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Canadian Solar Panel Review – Type, Efficiency and Cost

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Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar Inc. is a top Global Module Supplier. Canadian Solar is a vertically integrated company, providing ingots, wafers, solar cells, solar modules, solar power systems and specialized solar products. The Company is headquartered in Canada with factories in China and Ontario. Canadian Solar operates in 11 countries: Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain,Australia, the United States, Singapore, HongKong and China. It is listed on NASDAQ Exchange. Canadian Solar has a wide customer base covering over 50 countries.

The company has seven wholly-owned manufacturing subsidiaries with a total combined facility space of over to 260,000 sqm and a module capacity of 2.05 GW. The total revenue generated in 2011 was $1.9 billion and Shipments of 1323 MW in 2011.

Canadian Solar provides the solar industry with the widest PV product lines from 0.03W to 305W. Canadian Solar also offers customized PV products and OEM service around the world. The Company sells a wide variety of solar panels unlike other producers. The Solar Panel Selling Price is also quite cheap.

Types of Canadian Solar Panels

The Canadian Solar Modules can be broadly classified into: 1) Standard Modules, 2) NewEdge Modules, 3) e-Modules and 4) BIPV Modules.

Given below is a comprehensive list of the range of Modules by Canadian Solar with their features:

1) Standard Modules

Key Features

  • 10 years product warranty (materials and workmanship); 25  years linear module power output warranty
  • Industry leading plus only power tolerance: 0W~5W
  • Top ranked PVUSA (PTC) rating in California for higher energy production
  • Ultra reliable in corrosive atmosphere
  • Strong framed module to withstand heavy snow load of 5400Pa.

Standard Modules can be further classified into:

i) CS5 Series

CS5 series use 125 x 125 mm, 5″ high-efficiency silicon cells, typically 180-200 micron thick. The module output ranges from 3 W to 250 W.

1. Model No. CS5P-M

  • Pmax: 240W – 260W
  • Cell Type: Mono
  • Dimensions: 1602 x 1061 x 40 mm (63.1 x 41.8 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 20.0 kg (44.1 lbs)

2. Model No. CS5P-P

  • Pmax: 215W – 240W
  • Cell Type: Poly
  • Dimensions: 1602 x 1061 x 40 mm (63.1 x 41.8 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 20.0 kg (44.1 lbs)

3. Model No. CS5A-M

  • Pmax: 180W – 205W
  • Cell Type: Mono
  • Dimensions: 1580 x 808 x 40 mm (62.2 x 31.8 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 15.8 kg (34.8 lbs)

4. Model No. CS5A-P

  • Pmax: 160W – 180W
  • Cell Type: Poly
  • Dimensions: 1595 x 801 x 40 mm (62.8 x 31.5 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 15.5 kg (34.2 lbs)

5. Model No.: ClearPower CS5A-M

  • Pmax: 175W – 195W
  • Cell Type: Mono
  • Dimensions: 1595 x 801 x 40 mm (62.8 x 31.5 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 15.5 kg (34.2 lbs)

6. Model No.: ClearPower CS5T-M

  • Pmax: 140W – 150W
  • Cell Type: Mono
  • Dimensions: 1638 x 982 x 40 mm (64.5 x 38.7 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 20.0 kg (44.1 lbs)

ii) CS6 Series

CS6 series use 156 x 156 mm, 6″ high-efficiency silicon cells, typically 180-200 micron thick. The module output ranges from 160 W to 300 W.

1. Model No. CS6P-M

  • Pmax: 230W – 250W
  • Cell Type: Mono
  • Dimensions: 1638 x 982 x 40 mm (64.5 x 38.7 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 20.0 kg (44.1 lbs)

2. Model No. CS6P-P

  • Pmax: 230W – 250W
  • Cell Type: Poly
  • Dimensions: 1638 x 982 x 40 mm (64.5 x 38.7 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 20.0 kg (44.1 lbs)

3. Model No. MaxPower CS6X-M

  • Pmax: 280W – 300W
  • Cell Type: Mono
  • Dimensions: 1954 x 982 x 40 mm (76.93 x 38.7 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 27.0 kg (59.52lbs)

4. Model No. MaxPower CS6X-P

  • Pmax: 280W – 300W
  • Cell Type: Poly
  •  Dimensions: 1954 x 982 x 40 mm (76.93 x 38.7 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 27.0 kg (59.52 lbs)

5. Model No. ClearPower CS6P-M

  • Pmax: 200W – 240W
  • Cell Type: Mono
  • Dimensions: 1638 x 982 x 40 mm (64.5 x 38.7 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 20.0 kg (44.1lbs)

6. Model No. ClearPower CS6P-P

  • Pmax: 210W – 250W
  • Cell Type: Poly
  • Dimensions: 1638x 982 x 40 mm (64.5x 38.7 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 20.0 kg (44.1 lbs)

7. Model No. CS6A-M

  • Pmax: 160W – 190W
  • Cell Type: Mono
  • Dimensions: 1324 x 982 x 40 mm (52.1 x 38.7 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 16.0 kg (35.3 lbs)

8. Model No. CS6A-P

  • Pmax: 160W – 190W
  • Cell Type: Poly
  • Dimensions: 1324 x 982 x 40 mm (52.1 x 38.7 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 16.0 kg (35.3 lbs)

iii) All-black CS5A

is an all-purpose solar module with 72 solar cells. These modules can be used for on-grid and off-grid solar applications. The all-black modules use mono-crystalline silicon cells, laminated with black back sheet and framed with black anodized aluminum. It has an aesthetic look.

  • Pmax: 175W – 195W
  • Cell Type: Mono
  • Dimensions: 1580 x 808 x 40 mm (62.2 x 31.8 x 1.57 in)
  • Weight: 15.8 kg (34.8 lbs)

2) New Edge Modules

Is the next generation module designed for multiple types of mounting systems. Canadian Solar’s new products will reduce installers “roof-time” by 75% and cut costs in half.

Key Features

  • Easy to install, with low system costs
  • Aesthetic seamless appearance
  • Built-in hyper-bonded grounding system and theft resistant hardware
  • Ultra-low parts count 3 parts for the mounting and grounding system
  • 6 years product warranty (materials and workmanship); 25 years module power output warranty
  • Industry leading PLUS ONLY power tolerance: +5W (+2.1% ~ +2.6%)
  • Backward compatibility with all standard rooftop and ground mounting systems

The NewEdge modules come in two types:

i) NewEdge CS6P-PX

  • Cell Type: Polycrystalline
  • Cell Arrangement: 60(6 x 10)
  • Dimensions: 1638 x 982 x 40mm
  • Weight: 22 kgs (48.5 lbs)
  • Front Cover: Tempered Glass
  • Frame Cover: Anodized Aluminium Alloy

ii) NewEdge All Black CS5A-MX

  • Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Cell Arrangement: 72(6 x 12)
  • Dimensions: 1595 x 801 x 40mm
  • Weight: 17.5 kgs (38.6 lbs)
  • Front Cover: Tempered Glass
  • Frame Cover: Anodized Aluminium Alloy

3) e-Modules

Launched in Q2 2008, e-Modules commercialized the 1st 100% solar grade products. e-Modules are economical, environmentally-friendly, and reliable photovoltaic module in today’s market. They are based on crystalline silicon photovoltaic technology proving its long-term reliability with commercial availability for over 40 years. They have good performance-to-price ratio and fast return on investment.

4) BIPV Modules

These modules use double low iron tempered glass with solar cells laminated in between. BIPV modules are ideal for roofs, skylights and facades. These can be used in wide applications like  roof, facade, skylight, shade and other on-grid and off-grid roofing and glazing applications.

  • Power Output: 55W-115W/m2 depending on cell spacing
  • Cell Information: Crystalline (mono or poly 125mm/ 156mm)
  • Size/Piece: 100mm x 100mm (min)  up to   2000mm x 3000mm (max)
  • Weight/Piece: 5kg- 30kg/m2
  • Cable Location: Edge
  • Transparency: Average 25% up to 50% +
  • Module Thickness: 6mm + 6mm up to 12mm + 12mm
  • Frame: No Frame
  • Warranty Period: 10 years, 90% power; 25 years, 80% power.

Costs & Affordability

Canadian Solar is amongst the five most cheap solar panel brands in the world. Read Five Most Affordable Solar Panel Brands. The prices the solar panels being sold are around $160-200 per 200 watt module.

Canadian Solar is meticulous in the pursuit of testing and international accreditation of its facilities. The company  opened state-of-the-art solar PV Research Center in the Suzhou district of China in early 2009. The 1500 square meter facility is staffed by scientists, engineers and technicians focused on continuous improvement of efficiency of its products. The Research center is the only provincially accredited PV cell research center in China.

The Canadian Solar Photovoltaic Testing Lab was established in early 2008 to ensure international testing standards for solar panels, operating with a full accreditation according to ISO/IEC 17025. The Photovoltaic Testing Lab is equipped with a damp heat chamber, thermal cycling chamber, UV chamber, hotspot test equipment, IR camera, salt spray chambers and water spray chambers, where the following tests may be conducted: thermal cycling, damp heat, UV, hotspot, mechanical load, I-V performance, outdoor exposure, dry & wet hi-pot, bypass diode thermal, humidity freeze and robustness of terminations.

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PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in or call me on +913340606492.

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