Canadian Solar Inc review

Canadian Solar Inc - Solar Panel Reviews

4.9

Based on 104 ratings

Finn's Canadian Solar Inc Panels Review & Verdict

Finn Peacock has been a Chartered Electrical Engineer since 1998, and is ex-CSIRO

Canadian Solar Panels are not made in Canada. But they are very good budget panels from a massive Chinese company that do what they say on the tin. They are well supported and well warranted in Australia. I'd be happy to have them on my roof.

There's not much more to say. A sensible choice that should sit on your roof for decades churning out the kilowatt-hours and pay for themselves quicker than a more expensive brand. Sometimes the boring but sensible choice is the right choice. 

Canadian Solar Inc Panels: Pros & Cons

  • Well-built, consistent dimensions.
  • Variety of models offering competitive efficiency ratings.
  • Large, vertically integrated Tier 1 company making all solar components in house.
  • Shipping gigawatts of solar panels.
  • Most heavily involved in using their own panels on their own solar farms.
  • Local office to handle warranty even if your retailer/installer has disappeared.
  • They're not Canadian at all.
  • Few models are offered in an install-friendly width, most are 1130mm or 1300mm wide, making them difficult to handle and easy to damage.

About Canadian Solar Inc

Canadian Solar is a "Tier 1" producer of panels. Despite their name, any panels you buy in Australia will not be made in Canada. Canadian Solar panels we purchase are most likely to be made in China - not that there's anything wrong with that.

These days the company's panels generally carry a 25 year product warranty in Australia. Canadian Solar has an Australian office located in Melbourne to look after local support and warranty issues.

Canadian Solar produces a variety of panels, all of which are corrosion resistant and therefore suitable for installation anywhere in Australia. The company manufactures poly and monocrystalline modules, most using PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact) technology; but some boasting TOPCon (tunnel oxide passivated contact) or HJT (heterojunction) tech. Like many major manufacturers, it has also moved into half-cut (dual) and shingle cell configurations.

The highest efficiency panels produced by Canadian Solar (HiHero) are up to 22.5% efficient. This higher than average efficiency can be useful when available roof space is limited.

You can find specifications and pricing of selected models available in Australia on my solar panel comparison table.

Company History

In 1987 the founder of Canadian Solar, Shawn Qu, was earning around $5 a week in today's money teaching in China. That year he moved to Canada and began studying to obtain his masters degree in physics. In 2001 he founded the company.

Shawn Qu now spends most of his time in China and that is understandable, as in winter it is so cold in Canada it is possible to freeze to death in less time than it takes for a bear to find you and eat you.

It hasn't always been smooth sailing for the company. The firm experienced a significant setback in June 2016 when a cell manufacturing plant they owned in Funing was hit by the worst tornado in China in 50 years, injuring employees and collapsing almost 4 hectares of factory buildings.

Manufacturing Locations And Capacity

Canadian Solar has 20 manufacturing facilities spread across Asia and the Americas. Its 2022 module production capacity was approximately 32 GW, while cell manufacturing capacity was around 19.8 GW.

As August 2023, the company had shipped around 96GW of panel capacity - quite a jump on September 2022's  75 gigawatts and from its mid-2021 tally of 55 gigawatts.

Canadian Solar Builds Solar Farms

Canadian Solar is more heavily involved in the construction of solar farms than most solar panel manufacturers. The company says it has developed, built and connected more than 8.8GW of projects across 20 countries - including large scale PV power stations here in Australia.

By August 2023, the Company had approximately 609 MW of its own projects in operation, 6.9 GW of projects under construction or in backlog, plus an additional 17.7 GW of projects in advanced and early-stage pipeline. 

Warranty Procedure For Orphaned Canadian Solar Customers

If you have purchased Canadian Solar panels from a solar installer who has since gone out of business, the responsibility for warranty claims shifts to Canadian Solar. Their customer service line in Australia is 03 8609 1844 - affected customers should contact this line for assistance and advice on how to arrange for panel replacement under warranty. 

I Am Fine With Recommending Canadian Solar Panels

Canadian Solar is considered a tier 1 solar panel producer, which means banks and other institutions consider both the panels and the company reliable enough to be a worthwhile investment.

The company's panels are pretty popular with installers here in Australia, ranking equal third in the SolarQuotes 2022 Installers Choice awards; in the budget category.

I have no problem recommending Canadian Solar panels. They are a generally reliable panel that provides good value for money. Just don’t expect them to come from Canada.

Reviewers report paying:
$3,499 - $26,104

For a

Canadian Solar Inc System

Depending on hardware choice and installation difficulty

Canadian Solar Inc has 20 solar panels in our database

Filter by:

Type of solar panel 
Wattage 
Panel Efficiency 
Approx. Cost/Watt 
Model number
Series
Wattage
Panel efficiency (%)
Approx Cost per Watt AUD Retail incl GST
Approx cost per panel AUD Retail incl GST
Panel technology
Country of manufacture
CS3N-400MS
HiKu Mono (132)
400 W
19.7%
$0.38
$158
Monocrystalline
China
CS3N-405MS
HiKu Mono (132)
405 W
19.9%
$0.38
$158
Monocrystalline
China
CS3N-410MS
HiKu Mono (132)
410 W
20.2%
$0.38
$158
Monocrystalline
China
CS3N-415MS
HiKu Mono (132)
415 W
20.4%
$0.38
$158
Monocrystalline
China
CS3N-420MS
HiKu Mono (132)
420 W
20.7%
$0.38
$158
Monocrystalline
China
CS3N-425MS
HiKu Mono (132)
425 W
20.9%
$0.38
$158
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-395MS
HiKu 6
395 W
20.2%
$0.40
$166
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-400MS
HiKu 6
400 W
20.5%
$0.40
$166
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-405MS
HiKu 6
405 W
20.7%
$0.40
$166
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-410MS
HiKu 6
410 W
21.0%
$0.40
$166
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-415MS
HiKu 6
415 W
21.3%
$0.40
$166
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-420MS
HiKu 6
420 W
21.7%
$0.40
$166
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-415HAG
HiHero
415 W
21.3%
$0.42
$184
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-420HAG
HiHero
420 W
21.5%
$0.42
$184
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-425HAG
HiHero
425 W
21.8%
$0.42
$184
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-430HAG
HiHero
430 W
22.0%
$0.42
$184
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-435HAG
HiHero
435 W
22.3%
$0.42
$184
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-440HAG
HiHero
440 W
22.5%
$0.42
$184
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-415T
TOPHiKu 6
415 W
21.3%
$0.42
$185
Monocrystalline
China
CS6R-440T
TOPHiKu 6
440 W
22.5%
$0.42
$185
Monocrystalline
China

 

Canadian Solar Inc Reviews (104)

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  • 5 star 98
  • 4 star 5
  • 3 star 0
  • 2 star 1
  • 1 star 0

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Because there is an export limit to the grid, we haven’t actually used the full amount of power available to us from the panels yet, but we’re looking forward to the warmer months when we should be able to run all aircons and appliances directly from the sun.

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Canadian solar have worked very efficiently and so far have no complaints

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

The number of panels installed were fewer than I have had previously, and the size of the system was slightly bigger, because of improvements in technology. Right from the start I've had 99% efficiency at peak times.

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

4kW

Installed By

Canadian Solar - TOPHiKu6 440w N-Type (CS6R-440T) TOPCon Tech S0923

Inverter Brand

Enphase

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

An incentive was offered by Go Green Energy for this review. Learn more here.

We have't paid a power bill as yet, and it appears that this won't happen. At the moment we are using an air conditioner and clothes drier most every day and the solar panels account for this usage.

The only time I contacted Go Green was to get his recommendation for a solar panel cleaner.

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

9kW

Installed By

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$12,500 to $15,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Happy enough so far.

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

15kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

8kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

SolarEdge

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

SolarEdge

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

20kW

Installed By

Although it is very early in their lifecycle they start generating once prior to the sun rise and finish after sun set.

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

8kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

7kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

SolarEdge

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

SPH30 (Other)

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

3.3kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Size

9kW

Installed By

An incentive was offered by Solar Air Energy for this review. Learn more here.

Inverter Brand

SolarEdge (Other)

System Cost

$15,000 to $20,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

An incentive was offered by Solar Air Energy for this review. Learn more here.

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

9kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Size

9kW

Installed By

An incentive was offered by AGL Solar for this review. Learn more here.

No

Inverter Brand

Fimer

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

An incentive was offered by Sungain Solar for this review. Learn more here.

so far so good and it saves us half the previos price for electicity,

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

5kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$12,500 to $15,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

8kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

SolarEdge

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Look fine on a dark tiled roof. Too early to just performance but had good specs.

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

10kW

Installed By

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

10kW

Installed By

An incentive was offered by Solar Air Energy for this review. Learn more here.

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Goodwe

System Cost

$6,000 to $8,000

System Size

9kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$8,000 to $10,000

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Sungrow

System Size

6.6kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

$10,000 to $12,500

System Size

10kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Fronius

System Cost

More than $20,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

Inverter Brand

Shenzen Sofar Solar

System Cost

$4,000 to $6,000

System Size

13kW

Installed By

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