The solar industry has been on a tear in 2013 and a few Chinese companies have led the way. JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS) reported a surprise profit in the second quarter while Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) is leveraging project in Canada and a presence in Japan to increase margins and come close to breaking even. 

But there are also minefields for investors to avoid. Suntech Power (NASDAQOTH:STPFQ) and LDK Solar (NASDAQOTH:LDKYQ) have both failed to make debt payments this year and are in the midst of a restructuring that's a mystery to U.S. investors right now. Terrible balance sheets have been dragging down both companies and there appears to be little upside for investors right now. Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE) is also sitting with nearly $3 billion in debt and unless conditions improve quickly it may suffer the same fate as Suntech and LDK. 

Joel South sat down with solar analyst Travis Hoium to see who is well positioned to capitalize on Chinese solar and who isn't worth the risk. 

Joel South has no position in any stocks mentioned. Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.