Canadian Solar panels sound fantastic. Quality Canadian products? The offering is actually very limited in that regard. With one of the most misleading names in the solar industry and as one of the world’s largest producers of solar panels, bulk of the manufacturing occurs in China. Does this mean the Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar module range is a bad option? Potentially not if facts and testing extremities are anything to go by.
Make and model: Canadian Solar CS6K-P.
Variants: 285 | 290 | 295 | 300 | 305.
Good: Rear wind loading, Parts & Labour Guarantee.
Not so good: Uninspiring design.
The Canadian Solar CS6K-P range has without a doubt made their mark at the more affordable end of the solar panel buyers spectrum as a respectable option. Please though, do not get this confused as a high achiever. Fact is, before being scrutinised, the Canadian Solar CS6K-P range of solar panels is a very uninspiring solar panel option catered towards those with limited budgets seeking a reputable brand. Not a particular solar panel and it’s ability to perform.
To gauge the suitability of the Canadian Solar CS6K-P range for any given project, six essential areas of product selection must be considered; design, durability, efficiency, performance, guarantee and affordability.
The good news is that it’s clear to see that the Canadian Solar CS6K-P range of solar panels are derived from a fully automated manufacturing process. Even though the excess silicon beaded around the rear edges to maintain ingress protection is excessively evident, this too is obviously automated due to the precise nature. Continuing with the visual design assessment, the polycrystalline cell structure is more fragmented as opposed to a clean one colour polycrystalline cell pattern. As polycrystalline cells are simply melted down silicon rocks, the appearance is purely that. Some appear more streamlined in colour, other appear more fragmented.
Beyond an uninspiring polycrystalline module design, aiding electron flow is an appealing 5-busbar front cell contact variant. Furthermore, a white EVA substrate (back sheet) ensures lower surface temperatures for lowered circuit resistance. Finally, with no individual award to speak about relating the Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar module, there is very little to get excited about from a design aspect.
2.4An AVERAGE design, the Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar panel accrued a Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria Design score of 2.4 out of 5.
Surprisingly impressive given the uninspiring design. Above average marks are awarded for a better than expected score lies within the loading capabilities. There is, however, a disclaimer. The impressive load rating is awarded towards additional reinforcement from a third rail mounting and clamping zone through the centre of the module. In a standard mounting formation (2-rail) the Canadian Solar CS6K-P load ratings conform only to IEC Standard.
As a key durability assessment criteria, there is no added evaluation on Damp Heat Testing (DHT) or Thermal Cycle Testing to suggest that the Canadian Solar CS6K-P module range is above IEC Standard. Ammonia resistance is regarded as respectable conforming to IEC 62716 and hail impact is indistinguishable.
Above: Temperature change test, scale to 800 cycles.
Above: Damp heat test, scale to 6000 hours.
3.4A VERY GOOD durability rating, the Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar panel accrued a Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria Durability score of 3.4 out of 5.
Obtaining a super high efficiency ranking from a polycrystalline solar panel is always going to be difficult. What’s pleasing to see is that the Canadian Solar CS6K-P range possess one of the better performing modules efficiency wise over all standard 60-cell solar panel designs available.
Maximum efficiency is stated up to 18.63% in 305W variants. Beyond that a -0.39%C temperature coefficient is superior for a polycrystalline cell base and the positive power tolerance from 0-3%+ defines an admirable composite of integral components within the module.
Above: Efficiency comparison on a scale of 25%.
3.5Considered VERY GOOD, the Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar panel accrued a Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria Efficiency score of 3.5 out of 5.0
The best performing element of the Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar module range is easily the overall performance guarantee. Although nothing spectacular, the above average score is boosted by the more respectable trait of a discretionary parts and labour guarantee should the performance not conform over the nominated 25-year period. The linear 0.7% annual degradation rate is now considered average after an initial first year degradation of 3%, resulting in a performance guarantee no less than 80% of the nominated power by year 25.
Above: Manufacturer nominated performance comparison at year 25.
3.9An SUPERIOR performance rating, the Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar panel accrued a Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria Performance score of 3.9 out of 5.
A 10-year product guarantee with no manufacturer trained installer network lets the Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar panel range down in the guarantee stakes. Installers with full comprehension of manufacturer issued installation guidelines have a better opportunity to uphold product integrity for the anticipated lifetime. Not adhering to manufacturer specifications (irrelevant of 3rd party certifications) will void any guarantee. On the up side the the guarantee on offer is a comprehensive parts and labour warranty. An offer better than many.
Above: Manufacturer product guarantee comparison 1 to 30 years.
2.9AVERAGE, Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar panels accrued a Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria Performance score of 2.9 out of 5.
Combined Technology Ranking:
3.3The Canadian Solar CS6K-P is considered a respectable product technology wise ranking VERY GOOD in the Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria without affordability points applied. To view the overall product score/ review and entire product summary at the bottom of this post, Keep scrolling!
Where many polycrystalline solar panels compete aggressively is within affordability. The price per watt of Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar panel range is considered exceptional, however, derated by a combined technology score which is average in comparison to market leading solar technologies.
As a gauge, Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar panels are available online from:
USD 0.38 per watt | AUD 0.53 per watt | EURO 0.33
Excludes taxes, shipping and installation.
Source – Google.
3.9Presenting SUPERIOR affordability, the Canadian Solar CS6K-P solar panel accrued a Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria Affordability score of 3.9 out of 5.