LONGi solar is a leader in the solar PV industry, providing innovative solutions at great prices – combining breakthrough sustainable technology with the highest market value.
On April 29, 2019, LONGi solar announced a new record (tested and confirmed) in half-cut solar technology, with the front side power of its 72-cell Bifacial half-cut module exceeding 450W. This was to date the world’s highest power achievement for this module type.
“Half-cut” solar technology refers to the solar cell being separated into two parts, cut by a mature infrared laser. The effect of this is to halve the required working current, increasing the power of the module while reducing its thermal (heat) loss.
Cutting solar cells in half results in half the current and double the voltage. Solar modules with double the voltage would not be advantageous, as the higher string voltage would result in half the amount of modules that can be connected per string to the inverter. As such, most manufacturers adopt a string layout to produce voltages similar to standard solar modules.
There is currently no specialised third-party supply chain of half-cut solar panels. The producers of such modules, such as LONGi, undertake the cutting step themselves. During the production of these cells, this involves the additional step of cutting the solar cells with a laser and carefully breaking them in two.
Alongside half-cut solar cells, another current trend seen in the solar PV industry is the increase in the number of busbars. A busbar is a metallic strip or bar which is commonly housed inside switchgear, panel boards, and busway enclosures. This facilitates local high current power distribution. Using more busbars in the system reduces the inner electrical resistance.
Benefits of Half-Cut Solar Technology
Why are solar cells cut in half? When a solar cell is cut in half, the power losses are reduced by a factor of four. This is done to reduce the cell-to-module losses during assembly.
The benefits of Half-Cut solar cell technology include:
- Higher Efficiency: when a solar cell is cut in half, the amount of electrical current that is carried by each busbar is also reduced by half. This decrease in resistance within the busbars causes an overall increase in its efficiency. For the LONGi system, the equates to a power increase in the module of 2%. This is significant.
- Lower Hot Spot Temperature: hot spots in the module can cause irreversible damage to the cells. Reduction of hot spot temperatures of between 10-20°C improves the reliability of the module.
- Lower Operating Temperature: reduces thermal loss and improves both module reliability and power gain.
- Lower Shading Loss: half-cut modules can still achieve 50% power output during shading, including sunrise and sunset conditions.
The LONGi Solar Half-cut Panel
This achievement of the LONGi Half-cut panel mentioned above validated the company’s strategy and commitment to enterprise growth through technological innovation. It followed a similar record being set by LONGi for the LONGi 60-cell monocrystalline half-cut PERC module, which exceeded 360W in April 2018.
Dr Lv Jun, Vice President of Research and Development and Technical Management at LONGi Solar, has stated that the new record in module power is another step in LONGi’s innovative breakthrough and journey towards even better solar solutions. “LONGi monocrystalline half-cell module combines monocrystalline PERC cell technology and bifacial half-cell module construction to effectively reduce package loss and increase average output by 5-10W”. He said the half-cell has definite advantages in power generation, especially under weak light and in shadow conditions, as well as excellent heat-spot resistance.
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