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Comparing Canadian Solar and SunPower Solar Panels – which one to buy

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Sunpower (SPWR) is a US company which makes the most efficient solar panels using its monocrystalline solar cell technology. The company is a solar system integrator and developer as well, building some of the largest solar farms in the US. The French Oil Giant Total acquired more than 60% stake in SunPower in 2011. Sunpower operates in all the main segments of the market and has reputation for selling some of the highest quality solar panels in the country. SunPower solar modules deliver 21.5% efficiency, which is very high and means that the customers get more electricity and lower electricity bills.

Canadian Solar (CSIQ) is a vertically integrated company, providing ingots, wafers, solar cells, solar modules, solar power
systems and specialized solar products. Headquartered in Canada, the company has factories in China and Ontario with wide customer base covering over 50 countries. Canadian Solar also offers customized PV products and OEM service around the world. The company sells panels at quite cheap prices.

Distinguishing Features between Canadian Solar and SunPower Solar Modules

SunPower solar panels perform well in conditions like low light, high temperatures and cloudy weather. SunPower uses Maxeon Cell technology which allows more sunlight absorption, grants an elegant design and provides more durability to the solar panels. Canadian Solar modules are also ultra reliable in corrosive atmosphere.

Classification of Solar Modules and Available Models

SunPower Solar panels are used for residential purposes primarily. They are classified into: i) SunPower X Series – X21-335 and X21-345, ii) SunPower E Series – SPR 327, iii) SunPower Signature Black Solar Panels and iv) SunPower AC Solar Panels – E 19/240.

The Canadian Solar Modules can be broadly classified into: i) Standard Modules – CS5, CS6, all black CS5A, ii) NewEdge Modules – CS6P-PX and All Black CS5A-MX, iii) e-Modules iv) Quartech Modules – CS6P-P, CS6X-P and iv) BIPV Modules. These modules can be used for both residential and commercial roof-top systems.

Types of Solar Panels and Cell Arrangement

All SunPower Solar panels come in a monocrystalline make with 72 and 96 cell arrangements. Canadian Solar modules are both monocrystalline and multicrystalline and come with the standard 125 x 125 mm and 156 x 156 mm cell arrangement.


The available wattage for SunPower Solar modules are 240 W, 320 W, 327 W, 335 W and 345 W. For Canadian Solar modules, the available wattage is between 140 W – 300 W.

Power Performance

SunPower has ~0-+5% power tolerance. Canadian Solar provides industry leading plus only power tolerance 0W~5W.


Anodized aluminium alloy frame is common for both the companies’ solar panels. The BIPV modules of Canadian Solar have no frame.


High transmission tempered glass with anti-reflective coating is used for SunPower modules. Canadian Solar also uses tempered glass as front cover for modules.


17 kg – 18 kg is the standard weight for SunPower solar panels. Canadian Solar panels have weight in the range of 15.5 kg – 27 kg.

Load Resistance

Both can withstand upto 5400 pa wind speed and snow load.


SunPower solar modules come with 25 years power and product warranty – one of the best in the industry. Canadian Solar Panels come with 10 years product warranty (materials and workmanship) and 25  years linear module power output warranty.


SunPower ACPV module are listed to UL 1741. Canadian Solar panels come with the top ranked PVUSA (PTC) rating in California for higher energy production.

You can read more details about the solar modules here: SunPower and Canadian Solar.


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

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Linda

    Concerning SunPower panels:
    Are SPR X21-335BLK more expensive than
    SPR X21-345 panels..
    Can you give me an approximate percentage or $ amount?
    Thank you,