It’s been a very exciting time at Solar Power International 2019 thus far, with plenty of new products to check out. In the solar panel space, everyone seems to be playing with half-cell modules and increasingly innovative designs to push those power ratings even higher. Here are a few highlights I saw on Day 1.
Vikram Solar’s SOMERA Ultima Max half-cell modules are really powerful — output ranges from 405 to 425 W. The panel consists of 150 half-cells, which is six more than a traditional 72-full-cell/144-half-cell module. Vikram accomplishes this by not splitting the panel into two sections with a bar down the middle. Company reps told me that Vikram wants to have a 1-GW presence in the United States within the next three years, and the company will work toward this by establishing partnerships with EPCs and developers, working on R&D and following technology trends in the market. Next on Vikram’s manufacturing list: moving to nine busbars on panels for even more power.
A few companies throw around the “shingled” adjective on their solar panels, and here is Canadian Solar’s version. The cells on the HiDM-Black module are split into six pieces and then connected into a panel without busbars. Instead, a conductive adhesive on the back of the cells make all the connections. The result is a 20% efficient all-black module. The 60-cell version can reach 340 W.
Speaking of shingled modules, Q CELLS is aiming for something in the same vein. Still just a prototype, a new line within the Q.PEAK DUO family will feature a “gapless” design. Half-cells will be positioned right next to each other with no white space in between. Q CELLS is talking this new product over with its customers right now, as the traditionally 72-cell-sized panel will be about 4 in. longer, accommodating another 12 half-cells (156-half-cells total). If C&I and utility-scale installers can work with the larger panel, then its maximum output would be 455 W with 20.6% efficiency.
Finally, the world’s most powerful 60-cell solar panel hits the U.S. market. REC’s Alpha Series can reach 380 W and 21.7% efficiency. This module can provide 20% more power than the traditional 60-cell market today. Alpha Series uses half-cut heterojunction (HJT) cells and has a 25-year product warranty and performance warranty.
Lastly we have the latest development in the AC module game. LG has streamlined its whole offering, now including a microinverter, gateway and cabling all under one name and one 25-year warranty. The LG NeON R ACe is a 375-W AC module that is entirely LG. The module also comes with an app-based monitoring service system called EnerVu that will alert LG customer service (centralized in Alabama at the company’s new panel manufacturing plant) to help address technical issues remotely.
William Berenson says
Great update, Kelly. Thanks.
Doug Sabetti says
You may have missed Solaria’s booth. They have 370 watt 60-cell equivalent and 440 watt 72-cell equivalent modules coming out and they are HANDS-DOWN the best looking modules on the market-completely all black!
They currently have 365 watt 60-cell and 430 watt 72 cell equivalent modules available.
(I do not represent or work for Solaria)
Sounds like a really great event!
Richard Barth says
Nice report on the advances, generating electricity seems to be getting better when will storage be following?
Maria Torres says
Excellent Update. Thanks for this article.