In a context of ecological awareness, but also of skyrocketing energy prices, you want to equip yourself with solar panels in order to lighten your electric bill and do something for the planet.
Just under three years ago, Ikea launched its Ikea Home Solar photovoltaic offering in France, nearly seven years after its foray into the British market. To sell its product in France, Ikea has formed a partnership with Voltalia, a French specialist in the production of electricity from renewable energy sources.
How good are the solar panels marketed by Ikea? Details and our advice on the installation of solar photovoltaic panels via this sign in this complete guide!
Ikea: How did the furniture giant get into solar panels?
The history of Ikea dates back to 1943, when Ingvar Kamprad, a young Swedish entrepreneur, started selling stationery and small items for the home. Five years later, the company diversified into furniture, with dazzling success, thanks in particular to functional products, clean design, affordable prices and a business model based on self-service sales and home assembly.
In 2013, the Swedish giant launched Ikea Home Solar, a division that embodies a commitment to the renewable energy sector. The announcement was made as part of Ikea's "People & Planet Positive" CSR initiative, which aims to reduce Ikea's environmental impact and encourage its customers to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The program was launched in the UK in partnership with SolarCentury. The goal was to provide affordable, turnkey residential solar solutions in line with Ikea's furniture ranges. Again, the program has been a success, prompting Ikea to expand the program to other countries, again by partnering with local solar companies.
Ikea solar panels landed in France in July 2020, the result of a partnership with French solar plant operator Voltalia.
Ikea photovoltaic panels - Voltalia
As you can see, there are no "Ikea" photovoltaic panels to speak of. And contrary to what you might think, there are no Voltalia solar panels either! Indeed, the French brand, partner of Ikea, offers exclusively panels of the Chinese brand Ja Solar (or Jing Ao Solar).
Although the Chinese manufacturer has been on the market since the early 2000s, it has quickly found its place in the photovoltaic landscape thanks to several assets:
- Unlike many of its competitors, Ja Solar manufactures both its modules and cells;
- Several certifications: environmental management (ISO 14001), quality management (ISO 9001), product certifications (IEC 61215, IEC 61730, UL 1703, MCS), occupational health and safety management (OHSAS 18001: 2007), IEC TS 62941 certified photovoltaic modules;
- A strong CSR commitment: construction of 100 elementary school in China, donation of medical care to cataract sufferers (goal of 10,000 patients treated), installation of solar panels in elementary school, etc. ;
- An excellent quality-price ratio, from 5 580 € for 3kWc to 15 390 € for 9 kWc;
- A certain folie de grandeur, with one of the most powerful solar panels in the world, the Jumbo triple cut, which boasts 810 W (not yet marketed on a large scale).
In short, when we talk about Ikea or Voltalia photovoltaic panels, we are talking about the Chinese manufacturer Ja Solar.
Ikea's two photovoltaic ranges
Ikea organizes its photovoltaic division's offer around two ranges of solar panels: Solstråle and Solstråle Plus :
|Solstråle solar panels||Solstråle Plus Solar Panels|
|Peak power||6 panels of 370 Wp each = 2.2 kWp||6 panels of 410 Wp each = 2,05 kWp|
|Production follow-up ?||Yes||Yes|
|Installation and administrative procedures||Yes (see below)||Yes (see below)|
|Warranty||10/12 years on products||25 years on products|
|All-inclusive after-sales service||No||5 years|
|Energy production guarantee||No||5 years|
|Eco-participation SOREN||2.16 €||2.16 €|
Two things to note:
- The installation and administrative procedures are offered under the following conditions: for a single-storey house, panels on a single slope, roof less than 45° (excluding slate tiles), in metropolitan France;
- The eco-participation, also known as ecocontribution or SORECOP in France, is a financial contribution paid by consumers when purchasing a new electrical or electronic device. This contribution is intended to finance the collection, treatment and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
Based on the Ikea offer, here is the number of panels and the budget needed for 3, 6 and 9 kWp:
|Power of the installation (kWp)Power of the installation (kWp)||Power of each panel (Wp)||Number of panels||Price includes VAT|
|Solstråle solar panels||3.33||370||9||7 990 €|
|6.29||370||17||12 850 €|
|9.25||370||25||17 000 €|
|Solstråle Plus Solar Panels||3.28||410||8||8 990 €|
|6.15||410||15||14 750 €|
|09.02||410||22||18 750 €|
Prices are given as an indication and are subject to change.
The aesthetics of Ikea solar panels
Ja Solar solar panels, which are offered by Ikea and Voltalia, usually have a black or silver anodized aluminum frame, with a rather modern and sober appearance. Depending on the model, you will have black or blue solar cells. For optimal visual integration, JA Solar also offers frameless or "bifacial" clear glass solar panels to capture light from both sides. Overall, and without being fashionable, Ja Solar solar panels integrate harmoniously into the architectural environment.
The performance of Ikea solar panels
Ikea's Ja Solar solar panels all feature monocrystalline cells, which provide high efficiency (pure crystalline structure), reasonable low-light performance, durability, aesthetics (uniform appearance), and proper operation at high temperatures.
As you have seen above, the Solstråle and Solstråle Plus ranges differ on the peak power, but also on the type of inverter chosen:
|Type of inverter||Centralized inverter||Microinverters|
|Description||All the photovoltaic panels are connected in series or in parallel and the energy produced by all the panels is sent to a single inverter which converts the direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). This alternating current is then injected into the electrical network of the house or building.||Each photovoltaic panel has its own microinverter that converts the direct current (DC) produced by the panel into alternating current (AC). This means that each panel operates independently of the others.|
|Benefits||Centralized inverter systems generally have a lower initial cost than those with microinverters;|
Since there is only one inverter, problems can be more easily identified and solved.
|Since each panel operates independently, partial shading of one panel does not affect the performance of the other panels;|
Systems equipped with microinverters are better suited to irregularly shaped roofs and/or heterogeneous panel orientation;
Microinverters allow for more accurate monitoring of the performance of each panel.
|Disadvantages||Decreased performance when shading a single panel, affecting the entire system;|
Less flexibility in system design: centralized inverter systems are less adaptable to irregularly shaped roofs or installations where panels are oriented differently.
|Higher initial cost;|
Potentially more complex maintenance: With multiple microinverters, identifying and resolving problems can be more difficult and costly.
Finally, note that the average efficiency of solar panels signed Ja Solar varies between 16 and 21 %, which remains in the average market. The Ja Solar monocrystalline panels offered by Ikea are rather in the high range in terms of efficiency.
How can I afford an Ikea photovoltaic system?
No need to go to your nearest Ikea store. Voltalia will manage your request:
- It all starts with an online simulation of the cost and savings on the Voltalia website ;
- Videoconference with a consultant for a quote;
- Technical visit at home by Voltalia;
- Administrative support (work and connection) ;
- Installation and commissioning by Voltalia teams;
- Finalization of the connection and resale contract, if applicable.
What do users think of Ikea solar panels?
Given the recency of the Ikea Home Solar offer in France and the fact that it does not yet cover all departments, it is difficult to find reviews from French consumers. We have therefore compiled reviews from British consumers, who received the Ikea Home Solar offer in 2013:
" Are Ikea solar panels good? Yes and no. They use low-efficiency panels, which are therefore cheaper, but it takes about twice as many to reach kWp " ;
" Ikea offered me £4,350 for a system of 18 120 w panels with an estimated first year yield of 2,021 kWh, the estimated return on investment for the first year is 11 %. Another manufacturer quoted me £9,900 for a twelve panel 250w system with an estimated first year yield of 2,955 kWh. The estimated return on investment for the first year is 7% ".
" Anyone who thinks they have a deal with Ikea is wrong. On solar, Ikea is only a marketing platform "Ikea is the only interface in the markets it invests in," referring to the fact that Ikea only serves as an interface in the markets it invests in.
What are the strengths of the Ikea Home Solar offer?
- Ikea is a trusted and recognized brand. As such, it can be expected to be rigorous in its choice of partners for photovoltaics;
- The Ja Solar solar panels offered by Ikea and Voltalia are reliable, robust and quite efficient;
- Ikea's photovoltaic offer is turnkey;
- The company has a strong CSR commitment;
- Responsive customer service... but it is Voltalia that provides after-sales service for Ikea's photovoltaic offer.
Ikea solar panels: what are the drawbacks?
- Voltalia specializes in photovoltaic solutions for professionals, and only entered the residential market through its partnership with Ikea;
- The supply of photovoltaic panels does not give customers much choice in sizing;
- The choice of solar panel models is opaque: Ikea does not mention Ja Solar anywhere on its website;
- Ikea's pricing on its photovoltaic solutions is not in line with its pricing policy on furniture. We are indeed in the average range, or even a little above the market average;
- If the name of Ikea reassures, it is not your main contact (Voltalia);
- Guarantees below the market average, especially the production guarantee (only 5 years on the Solstråle Plus range).
Alternatives to Ikea solar panels
SunPower remains the undisputed leader in the residential PV industry. With efficiencies approaching 23 %, resistance to extreme weather conditions, a wide range of products, a sleek design, and a 25-year warranty, this is the brand to consider if you have the budget. To learn more, we invite you to consult our opinion on Sunpower photovoltaic solar panels
DualSun is a French manufacturer focused on innovation. The brand offers hybrid solar panels that combine photovoltaic electricity production with domestic hot water production. The aim is to maximize the use of the roof surface and improve the overall energy efficiency of the solar installation. Customers who are interested in a multifunctional solar solution and want to reduce their energy consumption for water heating may find DualSun's offer particularly interesting... especially if they want to consume French.
Reviews of Dualsun pv solar panels
#3 Oscaro Power
Oscaro Power is a subsidiary of Oscaro, a French company specialized in the sale of automotive parts online. Oscaro Power offers self-consumption solar kits for individuals, with a range of solar panels, inverters and batteries adapted to the needs of each individual. Customers who want to take care of part of the installation themselves or who are looking for a modular solar solution can turn to Oscaro Power. Check out our Oscaro Power solar panels opinion to find out more.
Ikea solar panels : Our opinion => verdict ?
To enter the solar panel market, Ikea has chosen the path of exclusive partnership with local manufacturers, in this case Voltalia in France, which offers products from Chinese manufacturer Ja Solar.
The advantages of the Ikea offer can be summarized as the reliability of the company, the robustness and performance of the Ja Solar panels, the responsive customer service and the company's commitment to CSR. However, there are many disadvantages. Voltalia specializes in photovoltaic solutions for professionals and only launched its residential business through its partnership with Ikea. The photovoltaic panel offering does not give customers much choice in terms of sizing, and the choice of solar panel models is opaque, as Ikea does not mention Ja Solar on its website.
Ikea's pricing on its PV solutions is not in line with its pricing policy on furniture, and warranties are below the market average.
After studying mechanical engineering, Julian entered the world of climate engineering in 2009. After having built his experience in the ventilationand then in the heating with the largest manufacturers of German origin, he became an entrepreneur in the renewable energies and in particular a specialist in heat pump and solar panels photovoltaic systems for thehabitat individual.