Canadian Solar Panels- Independent Review

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Overview of Canadian Solar – Company History

Canadian Solar was founded not surprisingly, in Canada back in 2001 by Dr. Shawn Xiaohua Qu. Dr. Qu is still currently the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. In 2006 Canadian Solar was listed on the NASDAQ. Although most of their production is based in China, Canadian Solar has two manufacturing facilities in Ontario, Canada.

They’re currently one of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers, with an increasing Australian presence. They have 4 warehouses across Australia and power an estimated 172,000 households per year. In March 2020 the Canadian Solar research and development team produced an n-type multi-crystalline silicon solar cell that tested at a world record 23.81% efficiency. Currently, the world’s most efficient residential solar panel is 22.6%.

 

Key Panel Indicators

Canadian Solar Panel
Bloomberg Tier 1 RankingYes
DNV GL Top PerformerYes (4/4)
Office location in AustraliaYes

What is a Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panel?

Bloomberg’s infamous tier 1 ranking is NOT a measure of Solar Panel quality in any way. It is simply an indication of the bankability of the manufacturer based on publicly released information on the financial health of the company. This should give you an idea if the company is a large, well-known manufacturer.

Canadian Solar was listed as a tier 1 panel in the latest Bloomberg NEF report.

See full list of Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panels

What is PV Evolution Labs Top Performer?

PV Evolution Labs with support from DNV GL independently test solar panel reliability. The tests are voluntary, with solar panel manufacturers paying to participate in the testing. This testing process is internationally renowned and is an accurate reflection of the solar panel’s performance.

Impressively Canadian Solar was named as a top performer across all 4 of the testing categories.

See full list of PV Evolution Labs Top Performing Solar Panels

Why is office location in Australia Important?

Most solar panel manufacturers entering the Australian market first set up their distribution channels and worry about customer service later. This has led to many unhappy customers who are left trying to contact Chinese head offices to claim on their 10-year product warranty.

Relying on your solar installer is not always an option as we’ve seen many residential solar installers (including the large ones) go out of business well within the lifetime of the systems they are installing.

Canadian Solar’s Australian head office is located in Cremorne, Melbourne and they have warehouses in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. For warranty claims you can contact their head office on 03 8609 1844.

 

How much do Canadian Solar Panels cost?

Based on Solar Choice’s database we have provided the below-average costs as an indicative guide. These prices include:

  • Full turnkey Solar System with Canadian Solar Panels
  • Installation from a pre-vetted reputable installer from Solar Choice’s network
  • The STC rebate and GST
System SizeAverage Fully Installed Cost
6kW$6,293
8kW$8,185
10kW$9,413

 

Compare quotes from up to 7 installers in your area now.

 

Model Range Available in Australia

Canadian Solar have different modelus directed at the residential, commercial and utility-scale market.

BiHiKu SeriesCanadian Solar Panel BiHiKu review

Mostly applicable in the utility-scale market or large-scale commercial ground-mount projects. These bificial panels enable light to be absorbed from the top and bottom of the panel increasing the energy yield by up to 30%. These panels are up to 585W and up to 2.4m in length, significantly larger in dimensions and output than a typical residential solar panel.

HiKu SeriesCanadian Solar Panel Hiku Series

The HiKu Canadian Solar panels are regularly used in rooftop commercial projects as they offer great module efficiency at a cost-effective price. These panels are typically seen at 330W at their most cost effective price point, but the modules in this series can go up to 440W. The module has been designed for easy and efficient installation on rooftops and is a popular choice among Australian residential and commercial installers.

All Black SeriesCanadian Solar All Black Series Review

The all black series creates an aesthetic appeal with a black frame and black back sheet. These panels are designed for residential homes and to provide a sleek look. Despite the dark colour of the panels, Canadian Solar’s modules still perform well in hot conditions with a low temperature coefficient (Pmax) of -0.36 % / °C.

 

A vast range of solar panels listed on Canadian Solar’s Australian website is approved by the Clean Energy Council for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is Australia’s home solar rebate program.

These are the following models:

Canadian Solar BiHiKu Bifacial Poly Perc Module 390-415Wp

Canadian Solar BiHiKu Bifacial Poly Perc Module 420-435Wp

Canadian Solar BiHiKu Bifacial Mono Perc Module 420-445Wp

Canadian Solar HiKu Mono Perc Module 350-375Wp

Canadian Solar HiKu Poly perc Module 325-350Wp

Canadian Solar HiKu Poly Perc Module 355-365Wp

Canadian Solar HiKu Mono Perc Module 430-455Wp

Canadian Solar HiKu Poly Perc Module 395-420

Canadian Solar HiKu Poly Perc Module 425-440Wp

Canadian Solar BiKu Bifacial Module 370-385Wp

Canadian Solar BiKu Bifacial Module 380-400Wp

Canadian Solar KuMax Mono Perc Module 380-400Wp

Canadian Solar KuPower Mono Perc Module 315-330Wp

Canadian Solar KuPower Poly Module 315-320Wp

Canadian Solar KuPower Poly Module 295-320Wp

Canadian Solar KuMax Poly Module 375-385Wp

Canadian Solar KuMax Poly Module 355-385Wp

Canadian Solar HiDM Mono Perc Module 320-345Wp

Canadian Solar HiDM Mono Perc Module 400-420Wp

Canadian Solar KuBlack Mono Perc Module 310-315Wp

Canadian Solar HiDM-Black Mono Perc Module 320-340Wp

 

Comparison of Canadian Solar Panels

BiHiKu Bifacial Mono PercBiHiKu Bifacial Poly PercHiKu Poly Perc
Cell Number144144144
Cell TypeMono-crystallinePoly-crystallinePoly-crystalline
Power Output420Wp420Wp425Wp
Nominal Power Voltage39.9V39.5V39.7V
Power Density187.98 W/m²187.98 W/m²192.38 W/m²
Panel Efficiency18.8%18.8%19.2%
Annual Power DegradationNo more than 0.45%No more than 0.45%No more than 0.55%
Dimensions2132 x 1048 x 30mm

(2.23m²)

 

2132 x 1048 x 30mm

(2.23m²)

 

2108 x 1048 x 40mm

(2.21m²)

 

Weight28.4kg28.4kg24.9
Product Warranty 12 years12 years12 years
Performance Warranty30 years30 years25 years
Operational Temperature Range-40°C to 85°C

 

-40°C to 85°C

 

-40°C to 85°C

 

Made inChina, Thailand & VietnamChina, Thailand & VietnamChina, Thailand & Vietnam

Example of a Canadian Solar Commercial Solar Project

In 2016 Canadian Solar installed a photovoltaic system on the roof of the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) located in Darling Harbour. Which when installed was one of Australia’s largest panel arrays in a business district. Canadian Solar in conjunction with CSA Services constructed the solar system across the three sites, this installation featured state-of-the-art products and an innovative roof-top mounting structure. The system consists of 2,004 260W Canadian Solar modules and is estimated to generate around 545MWh of electricity annually.

International Convention Centre Sydney

 

Jack Boutchard

Writer at Solar Choice
Jack Boutchard

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