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CSUN solar panels review

Overall Rating From 26 Reviews:

CSUN solar panels review

Average Customer Rating:
( 4.31 / 5 )

Tier 1

CSUN is Chinese solar panel manufacturer that is also known as China Sunergy. It produces tier one panels. Installers that we trust rate the quality of their panels highly. Their main line of panels has a 10 year product warranty and a 25 year performance warranty. They are corrosion resistant which makes them suitable for installation anywhere in Australia.

CSUN has suffered from financial troubles and has been ranked by one analyst as second from last in terms of financial strength of the major Chinese solar panel manufacturers he looked at. 

CSUN have contacted us and would like to add this:

"CSUN is experiencing a short of liquidity currently resulted from higher material costs, overbooked orders and investment in module plants in overseas markets, i.e. the U.S in order to proactively get access to global end-customers."

The CSUN website states they have an office in Australia.  However, I have rung them multiple times on both numbers and get a message that they have been disconnected.  

Update: That was in 2017. I tried again in March 2018. The number on the CSUN wensite for Australia was still disconnected!

Update: I tried again in August 2018 - still displaying the same number and still disconnected.

CSUN's comment:

"CSUN established a branch office in Australia in 2011. And the warehouse was closed in 2016 due to the changing of its strategy, Nevertheless, CSUN continues to expand its market share and improve its brand recognition across the Country through cooperating with local distributors, logistics companies, and end-customers."

There is an Australian company that imports CSUN panels and rebrands them as Matrix Australian Solar Panels. They provide a 12 year product and 30 year performance warranty. The Matrix 255-260P panel appears to be a CSUN Waratah panel. 

If extra coverage is wanted, because CSUN produce tier one panels, it is possible to get third-party insurance for them from PowerGuard. This will cover them for 25 years no matter what happens to CSUN. 

CSUN Manufacturing Capacity

CSUN is a medium sized producer of solar panels and in 2016 claimed to have a production capacity of 1.3 gigawatts of solar panels per year and to have sold a total of over 3 gigawatts of panels. They also said they had sold over 4 gigawatts in total of solar products. By solar products, I assume they mean solar panels plus silicon wafers or solar cells sold to other companies.

In comparison, Jinko Solar, the world’s largest current producer of panels in 2016, produced an estimated 6.5 to 6.6 gigawatts of solar panels that year.

Company History

CSUN was founded in 2004 and started its first solar cell production line in 2005. They expanded rapidly and In 2007 they were listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. By 2012 their module production capacity hit 1.2 gigawatts. This figure does not appear to have increased significantly since then, as the company has experienced major financial problems. As a result, they were delisted from the NASDAQ stock market for having a total share value of less than $15 million US.

CSUN's official comment:

"The Company is striving to get relisted on the NASDAQ by taking a series of measures, including strengthening its financial numbers, cooperating with strategic investors, and completing its global supply chain. Also, the Company is evaluating the possibility of listing on high PE market, such as mainland China where manufacturing companies are normally able to get higher PE ratio than their peers being listed on the U.S capital market."

Despite their financial difficulties, they were recognized by Bloomberg as being a tier one manufacturer in 2014.

Manufacturing Locations

CSUN produces most of its solar panels in Nanjing and Shanghai in China, but is unusual in having a much larger portion of its production in other countries than most Chinese panel manufacturers.

In 2013 they opened a panel assembly plant that uses imported solar cells in the Tuzla free trade zone in Istanbul, Turkey. Its capacity is apparently 300 megawatts, but so far has mostly operated at well below that. This factory’s location allows it to avoid Europe’s punitive import tariffs on Chinese made panels.

In 2014 they opened a 200 megawatt solar cell manufacturing plant in South Korea.

In 2015 they opened a panel manufacturing plant in Vietnam which sells panels under the sub-brand SolarieViet. These panels apparently have a 12 year product warranty and 25 year performance warranty. As this is their newest and presumably most up to date production facility, it may explain why feel confident enough to offer a 12 year product warranty rather than their standard 10 year product warranty, despite the fact the Vietnam facility is not heavily automated.

CSUN Panels

On their site, CSUN currently displays information on four 60 cell panels, which is the size of panel usually installed on Australian residential roofs.  Two are monosilicon panels with higher efficiency:

The QSAR:  I was not able to find a datasheet of a 60 cell version of this panel on the CSUN site, but looking elsewhere I see it appears to be from 255 to 270 watts in capacity with efficiency ranging from 15.7% to 16.3%.

The Energizer:  CSUN also doesn't appear to have a datasheet downloadable from their site on the 60 cell version of the panel.  I also couldn't find one on the internet, so there's not much I can tell you about this panel.  CSUN says it has an efficiency of up to 16.06%.  The lack of information makes me think it may not be available in Australia.  

Ther other two 60 cell panels are polysilicon panels:

The Waratah:  This panel is named after the NSW State Emblem.  Again, I could find a datasheet for it on the CSUN site but I was able to find one online.  Unfortunately, because it is not directly from CSUN it is impossible to know if it is accurate and up to date.  According to the information I found they are apparently from 250 to 265 watts in capacity with an efficiency of up to 16.3%.

Standard Poly Series: Again, I couldn't find a datasheet for 60 cell vestions of these panels on the CSUN site.  CSUN says they are up to 16% efficient. 

CSUN panels are corrosion resistant so they are suitable for installation in coastal areas.

CSUN’S Future

CSUN’s financial position was likely to have been the second worst of all major panel manufacturers in 2016. This puts the company at considerable risk of going under as a result of the falling solar panel prices.

This article on its first quarter financial report in 2015, and this one written a month later correctly advising investors to get out, give an indication of the problems the company experienced and is still suffering from.

CSUN's share price fell below 10 US cents in July 2016 and now in September 2018 its share price is 2 US cents. 

But while the Chinese government is happy for smaller solar panel producers to disappear or be absorbed by more successful companies, they appear happy to allow larger companies that make it to tier one status to continue on life support for a long time. This is far from a guarantee that CSUN will survive, but does probably mean it has a chance of still being around in 10 years time.

My Recommendation

CSUN's panels are tier one, which means large financial institutions trust them for large scale solar farms.  Because CSUN has demonstrated they make durable panels, if my goal was to get low cost but reliable panels I would be fine with installing CSUN panels on my roof, provided the price was right.  This would be the case even if I suspected CSUN wouldn't be around in the future to honour their warranties, because the chance of my needing their warranty should be small.

Rating Comments Name State Postcode
Haven’t reduced my power bills as much as I was told or expected but still better than nothing
Bought From: Greenultimate Pty Ltd Review Date: 16 August 2018
Anon NSW 2824
Produces as much as was predicted with 17 Canadian Solar CS6K-280M. So perhaps not as efficient as, so when told we would have to wait past the instal date for them or we could go ahead with CSUN...should have waited. I would urge people who sign up to wait for what they signed up for rather than rush it. If the supply wishes to change, must be better not the same.
Bought From: Electricians On Call Review Date: 10 August 2018
Jock VIC 3030

Bought From: All Green Environmental Solutions Review Date: 16 October 2017
Les NSW 2324

Bought From: Beyond Solar Review Date: 26 September 2017
Anthony NSW 2324

Bought From: Case Statewide Solar Review Date: 10 September 2017
Greg NSW 2570
Csun 270w Monocrystalline
Bought From: Blu Sky Solar Review Date: 18 August 2017
Anon SA 5066

Bought From: Beyond Solar Review Date: 1 August 2017
Greg NSW 2335

Bought From: SAE Group Pty Ltd Review Date: 29 May 2017
Philip QLD 4350
Right in the middle of a heatwave at the moment and pretty much able to run my aircon and fans at no charge during the hot hours, and without the heatwave, dishwasher, drier fridge pretty much no cost during the daylight hours.
Bought From: Halcol Energy Review Date: 12 February 2017
Karl QLD 4550
Panels have been working consistently all year with equal power generation from each one, observable online via the APS monitoring system 24/7. Self-cleaning in rainy conditions (had plenty of those!) and they generate power from dawn to dusk despite being flush-fitted to a NW facing colourbond roof with a 10 degree slope. Even on cloudy days they are still producing power, albeit in noticeably smaller amounts.
Bought From: Sunny Afternoons Review Date: 13 January 2017
Alan NSW 2539

Bought From: Halcol Energy Review Date: 16 August 2016
Russell QLD 4563

Bought From: Halcol Energy Review Date: 18 July 2016
Kevin QLD 4031
Have performed over and above the figure that was initially projected
Bought From: Halcol Energy Review Date: 14 May 2016
Stuart QLD 4565
The panels preform very well. The only issue was just recently during heavy rain. Water had entered the DC isolation switch causing problems and fault in the system. The SolaX monitoring system was quick to sent me an email to tell me there was a fault. Contacted the repair agent and they where there that day to shut the system down to avoid any damage and che k an repaired the system in 3 days. They used a different type switch and repositioned it to keep it out of the weather. Apparently there quite a few system around town with the same issue with the DC isolation switch. System is all good and running normal.
Bought From: True North Solar Review Date: 19 April 2016
Michael QLD 4812

Bought From: Halcol Energy Review Date: 23 October 2015
Lars QLD 4556

Bought From: Halcol Energy Review Date: 23 October 2015
Neil QLD 4034
We have not had any problems. The panels seem to be performing OK.
Bought From: Green and Gold Solar Australia Review Date: 23 September 2015
Michael QLD 4506

Bought From: Halcol Energy Review Date: 5 December 2014
Brian QLD 4018

Bought From: True North Solar Review Date: 23 May 2014
Robert QLD 4815

Bought From: Halcol Energy Review Date: 22 May 2014
Neil QLD 4655

Bought From: Auzion Review Date: 12 September 2012
Barry QLD 4573

Bought From: True Value Solar Review Date: 12 September 2012
Ricky WA 6153

Bought From: Halcol Energy Review Date: 12 September 2012
Michael QLD 4575

Bought From: Solar Save Review Date: 11 September 2012
Pat QLD 4216

Bought From: BTS Energy Review Date: 11 September 2012
Lyn NSW 2082
no trouble so far
Bought From: Glen Clark and Co Review Date: 4 September 2012
George VIC 3135

CSUN has 67 solar panels in our database

Model Type Size PTC Performance Ratio Californian Approved
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