Depending on required wattage, manufacturing capability and automation, a solar panel could consist of 60 and 72 cells or 120 and 140 cells.
With the emerging technologies and topographic requirements, solar panels are being mechanised to next levels. Whether it would be poly, mono or thin film, any type of solar panel could be manufactured with half-cut technology.
Half-cell or split cell PV module:
Half-cut or split-cell solar panels are traditional silicon cells that have been cut in half using a laser cutter. This action increases the overall surface area of the cell thus improving the durability and performance.
Most of the bigger manufactures like SunPower, REC, Q Cell, Canadian Solar, Longi Solar, Jinko Solar, LG, Aleo Star, Phono Solar, Trina Solar, and many more have shifted their focus to manufacture half-cut solar panels. we offer at PROBEC. Introduction of half-cell technology has let manufacturers to increase the watts of a panel at smaller panel size (length and width). This reduces the number of panels required to achieve a total power, reduced the transportation/freight costs, and minimised the panel mountings. Thus, buyers have a greater chance to put half-cut solar panels on their roofs at lower price compared to traditional full cell panels.
Half-cell solar panels are shade tolerant compared to full cell. For instance, one shade spot at full cell panel could stop producing DC electricity as all cells are connected in series. This cause significant losses to overall product as those panels attached in series with this panel would stop as well. Thus, if there are total 20 panels are connected (10 each in each array), only 10 would be working while other would not be due to the shade on one panel in that row (refer to image below).
On the other hand, half-cell panel are connected in a way that both halves of cells are connected in series and then final connection in parallel thus dividing a panel into two parts. If one part does get shade, then the other half would still be producing power which eventually results in continuous DC electricity generation of whole system with marginal losses (refer to image above).
PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) Solar Panels:
Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) is an emerging technology in PV industry that has changed the whole scenario of capturing photon (sunlight) in current era. In a standard cell, the photon could pass through the silicon cell without being absorbed. This passage causes heating up the solar cell which reduces its efficiency. While in PERC module it reflects and tries to stay in the cell architect that increases the capacity of that cell by producing more electrons.
The PERC technology is not new. This concept was first proposed by the University of New South Wales in 1984 in a research publication. However, the idea could not extend well due to manufacturing costs and demand of solar panels. However, in recent time, this technology is being adopted by major manufacturers and proven to be best so far.
One key benefit of PERC technology is its application in mono panels that enables them to be used at slightly increasing temperature such as tropical and subtropical countries. However, its application in typical dry weathers (where temperature rises over 45 °C) is still under improvement.
This topic is technical and sometimes difficult to understand, but we tried keeping the information simple for your understanding.
We hope this information would allow you to decide, depending upon your requirements and likeliness, which type of panels you would be looking to buy.