The HiDM5 is a premium all-black solar panel by Canadian Solar. They are highly efficient modules with PERC and shingled cells. What’s more, they have power ratings of 390 W – 405 W, making them some of the most powerful residential solar panels.

Canadian Solar is one of the leading solar companies worldwide. The company was founded in Canada in 2001 and has a strong presence in Australia, with offices, warehouses, and many local experts.

Canadian Solar has over 20 manufacturing facilities and has shipped over 67 GW of solar modules worldwide. However, the company isn’t just a high-volume manufacturer of solar modules. It has some of the best modules in the market. The HiDM5 is one of the solar panels from this illustrious company.

The question is whether or not the HiDM5 is a high-quality solar panel. This article will examine its price, specifications, output, efficiency, and other factors to answer this question.

If you’re thinking of going solar and need high-quality solar panels for your system, this review is for you.

Read on for more information!

What is the Canadian Solar HiDM5?

Canadian Solar HiDM5 is a high-density shingle mono-PERC solar module with a beautiful all-black design that blends with your roof. The modules in this series have power output between 390 W – 405 W and achieve efficiencies of up to 20.1%.

Canadian Solar launched the HiDM5 in early 2020, following the success of the HiDM product line. The HiDM5 is the 5th generation of Canadian Solar’s high-density modules.

The HiDM5 is designed for residential applications and has an electrical output of up to 405 W. It combines elegance and functionality with its stylish design, shingled-cell format and mono-cell technology. Thus, it offers a 37% higher energy yield (relative to standard residential mono PV modules).

Canadian Solar HiDM5 Solar Panel Range 

The HiDM5 solar modules have a power rating of 390 W – 405 W. The HiDM5 all-black modules are available in power classes of up to 405 W, making them some of the most powerful residential modules.

It’s worth noting that solar panels for residential applications are usually rated 250 – 400 W, and only a select few can reach that upper limit.

The HiDM5 panel is available in four power classes:

  • CS1Y-390MS,
  • CS1Y-395MS,
  • CS1Y-400MS, and
  • CS1Y-405MS

Canadian Solar HiDM5 Solar Panel Technical Specifications 

Speaking of specifications, the Canadian Solar HiDM5 panel features high-end functionality, as seen from its datasheet.

Electrical Data390MS395MS400MS405MS
Nominal Max. Power (Pmax)390 W395 W400 W405 W
Opt. Operating Voltage (Vmp)43.1 V43.3 V43.5 V43.7 V
Op. Operating Current (Imp)9.05 A9.13 A9.20 A9.27 A
Open Circuit Voltage (Voc)51.9 V52.1 V52.3 V52.5 V
Short Circuit Current (Isc)9.82 A9.86 A9.90 A9.94 A
PV Module Efficiency19.4%19.6%19.9%20.1%
Operating Temperature-40 °C to +84 °C-40 °C to +84 °C-40 °C to +84 °C-40 °C to +84 °C
Application ClassificationClass AClass AClass AClass A
Power Tolerance0 to +10 W0 to +10 W0 to +10 W0 to +10 W

Mechanical Data All Models (390 MS, 395MS, 400MS, 405MS)
Cell TypeMonocrystalline
Dimensions2,021 x 996 x 35 mm (79.6 x 39.2 x 1.38 in)
Weight22.6 kg (49.8 lbs)
Front Cover3.0 mm tempered glass
FrameAnodized aluminium alloy
J-BoxIP68; 3 bypass diodes
Cable4.0 mm² (IEC), 12 AWG (UL)
ConnectorT4 series (MC4)

What is the Canadian Solar HiDM5 Solar Panel’s Power Output?

The HiDM5 is a high-power residential module, outputting between 390 W and 405 W of electricity in an hour of direct sunlight.

As mentioned earlier, residential power modules have a power rating of 250 – 400 W. However, few manage to reach the 400 W threshold. Most high-power residential solar panels only output 340 W, with a handful capable of outputting 365 W.

The HiDM5 easily beats these numbers, offering up to 405 W, making it one of the most powerful residential solar panels.

The high power output of the HiDM5 means that it’s the best option for homeowners with limited roof space. To achieve your desired solar project, you’ll require fewer modules if you use high-power modules than is you just utilised low-power modules.

For example, to achieve the popular 6.6 kW solar power system that most Aussies install:

  • When using the high-power 365 W modules of other solar panel manufacturers, you’ll need 18 panels
  • When using the 405 W rated HiDM5 modules, you’ll only require 16 panels

What is the Canadian Solar HiDM5’s Efficiency?

The HiDM5 has an efficiency rating of 19.4% to 20.1%, making it a very productive solar module.

Module efficiency measures the amount of sunlight falling on the panel converted to electricity. The majority of solar panels in the market have an efficiency rating of 15 – 17%. Few solar panels with 400 W output also have an efficiency of over 20%. Highly efficient panels have conversion efficiency starting at 19%.

What is the Solar Panel’s Temperature Coefficient? Will it Perform in Australian Weather?

The temperature coefficient of the HiDM5 solar panels is -0.37% / 0C, which is relatively low.

When it comes to the temperature coefficient of solar panels, a low measurement is preferable. Temperature affects solar panels’ efficiency. If the temperature rises above 25 °C, solar production reduces.

The temperature coefficient measures the reduction in solar production as the temperature rises above 25 °C. Think of it as an indicator of solar panel quality. A temperature coefficient of -0.37% / 0C means that with every degree temperature increase (above 25 °C), solar production will reduce by 0.37%.

This is one of the lowest figures you’ll find, as solar panels’ temperature coefficients usually range from 0.3% to 0.5%. Thus, the HiDM5 minimises efficiency losses.

After learning that the temperature for solar panels to perform optimally is 25 °C, people often wonder if the panels will work sufficiently in their area (especially if their weather frequently exceeds 25 °C).

For example, in Australia, the temperature can be as high as 33.3 °C. The question is whether the HiDM5 will perform well in that hot Australian weather.

Well, the device performs excellently in the Australian climate. This is because the HiDM5 panels have an operating temperature range of -40 °C to +84 °C. The average temperature in Australia is well within the operating temperature range of the HiDM5 panels. Thus, your panels will work excellently regardless of your location in Australia and the time of the year.

Moreso, even on Australia’s most scorching days, the HiDM5 performs without any noticeable drop in its efficiency. For example, when the temperature is 33.3 °C, the efficiency of the HiDM5 declines by just 3.071%. As a result, the 405 W HiDM5 will output roughly 392.5 W.

What is the Canadian Solar HiDM5’s Country of Origin?

Canadian Solar is fully registered in Canada, and thus is a Canadian company. It has two manufacturing facilities in its homeland and numerous others in China. As such, most of its products are of Chinese origin.

Will the Canadian Solar HiDM5 Look Good on My Home?

One of the main selling points of the HiDM5 is its elegant appearance. The HiDM has an all-black homogenous design.

It doesn’t feature shiny frames, ribbons, or busbars, which mar the appearance of traditional panels. Its uniformly black colour lets the panels blend in seamlessly with your roof, providing sleek aesthetics and refined curb appeal.

It would take a heavy level of in inspection for any onlooker to spot these solar panel arrays on your roof.

Canadian Solar HiDM5 Solar Panel Key Features

The key features of the HiDM5 are:

  • Singular jet-black design. The first thing you’ll notice about the HiDM is its all-black homogenous design, which look stunning on your rooftop.
  • Monofacial panels. The HiDM5 is a monofacial solar panel and as such, only captures sunlight from one of its sides. One side collects light, while the other has an opaque black back sheet.
  • PERC technology. PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact) technology adds a passivated layer to the back of the cells. This layer reflects unabsorbed light onto the solar cells for another chance to be captured. So, it allows more sunlight to be converted into electrical energy, making PERC cells more efficient.
  • Shingled cells. A HiDM5 solar panel comprises individual overlapping strips of solar cells similar to roof shingles.

In a standard solar module, the cells are laid on the panel (with spaces between them) and electrically connected with busbars (ribbons). However, in a shingled solar panel, the strips of solar cells are overlaid like roof shingles (hence the name), with the top edge of one resting on the bottom edge of the next. They are joined together using an electrically conductive adhesive. So, there is no space between the cells and no busbars over the cells.

In shingled panels like the HiDM5, the lack of gaps and busbars means more parts of the solar cells are exposed to sunlight, leading to improved efficiency. Shingled cells also allow panels to be connected in parallel. Given that parallel connection handle shading better than series connection, the shingled panels have better shade tolerance.

  • Positive power tolerance. The power tolerance of the HiDM modules is 0 to +10 W. The power tolerance measures how much the output of the solar PV panel will deviate from the stated.

Typical panels have power tolerance ranging from negative to positive. For example, a 400 W panel with a ±5% power tolerance means its output can be 380 W (5% lower than 400 W) or 420 W (5% more than 400 W). The HiDM5’s “0 to +10 W” power tolerance means that its electrical output can exceed the stated by 10 W but will never fall below it.

  • Highly efficient monocrystalline cells. The HiDM5 modules are monocrystalline cells, which are the most capable cell types.

There are three types of solar cells: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. The thin-film panels are made from a range of materials. Polycrystalline panels are made from multiple silicon crystals, while monocrystalline panels are made from a single silicon crystal that provides them with added power over the the other two cells.

  • Sturdy front cover. The HiDM5 comes with 3.00mm tempered glass and an anodised aluminium frame.

Framing makes solar panels stronger. The anodised aluminium used in HiDM5 is the best material for constructing solar panel frames. Also, the 3.00mm thick tempered glass covering the HiDM5 guarantees strength. The construction of the HiDM5 gives them incredible power to withstand heavy mechanical loads brought on by harsh climate conditions. 

  • Watertight J-Box. The HiDM5 has a junction box with an ingress protection (IP) rating of 68. The IP rating shows the amount of protection an electrical enclosure provides against dust and water. Solar panels junction boxes should be watertight so that water can’t penetrate and cause corrosion at the terminals (where strings are electrically connected).

The higher the second number in the IP rating, the more watertight the enclosure. IP65 means the j-box protects against low-pressure jets of water. IP66 means the j-box protects against strong jets of water. Good solar panels feature j-boxes with this rating. As such, the j-boxes of the HiDM5 are superior with the IP68 rating.

What is the Canadian Solar HiDM5’s Warranty?

Canadian Solar HiDM5 comes with a 15-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty.

With the product warranty, Canadian Solar assures that the HiDM5 will be free from manufacturing defects for at least 15 years.

The performance warranty also guarantees that the HiDM5 will generate electricity as advertised for at least 25 years.

This length of coverage provides much peace of mind. Canadian Solar stands behind the HiDM5, promising to replace them should manufacturing effects or performance issues occur within the warranty period. Canadian Solar’s warranty is the highest amongst solar panel manufacturers.

Is the Canadian Solar HiDM5 a Tier 1 Solar Panel?

Canadian Solar HiDM5 is a “tier 1” solar panel built to the highest standards.

The tiered system describes the solar panel manufacturers and not the solar panels themselves. In other words, a tier 1 solar panel is designed by a tiered modules manufacturer. Canadian Solar is a tier 1 modules manufacturer in Australia.

A company must be “bankable” to be a tier 1 modules manufacturer. That is, six different banks must consider it reliable enough to invest in the company. To be bankable, a company manufacturing modules:

  • Must have been producing panels for at least five years,
  • Have state-of-the-art production facilities,
  • Have a solid reputation in the industry for product and service quality, and
  • Must be financially robust.

That said, tier 1 manufacturers have the capacity to build high-quality solar panels with output capacity and longetivity in mind.

Is the Canadian Solar HiDM5 a CEC-Approved Panel?

Canadian Solar is a CEC-approved solar module manufacturer. Its modules, including the HiDM5, have been rigorously tested by the CEC and approved for use in solar projects all over Australia.  

CEC approval is a sign of quality because Clean Energy Council is the regulator of the Australian solar industry. This approval also means you can claim solar incentives when using the HiDM5 for your solar system.

Is the Canadian Solar HiDM5 Safe and Reliable?

Canadian Solar HiDM5 is a safe solar panel for rooftop installations because it copes with hotspots well. This stems from its shade tolerance and low internal current. It can withstand heavy snow load up to 7,000 Pa and wind load up to 5,400 Pa.

When there’s shading, current flow around the shaded cells is restricted, and the current may concentrate in particular cells, causing them to overheat and melt. However, the HiDM5 cells and panels can be configured in parallel (instead of the traditional series configuration) to reduce the concentration of current in particular cells when there is shading.

Also, using Canadian Solar’s proprietary technology, the HiDM5 has a low internal current. The reduced current means that, under shading, the likelihood of overheating (to cause hotspots) is reduced.

The HiDM5 is also very reliable. Apart from combating hotspots better, its sturdy construction means it can withstand mechanical loads brought on by harsh weather conditions

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Canadian Solar HiDM5

The Canadian Solar HiDM5 panel’s advantages can be summarised as follows:

  • An aesthetically pleasing all-black look that blends into the roof.
  • A high power output that makes it one of the most powerful residential solar panels. 
  • A high solar panel efficiency.
  • Increased shade tolerance, giving up to 19% more power in partial shade.
  • A low-temperature coefficient.
  • A very solid frame.
  • An extended warranty (12 years product warranty and 25 years performance warranty).

When it comes to limitations, the main disadvantage of this panel is that:

  • As a monofacial panel, it only collects light from one side.

Canadian Solar HiDM5 Installation

The installation of the HiDM5 is the same as standard solar modules.

Since the HiDM5 are monofacial panels, you can use your roof surface without introducing reflective surfaces. You also don’t have to worry about unique mounting elements.

However, the installation of a photovoltaic system is not a DIY project. Your system should be installed by a certified solar installer like Nectr. First, solar installers have the expertise to give you a high-quality solar energy system. Secondly, you can claim solar subsidies only when certified installers install your system.

Canadian Solar HiDM5 Compatibility with Inverters

The Canadian Solar HiDM5 panels are compatible with virtually all mainstream solar inverters.

The solar inverter is another crucial component of a solar system. When solar modules generate electricity from solar energy, the electricity type is direct current, which needs to be converted to alternating current before it can be used in homes. The solar inverter does this conversion.

Some of the solar inverters that you can pair with the HiDM5 in your solar system are:

  • Sungrow inverters,
  • Huawei inverters,
  • Fronius inverters, and
  • Enphase Microinverters.

Is the Canadian Solar HiDM5 Worth it for Your Home? Our Opinion

The Canadian Solar HiDM5 is a module that you should use for your solar installation project simply because it’s one of the best solar panels for residential applications. It ticks the boxes of performance and reliability.

In terms of performance, it has high efficiency and offers you more power, performs better under shading, and handles well under high temperatures.

In terms of reliability, it is one of the strongest residential solar panels. And let’s not forget that stylish jet-black facade.

Next Steps…

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