Lightning Solar & Electrical

Canadian Solar Panel Review:
Are They Any Good?

I’ve been wanting to do a Canadian solar panels review for a while now. They have become increasingly more popular in Australia as the years go by.  They’ve become more and more popular in Australia and are definitely recognised as a trusted solar panel brand.

In fact, recently they have landing some huge shipments to increase the supply of Canadian solar panels in Australia which I’ll go into more detail shortly. This is good and means we can expect to see more quality solar with these panels. 

I’m going to take a deep dive into Canadian solar panels and provide you with an honest and open review. Enjoy!

Table Of Contents

History Of Canadian Solar Panels

Who are Canadian solar panels?

Canadian solar panels were founded in 2001 by Shawn Qu and are now the 5th largest solar panel producer in the world today. A warm tale of an engineer pursuing his dream of providing the world with solar power.

Offering a wide range of solar panel solutions for business and homeowners, they have over 17 manufacturing facilities around the world. Canadian solar also has 4 warehouses in Australia.

The company offers affordable, high quality solar panels and is part of the Bloomberg tier 1 ranking solar panels. 

shawn qu founder of canadian solar panels

Where are Canadian solar panels made?

The most known locations of Canadian solar panels manufacturing are China, Canada, Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil. In saying this however, they do have over 17 worldwide manufacturing facilities.

Given that we are in Australia we will most likely purchase Canadian solar panels that are manufactured in China.

This will not in any way drop the efficiency or quality of the solar panel. 

canadian solar panel locations

Do they have offices in Australia?

Yes. With over 4 different facilities in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney they are becoming more and more popular here.

It actually makes it more affordable to have such easy access to these tier 1 solar panels. If you have any issues then you know that support is available within Australia.

Additionally they will operate within Australia times which makes life easier. Any claims on warranties will be seen too quickly by support.

No one wants to be stuck on support in China trying to claim your warranty.

So far so good… Canadian solar is already sounding like a leading solar panel provider. Lets get stuck into some of the nitty gritty details. 

What Type Of Models Are Available In Australia?

Canadian solar has a wide range of both residential and commercial solar panels available in Australia.

We have chosen the 3 most popular solar panel models to compare against each other. 

…Which one will come out on top?

HiKu (MONO)

HiKu key selling points are;

  • 350W-370W in size
  • White back sheet (Not Bifacial)
  • Available in Polycrystalline and Monocrystalline
  • Max. Efficiency 20%
  • 120 Split Cell
  • 12 Year product warranty
  • 25 year performance warranty
canadian hiku solar panel series
Biku canadian solar panels

KuPower (MONO)

KuPower key selling points are;

  • 315W-330W in size
  • White back sheet
  • 120 split cell
  • Max. Efficiency 20%
  • Available in Monocrystalline and polycrystalline
  • 12 year product warranty
  • 25 year performance warranty

BiKu (MONO)

BiKu key selling points are;

  • Bifacial – power generated by both sides of panel
  • 290W-310W in size
  • Available in Mono & Poly
  • 120 split cell
  • Max. efficiency of 19.5-25%
  • 12 year product warranty
  • 30 year performance warranty
BiKu canadian solar panels

How Do These Compare Against Eachother?

Here is a nice, clear table to show you how these panels compare with each other… 

Which one is best? You decide… 

canadian hiku solar panel series

HiKu

Biku canadian solar panels

KuPower

BiKu canadian solar panels

BiKu

2020 PVEL/DNV GL Top Performer Winner

CS1H-MS HiDM 330W Solar panel

In 2020 Candian solar panel CS1H-MS was awarded the top performer after passing all 4 PVEL/DNVGL tests.

Testing provided by DNV GL/PVEL is renowned to be accurate and conclusive. This is a really good step in the right direction for Candian solar panels. 

The following 4 tests it passed are;

  1. Thermal cycling
  2. Damp heat
  3. Dynamic Mechanical Load Sequence
  4. Potential Induced Degradation (PID)
canadian solar panels are winner of pvel award 2020

How do Canadian solar panels compare to other solar panels?

PRICE 9/10

Given the performance of these solar panels they are extremely well priced.

Competing with the likes of Jinko and Longi for the best value solar panel. Price is definitely a really good factor for Canadian solar panels.

They are not overpriced. For the warranty and service that you get with these solar panels it makes it worth it.

It’s safe to say Canadian-solar panels are great value for money and get a high price rank from us.

PERFORMANCE 8/10

Canadian solar panels offer a 25-30 year performance warranty. This is up there with the likes of LG and SunPower’s long lasting performance warranty.

Does this suggest their performance is just as good as the top range of solar panels? Most likely.

You are guaranteed a high performance from Canadian solar panels. They have been designed and optimised for exactly this.

They will give you a good chance to generate a significant amount of energy from your solar system.

WARRANTY 8/10

Most solar panel manufacturers will provide a 10 year product warranty. Canadian solar panels offer a 12 year product warranty.

This is 2 more years than average, which can go a long way. The importance of long warranties is that it shows the confidence companies have in their products.

Short warranties may suggest that the solar panels won’t last for as long as wanted.

For performance, Canadian solar provides 25-30 year warranties. This again shows how these solar panels are designed to perform a long time and would be a good investment. 

EFFICIENCY 9/10

A new test was conducted in 2020 for a n-type multi-crystalline silicon solar panel that beat the world record for most efficient panel.

It came in at 23.81% efficiency compared to the previous record of 22.6%.

Efficiency is measured by how well the solar panel will convert sunlight into energy. Having a solar panel with high efficiency is what you want.

For this reason, Canadian solar panels get a high score. With their latest technology they are stamping their name in the industry with highly efficient solar panels. 

Top features

3.5% lower levelised cost of electricity

Dual cell design - more energy output

Operate at lower temperature

Dual modules design - helps with shading

Conclusion...

So here you have it. Your complete review on Canadian solar panels.

To conclude on our review we want to definitely say that for the price, and the warranties you get these solar panels are a good investment for Australians.

They certainly have a bright future ahead and we look forward to seeing Canadian solar start to take higher ranks.

It would be a wise investment to install Canadian solar panels on your roof! So next up, let’s talk about Canadian solar Vs Jinko solar panels

Now that we have given our knowledge, what are your opinions on Canadian solar?

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Written By:

Luke Cove
Managing Director
Lightning Solar & Electrical

local brisbane cec installer

2 thoughts on “Canadian Solar Panels Review”

  1. Claire Eizenberg

    Please explain how these Canadian solar panels report a 12 yr product warranty yet state a 35-30 yr performance warranty! I don’t understand the distinction- surely if the product is broken 13 years into its life then it can’t perform up to 25-30 years . I want my solar panels to function well for 25 years so I need to know this company will honour their product with a warranty for that time .

    1. Hi Claire,

      Thanks for your comment. There is a difference between a product warranty and a performance warranty.

      The 12 year product warranty you mentioned covers you if, due to no fault of your own, your solar panel stops working or performs poorly. You will then be able to claim a repair, replacement or full refund. This is probably the most important warranty of the two.

      The performance warranty which is also sometimes called a ‘power output warranty’ is a guarantee that your solar panels will not drop below a certain performance and generate a good amount of energy. This is usually around 80%. Essentially this warranty covers you from your solar panel to degrade and slowly stop producing energy over the years.

      If you are looking at affordable solar panels with long lasting warranties I either suggest the Jinko Tiger series, you can see this on our Jinko page (it has 25 year product warranty and 25 year performance warranty) or the SunPower performance panels which offer the same 25 year warranties.

      I hope this helps!

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