With Half-Cell and Passivated Emitter and Rear Cells (PERC)
Innovations in solar panel technology in the form of bifacial solar panels and PERC solar cells have increased the efficiency of silicon solar panels. Similarly, using half-cut cells in photovoltaic solar panels can increase energy output.
Half-cut solar cells are essentially the same silicon solar cells – except that they’ve been cut in half with a laser cutter. This means that instead of the usual 60 cells found in a conventional solar panel, one with half-cut cells would have 120.
Compared to conventional solar cells, half-cut cells provide the following benefits:
Half-cut cells can improve solar panel performance by increasing efficiency, thereby boosting energy output. They accomplish this in the following ways:
Reduction of resistive loss
In the process of converting sunlight into electricity, the electrical current transport in traditional solar cells leads to a certain degree of power loss. Current in solar cells is transported via thin metal ribbons crossing their surface and connecting them to neighbouring wires and cells. By halving each solar cell, current generation per cell is also halved. The reduced amount of current flowing within the solar panel also reduces resistive losses.
Improved low light performance
Half-cut cell photovoltaic solar panels are not affected by shade or low-light conditions as much as conventional solar panels. This is primarily a result of a subtle difference in the wiring system of solar panels with half-cut cells.
Full cells in typical solar panels are held together in a system called series wiring, with the cells arranged in rows. If a row of cells is hidden from sunlight, the entire row is affected and won’t produce energy. Since standard panels comprise three different rows of cells, anytime one row is shaded, one-third of the panel would be unproductive.
Just like regular solar cells, half-cut cells are held together through series wiring. But since half-cut cell photovoltaic solar panels have twice the number of cells, there’s also twice the number of cell rows. So, if a single row of half-cut cells is stuck in the shade, the solar panel would lose less power, since only a sixth of the combined panel energy output is affected.
Aside from having a higher energy output, half-cut cells are more durable, ensuring longer life performance when compared to traditional solar cells. Because of their more compact structure, half-cut cells are less prone to micro-cracks, which start to form over time because of prolonged exposure to extreme weather conditions, such as snow, hail, sun, wind and severe cold temperatures.
Because of these benefits, choosing half-cut cell photovoltaic solar panels can mean getting a faster return on investment for property owners. They are a particularly more practical option in areas where limited space and shade or low light conditions are a major concern.
REC Solar was the first manufacturer to make half-cut cell solar panels back in 2014 and has since been producing half-cut cells exclusively. Other large manufacturers of the half-cut cell module include ET-Solar, JinkoSolar, Hanwha Q CELLS, Trina Solar, and LONGi Solar.
Companies that produce conventional solar panels can easily transition to producing half-cut cell solar panels since production lines for the latter are quite similar. There is no need to get new expensive machinery nor to overhaul operations. There is only a need to integrate two extra steps in the manufacturing of half-cut cells – the cell-cutting and stringing processes.
Laser cell cutting precisely splits regular solar cells in half, whilst the stringing process requires specialised equipment to ensure the busbars (conductive strips) are placed correctly on the smaller half-cut cells.
Half-cut cell photovoltaic solar panels are a major solar industry innovation that can address the requirements of property owners who want to boost power production using shade-tolerant and high-performance solar panels.
To identify the ideal solar system for your needs and budget, you can register your interest with Voltaconsolar.com. After registration, you’ll start getting customised solar estimates.
If you’re in the market for half-cut cell solar panels, you need only indicate that on your profile so installers that carry half-cut solar panels can get in touch with you.
The panels are available to buy online from Voltacon Solar in the UK. The distributor support 10 year warranty on parts and 25 years on performance.