.
  • We have tighter dimension tolerances than Astronergy normally applies, to remove inconvenient gaps in the middle of the modules and issues during installation.
  • We apply stricter cell sorting to ensure a more aesthetic module.

We have third party audit and quality reports available on request if required.

What about warranties and guarantees?

At Autarco we believe intensely in the benefits of our total solution approach with insured performance guarantees. A performance guarantee that financially compensates when the system is underperforming is far more meaningful to rooftop solar owners than the solar panel component warranties, but any system performance guarantee we offer is always in addition to all the industry standard solar panel warranties, including:

  • 10 year product warranty
  • 25 or 30 year power output guarantee

Our agreements with Chint have the following statements;

“Chint declares hereby that all PV modules produced for Autarco Group BV or any of its subsidiaries are covered by the Chint “Limited Product Warranty” and 25 year “Limited Peak Power Warranty” terms on which you find enclosed.

The above means that, in case Autarco Group BV is no longer actively trading, any warranty claim against a faulty PV module manufactured by Chint for Autarco Group BV or any of its subsidiaries will be honoured by Chint as per the “Limited Product Warranty” and 25 year “Limited Peak Power Warranty” terms provided that it is a proven product defect.”

The solar panel Warranties are also fully insured by Munich Re or Lloyd’s of London.

The Dealer and end customer in effect receive four different levels of security on the warranties:

Autarco: Primary and EU based cover
Chint: Underwrite Autarco product warranty
Product Warranty Insurer: Underwrite Chint product warranty
kWh Guarantee Insurer: Underwrite Autarco kWh Guarantee


Our manufacturing approach means Autarco will never be listed in the Bloomberg Module Tier 1 list ourselves as one of the requirements is to own the factory. However, the Autarco MHE Series module is at least as good as the Astronergy modules on the list. Bankability is a measure of a banks willingness to finance a project and we have never experienced a bank unwilling to finance an Autarco project, conversely, our partners have typically been able to lend at lower rates thanks to the security provided by our insured performance guarantees.

In short, yes, Autarco modules are bankable.


Our dealers have vast experience in working with our software and our products. Interested how an Autarco system would look like and perform on your roof? Request a free quote today!

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