Canadian Solar Panels Review

Canadian solar panels! (Made in China)… Righto, here’s another one of those panel makers who likes to use the name of a nice-sounding country in their brand. Obviously, in the hope that they can trick some poor nanna into buying their low-grade, poor performance garbage instead of getting a Chinese panel that’s honest about it’s origins. UPDATE October, 2015: We were recently alerted to the fact that Canadian Solar apparently DO produce SOME of their panels in Canada! We were also pleasantly surprised to see that they have a decent sized solar array on their roof (see for yourself here)! They also have an office in Australia which is great. But the truth is (we believe) that the name is still very deceiving since it’s likely that the vast majority of their panel manufacturing happens in China.

 

Canadian Solar Panels

South Carolina’s largest solar farm? At least they’re getting panels put up!

Canadian Solar Panels – Background

By all accounts, these guys try to look like they are a Canadian company. In truth, their rubbish panels come out of China just like 90% of panels on the market. There’s no shame in that, but Canadian Solar seem to think they will sell more panels if they seem like they’re from Canada. That’s not good business ethics.

Canadian Solar Panels Logo

The Canadian Solar Logo… No signs of China here…

Canadian Solar Panels – The Good

So Canadian solar panels might be deceptive, but they can’t be all bad right? Well here’s a few good points about these panels:

  1. They are one of the biggest solar panel makers in the world. That’s great – but doesn’t mean much for you.
  2. They are a “tier 1” company (if that matters to you)
  3. Their panels are PID free
  4. It’s a vertically integrated company

They have also got HEAPS of solar power jobs around the world using their panels as you’d expect.

canadian solar panels vertically integrated

A vertically integrated solar company, Canadian Solar Panels have some benefits.

Canadian Solar Panels – The Bad

Well, here it is… This is why I would never buy Canadian Solar Panels:

  1. Their deceptive business ethics – tricking naive people into thinking they are made in Canada
  2. Their performance in the 2012 Photon Test (they came #144 out of 151)
  3. Their performatnce in the 2013 Photon Test (they came #143 out of 151)
  4. Their warranties are the same as every other solar panel

You can rest assured, if you buy “Canadian Solar Panels” you are certainly not going to get anything special. The main things that are guaranteed here are the fact that a big company is behind them.

Canadian Solar Panels CEO Shawn Qu

Shawn Qu is the CEO of Canadian Solar.

Here is a video from QLD Solar & Lighting showing burn marks on Canadian solar panels!!

Here is a video of Canadian Solar Panels

Download The Canadian Solar 250W CS6P-250 Datasheet

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Solar
http://www.canadiansolar.com/

 

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Canadian Solar Panels
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4 thoughts on “Canadian Solar Panels Review

  1. Daniel Ruoss says:

    Hi there,

    Just commenting to your review.

    1.) CSI manufactures 500MW of PV panels in Canada and was established in Canada in 2001. There’s nothing deceptive in their business practice. It is a well known fact and not just a marketing gimmick.
    Majority of their PV panels is manufactured in China – as 90% of the global market does. Even Q-Cells is producing in China to achieve lower cost.

    2.) Photon Test; are you comparing apple with apple? You have to assess panels from the same installation year or factor-in the degradation. CSI panels were installed in 2007!!

    Cheers,
    Daniel

  2. David Wailem says:

    Hi BSPQ Team,

    Canadian Solar has always been ranked Top 5 largest solar panel supplier since 2013. These information are available from credible sources including REN21 Global Status Report, Bloomberg, PV-Tech. If you look at their financial report, Canadian Solar are few of the solar panel manufacturers that are financially sustainable and actually making profit.

    I am keen to see the Photon Test reports where Canadian Solar is ranked that poorly. Are we talking about comparing panels that are installed and tested in the same year? We are all know that panel degrades each year. I would think the test data available on Desert Knowledge would serve a more accurate comparison. All the panels are installed in the same test location in Alice Spring and around similar timeframe. Canadian Solar is one of the solid performers.

    Canadian Solar Panels are used by IKEA for their stores in Australia, and IKEA is a global fortune 500 companies and one of the greenest in their business practice. If Canadian Solar products are that bad, why would a company like IKEA choose Canadian Solar and not other brands?

    As a review and quote referral company, your reviews should be well researched and neutral.

  3. Branko says:

    Hi All, the matter of Canadian Solar panel performance claim against the Linear power output warranty is exceptional in my case, the matter was resolved promptly with complete panel replacement. This was resolved through thorough system performance evaluation by the customer (me) and all data provided to the Technical Team (yes in China) for in dept analysis, there fore in my opinion you get what you pay for. I’m very happy Canadian Solar customer who has directly purchased 144 panels for the 6 different systems. The product range includes ELPS 265, ELPS 260, CS6P 250 w. Canadian Solar when dealing with my issue is a solid performer in problem resolution this is ONLY possible if the management fundamentals are top notch.

  4. Graeme Parsons says:

    We have just had our Canadian Solar panels replaced under warranty, and they are burnt out and showing burn marks and holes in the middle!! We were sold these as a premium product and they are nothing but trash!! Now I have just learnt that they are Made in China???!!! Wow, I cant even call the company who sold me this fire hazard to tell them what I think as they have gone under!

    Absolutely furious. Stay away from Canadian (China) Solar unless you want what we nearly had… A fire on your roof!

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