Canadian Solar is a global leader in the solar PV industry. It is a Canadian company that has shifted the bulk of its manufacturing to China, and is one of only 12 Chinese based solar panel manufacturers that are considered tier 1.
To be considered as part of only a small number of tier 1 manufacturers out of the 100′s of Chinese solar panel manufacturers is a testament to their quality and reliability.
They offer one of the best warranties in the industry and their warranty is backed by independent AON insurance which gives their customers security that even if the company goes broke they can still make warranty claims.
Like all Tier 1 panels they are slightly dearer than the tier 2 solar panel manufacturers and I guess this raises the question is it worth paying more to have a solar system with tier 1 panels.
After 10 years in the solar business selling both tier 1 and tier 2 panels I think I now really know the answer to this question. It has only been in the last year or two that some of the tier 2 panels have started to show issues where we have seen no issues with tier 1 panels lately, so I now advocate for tier 1 panels.
Some would argue that if there was a quality problem in production it is more likely a tier 1 panel, who invest significantly in their brand would bend over backwards to replace faulty panels. Last year there was a large recall of faulty Trina panels and our understanding is that Trina was very good with replacements and so this is probably a fair argument.
What you do need to be aware of as a consumer is that many dealers try and extract significantly higher prices for systems using tier 1 panels when in fact the difference across a whole system is usually less than 10%.
We are happy to offer you a quote using either tier 1 or tier 2 panels so that you can compare for yourself.