Canadian Solar is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world with 20 manufacturing facilities in Asia and the Americas.
The company was founded in the year 2001 in Canada by Dr. Shawn Qu.
Now it has its presence around the world in:
It manufactures both commercial and residential solar panels for its customers.
The list is as follows:
In this post, I’ll discuss the residential solar panels (All Black and HiDM) by Canadian solar.
Metrics for reviewing Canadian Solar Residential Solar Panels
This review will cover the following aspects of the solar panels:
Technology (Features and Benefits)
The residential solar panels by Canadian Solar come in two categories:
HiDM (Hi-Density Mono PERC Module):
The solar modules based on PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell) technology are more efficient that the traditional solar panels.
It is a process of adding an extra layer at the back of the solar cell that increases its overall efficiency by:
In addition, the cells are arranged in a fashion that gives better shading tolerance and limit the cell cracking to the small region of the module.
Hence makes it more reliable.
Canadian Solar produces residential solar panels above 300 watts.
(Ku-Black has 120 half cut cells that further reduce the power loss due to heat and improve the temperature coefficient of power).
The term efficiency implies that how well your solar panel captures sunlight and converts it into electricity.
It is generally represented in Percentage (%).
I can say in this way also;
When two panels with the same cross-section area are placed under the same sunlight and similar environmental conditions, the one that produces more electricity is considered more efficient than the other.
It is important to know this ratio as this will tell you the weight per unit of power produced by the solar panel.
If the weight per unit power is less then it means that the panel is light and it going to put less stress on your roof.
Now you can see that HiDM (under 60 cell solar cell category, the 345 watts solar panel is the lightest and it weighs 56.65 grams per watt).
Under a similar category of 60 cells, the 320 watts solar panel is the heaviest among all, weighing 60 grams per watt.
Therefore, the 345 watts solar panels are going to put less stress on your roof.
Similarly, we can check the weight-to-power ratio of All Black solar panels.
It is the metrics that determine the loss in the power of the solar panel for every degree rise in the cell temperature beyond 25 degrees.
It is expressed as negative in percentage per degree (%/°C).
Assuming, a 400 watts solar panel with temperature coefficient of power as 0.40%/° C and its cell temperature at 45 degrees.
In this case, the power loss would be the difference in the temperature times Temperature coefficient of power.
Power Loss = (Cell Temperature – Cell temperature under STC) * Temperature coefficient of Power
= (45°C - 25° C) * (-0.40%/°C)
The power loss in terms of watts for a 400-watts solar panel would be:
= 400 of 8%
= 32 watts (The 400-watts solar panel will lose 32 watts).
You can see that Ku-Black (120 cells) is having the lowest temperature coefficient of power (-0.36%/° C).
It will lose the least power amongst all the 4 models.
The average temperature coefficient in the solar panel industry is around -0.04%/°C.
Nominal Operating Cell Temperature
It the cell temperature under real conditions when
The lower is the value, the less is the power loss.
Strength of the Solar Panels
It is the ability of the solar panel to withstand extreme weather conditions like high-speed wind and heavy snowfall.
If someone in the extreme type of climate then s/he should look for front load rating (snow load rating) and rear load rating (wind load) of the solar panel.
It is written in pascals (Pa).
The industry average is 2400 Pascals both for front load and rear load rating.
The higher is the value, the stronger is the panel to face extreme weather conditions.
If you find more than this then you should go for it.
Ku-Black (120 cells) Solar Panels are the strongest of all.
The fill factor shows the quality of the solar cell used in the module.
It tells that how closely the solar cell is going to perform as an ideal solar cell.
It is the ratio of maximum power obtainable (Pmax) to the product of Isc (Short circuit current) and Voc (Open circuit Voltage)
It is represented as FF
The more is the FF, the better is the solar cell.
You can see that the 420 watts solar panel under HiDM (72 cells) category has the highest FF of 80%.
Warranty is the assurance offered by the manufacturer to the buyer against the product purchased.
The Solar Panels come with 2 warranties (i) Product Warranty (ii) Performance Warranty.
Canadian Solar offers 15 years limited Product warranty that the solar panel shall be free from defect in material and workmanship
25 years limited Performance warranty that the solar panel will maintain no less than 97.5% of the labeled power in the 1st year
From year 2 to the 25th year, the decline in power will not more than 0.6% every year and in the 25th year the power output will no less than 83.1% of the labeled power output.