Canadian Solar Panels Review

Updated: January 25, 2022

We gave Canadian solar panels an overall rating of 8.2/10 because they hold up well when compared to LG and SunPower regarding their quality, warranty, performance, and efficiency.

However, the panels have a relatively high annual degradation rate and are not suitable for small rooftop systems, which is a big turnoff to customers. The good thing is that the company has four warehouses and an office in Australia, making it reliable.

This Canadian solar panels review will guide you during your search for the right solar panel.

canadian solar panels review

How much do Canadian Solar Panels cost?

Canadian Solar offer affordable solar panels with impressive power ratings. Below is the average cost of the panels, fully installed. The cost includes:

  • Complete turnkey solar system installation with the Canadian solar panels
  • Installation by a pre-vetted solar installer from gosolarquotes.com network
  • STC solar rebate and GST
System Size (kW)Average cost (fully installed)
6kW$6,290
8kW$8,180
10kW$9,410

Note: The actual prices vary depending on location, the solar installer you choose, and the preferred inverter brand.

You can get reliable solar quotes from qualified solar installers here.

How are Canadian Solar panels better or worse than their competitors

Cost: 8

Quality: 8.5

Warranty: 8

Efficiency: 8

Performance: 8

Value for money: 8.5

Overall Rating: 8.2/10

Canadian solar panels are becoming more visible in the Australian market because of their quality, affordability, and reliability. The panels’ average efficiency rating is impressive, and their warranties are much better than what other manufacturers offer.

Big brands like LG and Sunpower offer excellent quality, warranties, and performance, but they are almost double the price of Canadian panels.

Given that Canadian panels offer an efficiency of over 80% after 25 years, it makes sense to buy them if you are looking for reliable solar energy on a budget.

Does Canadian Solar Have Any Credits/Awards To Back Them Up?

Canadian Solar awards include:

Canadian VS. LG VS. SunPower Solar Panels

This is how Canadian solar panels compare to other brands.

Product nameCanadian Hiku Series (mono)LG NeON R seriesSunPower Maxeon 3
Manufacturer Logo
Product image
Cell Number144/120 dual cells60 solar cells104 cells
Cell TypeMonocrystallineMonocrystalline/ N-typeMonocrystalline Maxeon Gen III
Power Output330W – 455W 350W - 380W390W - 400W
Solar Panel Efficiency20.37%22.0%22.6%
Company average turnover (USD)$2.85 billion$47.91 billion$2.7 billion
Annual Power Degradation0.55%0.3%0.25%
Number of busbars930N/A
Approximate cost per watt (AUD retail incl GST)$0.53 $1.25$1.44
Approximate cost per module (AUD retail incl GST)$195 $468$576
Dimensions1,765mm X 1,048mm X 40mm1,700mm x 1,016mm x 40 mm1,690mm x 1,046mm x 40mm
Weight21.1 – 37.5 kg17.5kg19 kg
Product Warranty12 years25 years25 years
Performance Warranty25 years25 years25 years
Operational Temperature Range−40° C to +85° C−40° C to +90° C−40° C to +85° C
Made inChina, Thailand & VietnamSouth KoreaMalaysia/Philippines/Mexico
Datasheet supplied?YesYesYes

Australian office?

Yes. Canadian solar panels have set up four warehouses and representative offices in Australia. Their head office is located in Cremorne, Melbourne, while the other warehouses are in Perth, Sydney, and Brisbane. 

Why an Australian office is important

Being one of the largest mass-solar panel manufacturers globally, warranty claims are bound to occur frequently among the company’s customers.

Having an office in Australia makes it easier for customers to contact the company’s representatives for help. It also eases the burden of relying on solar installers who may disappear from the market at any time.

Australian-office-inside-office

Are Canadian solar panels perfect for rooftop solar?

It depends. While Canadian solar panels are very cheap, their efficiency is significantly lower compared to 22.6% of the world leaders like SunPower and LG.

This means that you’ll need many solar panels to get the most of your solar systems. It’s ideal for homeowners with a large roof space and a tight budget.

Are Canadian solar panels perfect for rooftop solar perfect solars

Range of Canadian panels

Canadian Solar offer solar panels for both residential and commercial applications. These panels are approved by the CEC, which makes them a safe investment. The range of solar panels we will feature in this article include:

  • HiKu Series
  • Ku Series
  • BiHiKu Series
  • HiDM Series

HiKu Series

Canadian Solar’s HiKu series is one of their best performing solar panels in efficiency and power output.

product canadian

Features

  • Monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells
  • Split-cell/multi-busbar technology
  • Module efficiency of up to 20%
  • 0.55% annual degradation rate
  • 25 years linear power output warranty
  • 12 years product warranty
  • Ideal for both commercial and residential installations
HiKu series

Cell technology

Canadian Solar’s Hiku Series leverages the high-power dual cell PERC technology with half-cut poly and mono silicon cells to achieve high module efficiencies. The dual cell technology increases the cells’ shade tolerance by almost 50% while also ensuring a lower hotspot temperature on the shaded cells.

The panels also use Multi-Busbar technology, which reduces the cells’ internal resistance and improves their power output.

Efficiency

The Hiku Series lose about 2% of their initial power output within the first year and have a degradation rate of around 0.55% for the subsequent years to the 25th year.

Warranty/ Guarantee

Canadian Solar stands behind its solar panels with a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year linear power output warranty.

Peak Performance

With the right conditions, Hiku solar panels can generate a maximum of 450W of energy with a 20.37% efficiency. However, newer and larger panels in development, including the HiKu5, HiKu6 and HiKu7 panels, all can output more power, with the latter achieving a 665W output with a module efficiency of up to 21.4%.

Panels needed for 6.6kW solar system

The high efficiency of the panels in this series ensures that you require fewer panels for solar installations. For a 6.6kW solar system, you would only need 9 panels if you’re using the 665W panels.

With the popular 380W panels, you would only require 17 solar panels. This makes panels in this series suitable for commercial properties and utility projects.

Datasheet:HiKu Series

Ku Series

The Ku Series from Canadian Solar is among their best solar panels for residential homes. These solar modules are available in both polycrystalline and monocrystalline cells.

KU series

Features

  • Monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells
  • PERC cell technology
  • Designed for residential purposes
  • Module efficiency ranges between 17.8% to 19.9%
  • 0.5% annual degradation rate
  • 6000/4000pa snow/wind load
  • 25/30 years linear power output warranty
  • 12 years product warranty
KuMax

Cell technology

Ku series solar panels are based on the Low Internal Current (LIC) technology that focuses on reducing power losses in the cell connections. The panels also feature dual cell technology that improves the panel’s shade tolerance and PERC technology that minimises microcracks and lowers hotspot temperatures.

KU Cell Technology

Efficiency

Ku solar panels maintain 97.5% of their power output during the first year and a 0.5% degradation rate for the following years. This converts to around 93.0% of the initial power output after 10 years and 83.0% after 25 years.

Warranty/ Guarantee

Ku solar panels have a 12-year product and a 25-year performance warranty.

Peak Performance

Canadian Solar’s Ku solar series has a maximum power output of 450W and 20.8% efficiency on the Ku5 panels. Their popular Ku Series panels achieve around 375W with an 18.9% module efficiency.

Panels needed for 5kW solar system

11 – 13 solar panels, depending on the panel ratings you choose. For a 5kW solar system, these are few solar panels, which is good for homeowners with small rooftops.

Datasheet: Ku Series

BiHiKu Series

Canadian Solar’s BiHiKu series is one of the biggest developments in the company. These panels put the company on the 500W+ list, a unique feature among solar panel manufacturers.

BiHiKu Series

Features

  • Monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells
  • PERC/Bifacial cell technology
  • Up to 30% additional power from its rear side
  • Module efficiency of up to 21.1%
  • 0.45% annual degradation rate
  • 30 years linear power output warranty
  • 12 years product warranty
  • Ideal for residential installations
BiHiKu high power

Cell technology

The BiHiKu series combines bifacial technology with mono and poly PERC technology to significantly increase the cells’ power output by almost 30% and minimise the power losses in cell connections.

Bifacial technology combined with dual cell technology is also a massive game-changer, improving the solar cells’ shading tolerance and lowering hotspot temperatures.

The panels use Canadian Solar’s LID + LeTID technology to reduce the degradation rates in the panels to less than 2.0%.

Efficiency

The Canadian Solar BiHiKu Series panels maintain a 2% degradation during its first year and 0.45% annual degradation during the subsequent years until the 25th year. This lower degradation rate is a great assurance that the panel will last for a long time and have a shorter ROI.

Warranty/ Guarantee

These solar panels come with an extended 30-year linear power output and a 12-year product warranty.

Peak Performance

The maximum output of the BiHiKu series panels under ideal conditions is 655W (BiHiKu7) with an impressive 21.1% solar panel.

Panels needed for 3kW solar system

Due to these panels’ output and efficiency, you’ll need only 4 (655W) panels to meet your total energy requirements with a 3kW solar system. If you go with the popular 445W solar panel instead, you’ll need about 6 panels.

Datasheet: BiHiKu Series

HiDM Series

The high-density solar panels, HiDM, are among the most efficient solar panels in the market. The most popular panels of these shingled modules are the all-black 390W – 405W panels.

HiDM Series

Features

  • Monocrystalline cells
  • PERC and shingle cell technology
  • Module efficiency of up to 20.4%
  • 0.55% annual degradation rate
  • 25 years linear power output warranty
  • 15 years product warranty
  • Ideal for residential installations
HiDM

Cell technology

Canadian HiDM solar panels embrace a shingle cell configuration alongside monocrystalline cell and PERC technologies which improves their aesthetics and power output.

The high-density PERC technology maximises the light absorption rates for the modules, increasing their cell module efficiencies. The technology also boosts the panel’s shading tolerance and reduces hotspot temperature.

HIDM Cell

Efficiency

HiDM solar panels feature a 2% power degradation rate for the first year and a 0.55% degradation rate between the 2nd and 25th year. This reflects an 83.1% power output of its initial capacity after 25 years.

Warranty/ Guarantee

The HiDM series is the only solar panel from Canadian Solar to receive a 15-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty.

Peak Performance

Under ideal conditions, the HiDM solar panels can output a maximum of 420W, with a 20.4% efficiency.

Panels needed for 10kW solar system

To install HiDM solar panels for a 10kW solar system, you’ll need around 23 solar panels. This is because the high efficiency of Canadian Solar’s HiDM means you won’t need more panels to reach your daily energy production costs.

Datasheet: HiDM Series

Latest leap forwards for Canadian solar panels

Canadian Solar is one of the best PV Solar manufacturers in the world, providing polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels with excellent power ratings.

Canadian Solar (NASDAQ: CSIQ) was the first to announce a bifacial solar module, Biku, in the market in 2018.

In March 2020, Canadian Solar set a new world record for their N-type large area multi-crystalline silicon solar cell that achieved a maximum efficiency of 23.81%. In October the same year, Canadian launched monofacial Hiku 7 and bifacial Bihiku 7 with a power output of up to 665W. These modules are optimised with quality inverter and tracker designs for easier installation of solar plants.

Why Canadian solar panels?

PRICE! Canadian solar panels offer Tier 1 solar panels for the cost of Tier 2 solar panels. Since they produce large volumes of solar modules each year, the company has been able to make cost-effective panels while maintaining a relatively high-quality solar panel.

If you factor in the solar rebates from Australia’s federal government and some state governments, these panels easily become the cheapest panels in the market.

Canadian Solar is also improving its panels, thanks to its R&D team. The company now has over 1,500 patents and has recently set a new world solar panel efficiency, 23.5%, with their new n-type multi-crystalline silicon solar cell.

Canadian solar panel specification/ datasheet

 HiKu SeriesKu SeriesBiHiKu SeriesHiDM Series
Cell Number144/120144/120144 dual cells60
Cell TypePolycrystalline and Monocrystalline PERCPolycrystalline and Monocrystalline PERCPolycrystalline and Monocrystalline PERCMonocrystalline
Power Output330 – 455W290 – 400W390 – 655W320 – 420W
Panel Efficiency20.37%18.9%21.1%20.4%
Annual Power Degradation0.55%0.5%0.45%0.55%
Dimensions1765 X 1048 X 402000 X992 X35 mm2132 ˣ 1048 ˣ 30 mm700 ˣ992 ˣ35 mm
Weight21.1 – 37.5kg18.5 – 23.7kg28.4 – 38.4kg19.2 – 23.4kg
Product Warranty12 years12 years12 years15 years
Performance Warranty25 years25 years30 years25 years
Operational Temperature Range-40°C to 85°C-40°C to 85°C-40°C to 85°C-40°C to 85°C
Made inChina, Thailand & VietnamChina, Thailand & VietnamChina, Thailand & VietnamChina, Thailand & Vietnam

Conclusion

Canadian solar panels offer great value for money and are more efficient than most brands in the market. The warranties you get are better than what most solar panel manufacturers offer. If you are looking for reliable solar power, Canadian panels are an excellent choice.