Canadian Solar panels: the complete review

Canadian Solar is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and installers of solar panels and operates on six continents. The company was founded in 2001 and manufactures its solar panels in Canada, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brazil. Canadian Solar panels are one of the most frequently quoted solar panel brands in quotes to solar shoppers comparing their options on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace – only LG and SolarWorld are more popular.

Canadian Solar panels: All-Black SmartDC, Dymond, Maxpower, Quartech, Quintech, and Quintech Superpower series

Canadian Solar offers six series of solar panels for residential and commercial systems:

  • All-Black SmartDC
  • Dymond
  • Maxpower
  • Quartech
  • Quintech
  • Quintech Superpower

EnergySage has reviewed the product specifications of each Canadian Solar panel series to make your solar research process easier. As the leading online marketplace for homeowners considering solar, EnergySage is uniquely positioned to evaluate the technical specifications of Canadian Solar solar panels and help you compare them to other manufacturers on the market. 

How Canadian Solar solar panels compare to other panel manufacturers 

There are four key metrics that you should review as you evaluate solar panel quality: efficiency, performance, warranties, and price. EnergySage has developed Canadian Solar panel reviews for each metric to help make your solar decision easier. We’ve also created a comparison of Canadian Solar panels against other leading panel manufacturers that are frequently featured in offers to homeowners and businesses shopping for solar on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace.

Efficiency

The term “solar panel efficiency” refers to how well a solar panel captures sunlight and converts it into useful electricity. In the same conditions, a high-efficiency solar panel will produce more electricity than a lower-efficiency panel of the same size. For this reason, a higher efficiency rating is generally preferable.

The efficiency of your Canadian Solar panels will vary depending on the specific model that you choose for your system. Panels in Canadian Solar’s product line have an efficiency rating of 15.9% to 17.2%. This puts Canadian Solar panels in the “standard” efficiency category for solar.

canadian solar panel efficiency

Performance (Temperature Coefficient)

For this portion of EnergySage’s Canadian Solar solar panel reviews, we use the temperature coefficient to evaluate solar panel performance. The temperature coefficient is an indicator of how well your solar panel can handle less-than-ideal conditions. Solar panels, like other electronic equipment, perform better when they are kept cool (ideally around 25° C/77° F). The temperature coefficient tells you how much your panel’s performance will change during hot sunny summer days.

For every degree above 25° C (77° F), your solar panel’s electricity production will decrease by its temperature coefficient. For example, the Canadian Solar CS6K-275M panel has a temperature coefficient of -0.41%/°C. This means that, if the panel’s temperature increases by one degree from 25° C (77° F) to 26° C (79° F), its electricity production will decrease by 0.41%. If its temperature increases all the way to 35° C (95° F), electricity production will reduce by 4.1%.

Your solar panels will likely see more than a few hot and sunny days over the course of each year, so ideally, they will have the lowest temperature coefficient possible. As you can see in the graph below, all Canadian Solar panels have a temperature coefficients of -0.41.

canadian solar panel performance

Warranties

Whether you’re buying a TV, a car, or solar panels, the manufacturer should stand behind their product with a strong warranty. A solar panel’s materials warranty (sometimes referred to as the product or equipment warranty) is a guarantee from the manufacturer that they will replace your panel if it fails as a result of manufacturing defects or environmental issues.

Most solar panel manufacturers offer a 10-year materials warranty, but some higher-end solar panels come with a 12, 15, 20, or even 25-year warranty. Canadian Solar offers a standard 10-year warranty against any defects in their solar panels. You can read more about how Canadian Solar’s warranties compare to other top companies in EnergySage’s solar warranties overview.

canadian solar warranty

How much do Canadian Solar panels cost?

For many homeowners, the final decision around the solar equipment you choose rests on cost. The total price you pay for a solar energy system with Canadian Solar panels will vary depending on the other equipment (such as inverters and mounts) used in the installation, as well as the characteristics of your roof.

To identify the range of prices for Canadian Solar PV systems, we analyzed quotes including Canadian Solar solar panels that homeowners received from installers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. Most Canadian Solar PV systems are typically priced between $2.87 and $3.30 per watt, which makes them a strong value in the market for home solar.

Canadian Solar panels compared to competitors

 

 

Canadian Solar Panels 25th Percentile 50th Percentile 75th Percentile
Efficiency (%) 15.9% – 17.2%  15.7% 16.2%  16.8%
Temperature Coefficient (%/°C)  -0.41  -0.45 -0.43 -0.41
Warranty (Years)  10  10 12  25
Price ($/Watt)  $2.87- $3.30  $3.25  $3.50  $3.75

This means that, for an average 5 kW system, your gross cost (before you subtract any tax credits or other incentives) would be anywhere from $14,350 to $16,500. Additionally, most homeowners end up paying much less than the total gross cost. With the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar, which everyone is eligible for, a 5 kW system with Canadian Solar panels would cost anywhere from $10,045 to $11,550. There are plenty of state-level solar incentives and rebates that can help you reduce upfront costs even further.

Canadian Solar panels may not offer the absolute best efficiency or performance in the solar industry, but thanks to their low price and solid performance, they’re a popular choice for shoppers comparing solar quotes on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace.

How to find the best price on Canadian Solar solar panels

The best way to determine whether Canadian Solar offers the best solar panels for your home is to review multiple quotes with different solar equipment options before making a decision. When you compare all of your options on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, you’ll find the right combination of price and quality that meets your needs.

Many of our qualified, pre-vetted solar installers offer Canadian Solar in their quotes to EnergySage users. When registering, simply note in your profile that you’re interested in receiving quotes that include Canadian Solar panels for your home.

Other EnergySage solar equipment resources





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