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Canadian solar panel review

Canadian Solar panels sold and installed by Solar4Ever

This cheerful lot are Canadian Solar's team in Australia.
42-44 Stephenson St, Cremorne VIC 3121
(03) 8609 1844

Canadian have had their Australian team since 2011.
Orders and warranty requests are sent to the team and product sent to wholesalers.
In WA, those wholesalers are Greentech (a division of MM Electrical) and One Stop Warehouse.

The bulk of our Canadian Solar panel sales have been polycrystalline 60 and 72 cell modules.

We have installed a lot of them without issue.

Their higher efficiency 300W 'Superpower' Monocrystalline panel has also performed flawlessly and with its black frame, has been a cost effective alternative to Trina, Longi and Q.Cells.

In addition to the polys and monos, some half-cell poly panels were recently released. The current half-cell KuMax comes as either 285W or 340W depending on panel size.

In 2019 some of the existing 'plain Jane' poly products will be retired, and a much more 'up-market' product range released.

If the panel name includes the letters 'Ku', then it's a half-cell panel.

The HiKus will come as 60 cells split into 120 half cells with a power range of 320-335W or 72 cells split into 144 half cells with a power range of 390-405W.

We were really struggling to believe these numbers. A 330W regular sized poly panel???
The mystery was solved however. It's not regular sized, it's got larger than normal size cells and the panel itself is 4.5cm wider and 4.5cm longer. In terms of efficiency that brings the panel back down to slightly better than normal, not insanely better, but it's likely to be a huge seller.

Then there are the amusingly named BiKus, which not only come with the option of a poly or mono range but are also dual glass bifacial half cell panels. That's quite a mouthful.

BiKus
The regular sized 120 half cell cell poly will have outputs of 290 - 305W from the front.

The larger 144 half cell poly will have outputs of 350-365W from the front.

The regular sized 120 half cell mono will have outputs of 300-315W from the front
The larger 144 half cell mono will have outputs of 360-375W from the front.



As all the BiKus can gather light and make power from both the front AND the back there is an opportunity to make some extra power from direct or reflected light hitting the back of the panel. If the panel was mounted on tilt legs (and preferably aligned East/West) then the back output is going to be higher compared to very little when installed in the regular fashion a few centimeters above the roof.



If all of the above wasn't enough, 2019 will see the high density mono modules from Canadian Solar, creatively named HiDM. These black beauties will deliver 320W-335W from the regular sized module and 395W-410W from the larger frame size. A 330W mono from Canadian Solar with a temperature coefficient and efficiency to match LG Neon 2 ? That's amazing.

About Canadian solar panels

Company founded in Canada and still has headquarters there but in truth this is really a fully Chinese operation. Canadian Solar are one of the biggest and best known brands.

The most interesting fact about Canadian Solar is that a poorly paid Canadian based science teacher managed to first start a solar panel company in 2001, and by 2016 had turned it into one of the top 3 manufacturers, by volume, in the World. Remarkable.

 

Solar4Ever verdict on Canadian Solar and their panels

The panels have always done exactly what they say they will, and with zero faults since 2011, its hard to ask more than that. They are always priced competitively and their Australian office have been excellent in answering questions. The two official wholesalers in Perth always have ample stocks. They are the ultimate 'safe choice' in the mainstream market. Their move in 2019 away from regular polys and a focus on an impressive range of half-cell polys and monos, is sensible and reflects local demand for a more efficient panel that performs better in the Perth heat and in low light. The HiDM mono panel also looks like it will do very well at the top end. The only question mark will be price. It's unlikely that the competition will get rid of their regular polys too, or at least not straight away, so unless they plan to sell half-cells at regular poly prices, they are going to be a bit harder to sell when the buyer is very price sensistive and doesn't care about the extra output of a half-cell. We expect to know pricing in December for the new products.

 

Datasheets etc

2018 products
275W/285W Polycrystalline modules (60 cells)
330W/340W Polycrystalline modules (72 cells)
300W Monocrystalline module (60 cells)

285W Half-Cell polycrystalline module (120 half cells)

340W Half-Cell polycrystalline module (144 half cells)

 

2019 products (provisional datasheets)

HiKu 330W Half-Cell polycrystalline module (120 half cells)
HiKu 400W Half-Cell polycrystalline module (144 half cells)

 

BiKu 300W Half-Cell polycrystalline bifacial module (120 half cells)

BiKu 310W Half Cell monocrystalline bifacial module (120 half cells)

BiKu 360W Half Cell polycrystalline bifacial module (144 half cells)

BiKu 375W Half Cell monocrystalline bifacial module (144 half cells)

 

HiDM 330W monocrystalline module (60 cells)

HiDM 400W monocrystalline module (72 cells)

 

Canadian Solar Australia authorised wholesalers