At nearly 65 years old, the humble solar panel has come a long way since its launch by Bell Labs. Since then, numerous innovations have beaten the drum of progress to help solar energy become a viable solution around the globe. The 6% efficiency attained in the early days is a small fraction of the 22% achieved by many of today’s market-leading manufacturers.
Once again, the solar industry had rolled out a significant improvement in design that has increased solar panel performance.
Half cell solar panels are a relative newcomer to the market and are an exciting prospect for homeowners across Australia looking to get the most out of their solar system.
What is a split-cell solar panel?
Split-cell modules contain solar cells that have been split in half using a laser cutter. Rather than having 60 solar cells like a typical panel, half-cells have 120 cells that are half the size.
Each module is effectively two twin panels, which are connected in parallel, while the rows of half cells are joined in series.
The wiring allows the panels to maintain the same overall voltage as a regular panel while increasing output. It is predicted that these will make up 40% of the market by 2028, up from 5% in 2018.
What are the advantages of split cell solar technology?
When cells are cut in half, the amount of current they produce is also halved. However, the halved cells produce just a quarter of the resistance. Less resistance means that the cells can produce power at a more efficient rate, improving their overall performance by around 2-3% when compared to standard panels.
Because the cells are smaller, there is also less wear and tear throughout the panel’s lifetime. Half cell solar panels also tend to crack less, so on average, they are more reliable than traditional modules.
Shade can be the Achilles heel of a solar system, but the design of half cell solar panels negates some of the loss in output. There are six rows joined in series per panel, three more than usual.
A traditional panel can lose up to a third of its power if a cell is covered, however only a sixth of energy production is affected if a half cell is in the shade. Overall, this can make them more effective in patchy shade compared to regular cell modules.
Ordinarily, when one cell within a string is shaded the whole string of panels drops down to the performance of the worst-performing panel. In the long run, this significantly affects the output of your system. This is why nearly all of our customers choose Enphase microinverters over a string inverter.
Half cell solar panels have a lower current in each cell because there are more of them. This reduces the heat concentration and defends against hot spot damage.
Their efficiency, reliability and shade resistance make them great for anyone looking to get extra value out of their installation.
Who manufactures the best half-cell solar panel?
Solaray is currently offering the leading half-cell panels on the market, including:
REC Alpha Pure R modules (ranked #1 in Australia)
Founded in Norway in 1996, REC Group is recognised for producing high-quality solar panels with long warranties and excellent reliability.
REC Alpha Pure-R 410W panels feature REC’s innovative design, with high panel efficiency & power output thanks to top-quality monocrystalline cells. This enables you to get more out of the space available on your roof – helping to lower your energy bills and shorten the payback time through increased yield and lower costs.
Trina Solar is considered one of the leading manufacturers operating in Australia with an excellent track record of high performance and reliability. Trina Solar has been at the forefront of solar innovations for close to two decades and has multiple efficiency records to its name.
The Trina Solar Vertex has a high power output that combines with exceptional efficiency to squeeze extra value into every panel. Their robust panels can withstand the barrage of harsh weather conditions and are considered one of the best-value solar panels available in Australia.
For more information and pricing, please contact the Solaray Team today.
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