Over the last decade, the solar market has seen rapid growth and provided around 2.8% of the world’s electricity demand last year. The growth is spurred on by the fall in production costs, and the ability to deploy panels individually or in large installations.
In the previous ten years, the price of PV systems has fallen by nearly 75% and has driven Australia to have one of the highest solar capacities in the world. However, not all solar panels are made equal, and we want to take a look at the solar panels produced by Canadian Solar and how they compare to the other main brands.
Are Canadian Solar Panels Made In Canada or China?
Canadian Solar is an Ontario based solar solutions company. They employ around 13,000 people around the world and are a leading manufacturer of solar panels. With a presence in global markets such as the U.S., Australia, EMEA, East Asia, and more, Canadian Solar panels can be spotted all over the globe.
Like many of its competitors, Canadian Solar panels that are sold in Australia are made in China, however, the way they structure their facilities means they control the production process from start to finish. Unlike some of their competitors, this means they do not outsource anything. Canadian Solar aims to deliver clean, safe, and affordable energy around the world.
Canadian Solar Panels – How Do They Compare?
In our review of Canadian Solar panels, we have focused on a few key areas, the efficiency of the panels, performance, cost, and warranty services provided by Canadian Solar.
There are around 5 or 6 large solar panel manufacturers making panels in China at around the same efficiency and quality. Over the last 10 years, Solaray has installed panels from all of these companies, with Trina Solar being the panel we keep turning back to.
Trina Solar is often considered the main competitor to Canadian Solar, and we are currently installing the new 390W Trina Vertex module, a panel that is really turning heads due to the increased performance, longevity and reliability.
Canadian Solar Warranty
Canadian Solar panels are relatively robust, and the panels supplied to the Australian market are of a high quality, hence they are suitable in variable weather conditions. They are rated to withstand high winds and hot temperatures that are common in Australia, however like all solar panels the performance drops off as the temperature rises.
When purchasing panels from Canadian Solar, you will be given a 10-year product warranty, which is the industry standard. Alongside this, they also provide a 25-year performance warranty, as illustrated below.
As a comparison, top of the range panels such as the NeON H from LG comes with a 25-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty for panels that fall below 90.08% after 25 years:
Canadian Solar Panel Efficiency
The efficiency rating of solar panels is determined by calculating the energy output compared to the input from the sun. Once installed, several factors such as temperature and the orientation of the panel in relation to the sun will affect the overall efficiency of a panel.
Canadian Solar makes a range of panels including highly efficient modules, however, the vast majority of panels sold in Australia are in line with the market average. Typically this range has an efficiency rate of around 19%, which is less than the LG NeON H high-efficiency panels at the top end of the market that have an efficiency of around 21%. If you have a lot of room on your roof a slightly lower efficiency is nothing to worry about, it just means you might have 1 or 2 more panels in your array to make up the required system size.
Like other panels, those manufactured by Candian Solar perform best when temperatures are around the 25-celsius mark. Performance tends to degrade when temperatures increase past this, and this is measured using a temperature coefficient.
Canadian Solar panels have a temperature coefficient of -0.41%/°C, which means that for every degree increase over 25C, the performance degrades by 0.41%. So for a 35-degree day, you would see a performance decrease of 4.1%.
Canadian Solar panels are considered a good value option for households in Australia alongside the other main companies manufacturing panels in China including Trina, Jinko, Yingli and Q Cells. There is a step up in price to the top of the range panels such as the LG NeON H panel.
Alternatives to Candian solar panels in Australia
Solaray only selects preferred suppliers that meet our strict standards, which is why we normally offer 2 or 3 options. We will never offer you a panel from the cheaper end of the market due to significant issues to do with reliability and performance. The supplier must:
- Manufacture their own products in their own factories
- Have a local office in Australia to provide warranty and other support
- Conduct Research and Development and show a level of technology leadership
- Have been manufacturing and supplying solar panels for at least 10 years
- Have the financial and market strength to be able to honour the long-term warranty
As with most industries that have grown rapidly in the past (such as televisions, computers, cars etc), we are starting to see a growing consolidation in the number of manufacturers, and this is likely that within the next few years, where we will see the industry dominated by the top handful of suppliers – even more so than what it is today. For this reason alone, it is worth selecting panels from any one of the world’s leading brands rather than the smaller or newer ones.
For more information and for help selecting the best solar panel for your home or business, you can contact Solaray on 1300 525 451, or request a quote here: