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Canadian Solar vs Hanwha Q Cells: Most Value?

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Canadian Solar vs Hanwha Q Cells

Canadian Solar and Hanwha Q Cells are well known for manufacturing and delivering quality, value-based poly and mono solar panels. As the adoption of solar has gradually increased, so has the demand for value based solar panels. Each year more homeowners and installers look to further enhance their system’s ROI by choosing to integrate reliable and budget friendly Canadian Solar and Hanwha Q Cells panels. So, what makes a high-quality “value-based solar panel”?

Canadian Solar has been in the solar panel manufacturing business since 2001. Canadian Solar is a value-based manufacturer; producing high quality, and highly efficient solar panels. Their product lines include both monocrystalline and polycrystalline photovoltaic modules, excellent for residential and commercial applications alike. We really like Canadian Solar because of their commitment to quality and value – their standards for the quality and efficiency on their modules is second to none.

Hanwha Q Cells is one of the world’s largest and most recognized solar panel manufacturers for its high-quality, and highly efficient solar cells and modules. Their product lines include both monocrystalline and polycrystalline photovoltaic modules, as a value-based, quality option for residential, commercial, and utility-scale applications. Hanwha Q Cells deliver such a quality module for their price, we think customers looking for best bang for their buck, should definitely consider the amount of value these modules provide.

A common question we hear is, “Are Canadian Solar or Hanwha Q Cells Solar Panels better?” We went ahead and took two comparable solar panels from each manufacturer, comparing specs to see how they matched up for their price per watt on each module. We found that both modules have many similarities and some differences, making each brand have their own unique proposition points – depending on what you are looking in solar panels for your system. Both solar panels deliver unbeatable value for budget conscious customers.

This is subjective to the most comparable series and wattage models we carry. Since both companies create various solar panels at different quality and assurance points - we found two middle class panels to get a sharper idea of what is the best module for your solar installation. We believe in both of these manufacturers, and the results system owners see from using these brands for their energy needs are positive. Let’s take a closer look and see what deliver’s the most value on specs, pricing, and reliability.

For this comparison and review, we will be taking these two modules.

Canadian Solar: SuperPower CS6K-300MS
Hanwha Q Cells: Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295

Canadian Solar vs Hanwaha Q Cells

*CS6K-300MS left, Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 right

Cell Efficiency and Technology

Canadian Solar and Hanwha Q Cells modules generate higher power per watt in their class than comparable modules. How much more power you ask? The CS6K-300MS delivers 11% more power than conventional modules. The Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 maximizes cost reductions nearly 10% lower logistics cost due to a higher module capacity per box.

Basically, in this module class, you are getting approximately 10% more from your solar panel than you would with another manufacturer. This goes a long way when seeking reliability and value from a trusted source - and all from 60-cell solar panels are both impressive.

Hanwha Q Cells generate higher power from their cell technology - Q.ANTUM. The world-record cell design was developed to achieve the best performance under real conditions, even with low radiation intensity and as well on sunny summer days. Hanwha Q Cells technology drives quality.

For the CS6K-300MS, their solar cell efficiency runs at 18.33% under standard testing conditions, which is pretty high considering their size and cost. The Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 solar cell efficiency clocks in at 17.7% standard test conditions. Still good, however, runs just shy of the Canadian Solar 300w module.

CS6K-300MS Specs - Efficiency: 18.3%
Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 Specs - Efficiency: 17.7%

Winner: Canadian Solar CS6K-300MS on cell efficiency, Q Cells Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 on cell technology.

Warranties, Degradation Rates and Power Output

Canadian Solar provides a 10-year product warranty on the CS6K-300MS, and a 25-year performance warranty on all solar panels they make. During the first year, power output should be no less than 97.5% of labeled power output. Canadian Solar’s warranty statement guarantees that from year 2 to year 25 the actual annual power decline will be no more than 0.7%. Which means at year 25, the total power output should be a minimum of 80.7%. This is pretty good considering the price per watt.

Hanwha Q Cells provides a 12-year product warranty on the Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295, and a 25-year performance warranty as well. During the first year, power output should not be lower than 98% of the modules labeled power output. Their warranty statement boasts an impressive maximum degradation rate of 0.6% each year for year 2 to year 25 – which is really decent considering total loss of power will not exceed 16.4% by the 25 th year (minimum 83.6%). For this level module to receive these values provides extra value our installers look for.

Canadian Solar Warranty - 10-year Product/25-year Performance.

Degradation Rate 0.7% per year. Minimum Power Output: 80.7% at 25 years.

Hanwha Q Cells Warranty - 12-year Product/25-year Performance.

Degradation Rate: 0.6% per year. Minimum Power Output: 83.6% at 25 years.

Winner: Hanwha Q Cells Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 on Warranty, Degradation Rates, and Long-term Power Output.

*Hanwha Q Cells Roof Top Ballast System

Low Light and Adverse Weather Performance

Canadian Solar CS6K-300MS modules have improved energy production due to low temperature coefficients. An IP68 junction box for long-term weather endurance. Also, supports heavy snow loads up to 6000 Pa, and wind load up to 4000 Pa *. Canadian Solar understands the seemingly dour effect low light can have on solar energy production. Canadian Solar panels are manufactured with this in mind to better produce energy for non-traditional solar sites and locations in low sun hour zones - the CS6K-300MS is no exception. This module has excellent performance at low irradiance, with an average relative efficiency of 97.5 % for irradiances between 200 W/m2 and 1000 W/m2 (AM 1.5, 25°C).

Hanwha Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 Has innovative all-weather technology. Optimal yields, whatever the weather with excellent low-light and temperature behavior. High-tech aluminum alloy frame certified for high snow (5400 Pa) and wind loads (4000 Pa) regarding IEC. Q Cells modules can perform well in Low Light environments, and unfavorable weather conditions.

Winner: Tie - Both modules perform well in low-light and adverse weather conditions.

Read About: Solar Panel Performance - Clouds, Rain and Snow

*Canadian Solar Tile Roof Top System

Cost and Pricing

Canadian Solar and Hanwha Q Cells modules are known to manufacture cost-effective solar panels that add more value to system owners looking for modules at the intersection of value, quality and reliability. Both modules deliver on these factors and is evident in the total cost of modules we supply them at. Generally, value based solar panels don’t extend far into the mid-range panel class. Both of these modules do, and at minimal cost passed on to the end user.

Canadian Solar is impressive in their cost to manufacture, that they can deliver a great North American made solar panel. Within their class of mid-range modules, they are priced at a much more competitive point, which spells out value for system owners. Hanwha Q Cells also produces a high-quality value based mid-range comparable module at a great price point.

Canadian Solar carries a lower price per watt on the CS6K-300MS in comparison to the Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295. As of writing this blog, the CS6K-300MS comes in at $0.63 per watt. The Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 comes in at $0.66 per watt. The difference isn’t much, but it’s enough to scale for larger residential and commercial systems.

CS6K-300MS module: $0.63 cost per watt (See Pricing)

Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 module: $0.66 cost per watt (See Pricing)

Winner: Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q Cells is only a few cents more, however.

Solar Panel Specifications Comparison

CS6K-300MS Q.PEAK BLK-G4.1 295
Monocrystalline Monocrystalline
300w 295w
65.00 x 39.10 x 1.38 Inches 65.70 x 39.40 x 1.26 Inches
40.10 lbs 41.45 lbs
3.2 mm Tempered Glass 3.2 mm Anti-Reflective Thermal Glass
60 Cell SuperPower 60 Cell Q.ANTUM
18.3% Efficiency 17.7% Efficiency
39.7 Voc 39.48 Voc
Black Anodized Aluminum Alloy Frame Black Anodized Aluminum Frame
0.7% Degradation Rate/yr 0.6% Degradation Rate/yr
Min. Power Output 80.7% at 25 Years Min. Power Output 83.6% at 25 Years
10 Year Product/25 Year Performance Warranty 12 Year Product/25 Year Performance Warranty

Conclusion: Which module has the most value?

So, what has the most value, Canadian Solar or Hanwha Q Cells? The winner for this solar panel comparison is Hanwha Q Cells Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295. Canadian Solar CS6K-300MS is a close second though.

Hanwha Q Cells warranty, degradation rates and 25-year minimum power output wins against the Canadian Solar module. Their Q.ANTUM cell technology is really well designed so that the modules have low failure rates and can perform well in adverse weather conditions and low-light environments. They also harness more energy easier than traditional solar cells.

Canadian Solar takes first place for their module in terms of cell efficiency, total cost per watt, and performs well in low-light and adverse weather conditions too verses Q Cells. These panels come with comparable warranties, a slighter higher guaranteed max. degradation rate, and well-designed cell technology. These are some of the best value based solar panels we supply.

Additionally, if aesthetics are in question, the Canadian Solar 300w panel comes with a black frame and white backsheet. With their cells, they look pretty slick. The Hanwha Q Cells 295w panel comes with a black frame and a black backsheet, which goes great on dark roofs. So depending on your preference for roof installations, you may want to consider what look you want to have for your system.

Both module manufacturers provide a similar panel for the price. Even though Hanwha Q Cells Q.Peak BLK-G4.1 295 wins this comparison round, the Canadian Solar CS6K-300MS has enough similarities to be worth your investment dollar. We can recommend both manufacturers confidently for your project.

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