SOLAR PANELS, WHAT IS BEST AND WHAT IS HALF CELL TECHNOLOGY?

What is Half-Cell technology? What is the difference?

Have you heard the term Half-Cell lately when speaking to solar companies or reading online info, what is the difference?

Have you been reading up on what solar panels are what, which is best and what the terminology is?

The solar market is constantly growing, and latest trends quickly become mainstream. It’s true to say the Solartherm UK have seen a massive up take in solar since the Energy Crisis began.

Today’s mainstream full cell modules (60 cells) will have a market share of about 35% in 2028. The R&D departments of most major manufacturers predict that other cell variations will soon take over. Half Cell technology is a fairly modern technology that has changed the solar game.
The International Technology Roadmap of Photovoltaic (ITRPV) predicts that the market share of half cells has increased from 5% in 2018 to potentially 40% in 2028. This indicates that Half Cell technology is a strong player against outdated full cell technology. Solartherm UK first installed this technology in early 2018 and have had a test module installed on the HQ since then.

What are Half Cell Modules?

Traditional full cell panels (60 cells) are made with 60 or 72 cells on the entire panel. A half-Cell module doubles the number of cells into 120 or 144 cells per panel. The panel is the same size as a full cell panel but with double the cells. By doubling the number of cells this technology creates more avenues to catch energy from sunlight to send into the inverter.

Essentially, Half-Cell technology is the process of cutting cells into half, reducing resistance so efficiency can increase. Traditional full cell panels with 60 or 72 cells produce resistance which can lower the panel’s ability to produce more power. Whereas Half-Cells with 120 or 144 cells have lower resistance which means more energy is being captured and produced. Half-Cell panels have smaller cells on each panel which reduces mechanical stresses on the panel. The smaller the cell the lesser chance of the panel micro cracking.
Moreover, Half-Cell technology provides higher power output ratings and are usually more reliable than traditional full cell panels.

 

Traditional Full Cell

 

 

Half-Cell module

Why turn to Half-Cell technology for your next install?

The opportunity to generate more power for our customers and to save them money is at the forefront of any rooftop PV system. Half-Cell technology can see significant increases particularly in semi shaded areas.

The increase in Half-cell popularity over the years is due to some very distinct advantages such as:

  • Excellent performance in low light situations. This is due to the design the increased number of cells feeds more power to the inverter.
  • Half-cell technology is more durable for long-life performance

HC technology is less susceptible to micro-cracking due to the smaller size of the solar cells. The mechanical stress on the entire panel is lessened which reduces the opportunity for micro cracks to develop. Therefore, HC panels are more durable and less prone to cracking over extended periods of time.

  • Performs better in high-heat conditions, even the UK suffers from hot roofs. 
  • Split junction boxes, this is a major solar panel improvement. 

Hot spots are quite common in poorly manufactured solar PV panels and can severely reduce the lifespan of a solar PV panel. Half-Cell solar PV panels have less heat below the individual cells on the panel. Hot spots are common and a negative that comes with solar PV systems that receive elevated levels of constant heat. In some major cases, hot spots can cause fire risks to the customer’s home. Having a split junction box reduces cell heating and the possibility for hot spots occur.

Great Half-Cell products to try out

Canadian Solar is one of the largest distributors of Solar PV panels in the solar market. They are premium quality products to the UK Solar market. The 410w Perc mono is a high-power half-cell and has been installed by Solartherm UK since they first came into the UK marketplace. Similarly JA Solar, Jam 60S20 half-cell Mono Perc is one of Solartherm UK’s most popular modules, with efficiency of 20.6%, this panel will fulfil most solar buyers and comes with excellent warranties also.

Please feel free to contact our sales or technical team today on 01268 552868 OR email [email protected] for our current price list.

 

 

 

Canadian Solar 410w HC MONO PERC MODULE

Solartherm UK are also SunPower Maxeon technologies certified partners. It’s true that if you have the budget there is no better module on the market. With a whopping 40-year warranty and a claim of 29% more power and a whole host of another clever tech this solar module really is a show stopper!

The downside is that lead times are often long as stock is sold the second it hits our warehouse with never enough coming into the UK.

Please feel free to contact our sales team today on 01268 552868 OR email: [email protected] for the current stock availability list. 

 

 

JA Solar JAM 60S20 HC Mono Perc module

Distillery and Bonded warehouse owners – get in touch. (Case Study)

Our team have been working on lots of exciting Solar PV proposals for electricity production and energy reduction schemes for distilleries and bonded warehouses of late. The word has spread within the Scottish Whisky industry that their large facility roof spaces may be perfect for solar panel installations and can make a real dent in their required electricity usage.

 

A recent proposal that we undertook along the A917 located up towards St Andrews in the Fife region for a Whisky Distillery showed the operators that even in more gloomy locations very decent returns were achievable.

Our irradiance checking equipment showed that the distillery roofs could achieve 943kWh/m2. The design allows for a 220kWp solar system using 571no. 385w modules which may produce some 190’000 kWh of electricity per annum.

More interestingly, at the Distillery’s current electricity buy in rate of 10.9p per kWh the system would save around £20’900 per annum, however as they had just received notification that the rate was due to rise to 16.5p the increase in annual savings from the system rose to £31’350.

Not finished there, the system being RPI linked with performance calculations run over the 25-year lifetime of the panels means a whopping return of £921’325 and at the cost supplied equates to a 3.77-year ROI.

 

Now if any large-scale business with cash in the bank has an accounts manager that says going green doesn’t make good financial sense, then we at Solartherm UK are willing to eat a Whisky cask for free!

The Value of Solar Property

Drawing from the MCS Installation Database, this latest report by Solar Energy UK shines a light on the indisputable financial benefits of solar PV for homeowners – adding up to £1,800 to the value of a typical home.
In doing so, it highlights the vital role small-scale renewables play in increasing the market value and reducing the carbon footprint of our homes.

The data speaks for itself: solar PV is a proven economic and environmental solution to futureproofing our homes. It already puts cost savings back into consumers’ pockets, and with the ongoing electrification of heat and transport, its financial performance will only improve in years to come.

We echo Solar Energy UK’s calls for relevant sectors to help maximise the use of solar PV on the UK’s homes, from property development and finance to construction. This should undoubtedly be backed by sustained government support for domestic renewables in general, including long-term consumer incentives and broader green retrofit programmes.
The current outlook and future for solar is bright – and we can do even more as we reach for net zero.

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How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

The longevity of solar panels has improved over the past decade, with many of the latest solar panels lasting up to 50 years. As time passes, the efficiency of solar panels can decrease (also known as the rate of degradation) which is typically dependant of the type and quality of solar panel installed. Other factors that can influence the degradation of solar panels including the maintenance and the quality of the installation.

Solar panel maintenance

Owning solar panels can provide you with clean green energy and a reduction in your energy bills, however, ensuring they are maintained and performing at the optimum efficiency could save you money and increase the longevity of your panels. Several maintenance tips to ensure your panels are performing at their optimum include:

  • Ensuring your solar panels aren’t in shaded areas.
  • Keep an eye on your inverter warning panels to ensure there aren’t any warning lights
  • Installing automated cleaners like a sprinkler system or scheduled appointments with a solar panel cleaning company

Cleaning solar panels is very easy, often the hardest bit is getting access to the panels. If cleaning the panels on the roof, ensure that you have the necessary safety equipment as the roof can be slippery. Using a soft brush or rag with biodegradable soap is recommended when cleaning solar panels, as hard equipment or harsh chemicals can damage the panels and lead to increased degradation.

What affects the longevity of solar panels?

One of the main factors that can impact the life of solar panels are the quality of solar panels installed. There are many cheap solar panels on the market, and it is often tempting to go with the cheapest quote when getting solar panels installed but often cheaper quotes can mean cheap lower-quality panels.

Why is the life of solar panels important? As your solar panels generate electricity year after year, it is often between 10 – 20 years before your solar panels have generated enough savings to cover the initial cost of installation. Therefore, ensuring your panels are performing at an efficient level during this time is important to ensure they pay for themselves. Furthermore, after they have paid for themselves, you want to continue to reap the rewards of your solar panels producing energy and reducing your reliance of the ever more expensive grid energy providers.

Speak to us today

For more information on solar panels and increasing their longevity, get in contact with us at SolarTherm UK today. Our expert team have helped thousands of customers across the country to maximise their investment in solar panels by providing the highest quality solar panels and equipment with our professional engineer fitting team.

For a no-obligation quote, contact us at SolarTherm UK today.

Solar panel need-to-knows

“Solar power? Hang on, we don’t live in California!” True, but it’s all about daylight, not sunshine. Panels can still generate some electricity on gloomy days, vital when the weather’s as dull as watching paint dry.

Before you stick them on your home, understand these key need-to-knows:

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OFGEM PROMOTION

Ofgem have just announced from April 1st, 2021, the price caps current in place on energy will be lifted. Potentially affecting some 15 million UK households.

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SOLAR PANEL WARRANTIES

Your solar PV panel system will consist of a set number of solar panels, an inverter, or micro inverters, SolarEdge, a mounting frame and small components.

Often home energy storage systems or batteries were added to later systems, after 2014 batteries and storage systems started to become commonplace to be installed alongside the PV generating system. (Solar panels, or modules as they are known professionally)

The warranties typically associated with the solar panels are long. Usually a standard 2-year parts and labour, and 10–20-year product warranty. It is useful to note that a reputable installer such as Solartherm UK will also offer at no extra charge a 10-year insurance backed warranty. Largely this is a backup if the installer is unable to return and has ceased trading.

If installed correctly, a solar panel could last 25-40 years although they have a slight degradation rate and will very gradually diminish in their efficiency.

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FREE SOLAR PANEL HEALTH CHECK?

free solar panel check

Have you been contacted directly by a call centre or by letter to have a free solar panels health check?

If so – And you own solar panels, then it is YOU that needs to carry out the checks.

With respect to the letters, bin them they are not genuine no matter how legitimate they look. If the callers are pushy or say that they have someone in the area, or that they are calling from MCS, Ofgem, The Government or even us, then you need to request the 6 points below immediately:

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Super plants planted by a super company!

Scientists at the Royal horticultural society (RHS) have concluded a study that has placed the Cottoneaster Franchetti as a super plant. The hairy leafed bush which is often used as a border or hedge in domestic gardens is 20% more effective at sucking air pollution than other shrubs when placed near heavy polluting traffic and pollution emitters.

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Air Source Heat Pump Installation

Theydon Bois – New build

Here we see another installation of an ASHP (Air source heat pump) buffer vessel, and H/W high efficiency cylinder.

These works are being undertaken to a high-end refurbishment project on behalf of the builder and clients.

UFH (16mm barrier pipe supplied by The solar and heat store.com) on the ground floor, and stainless steel spreader plates on the 1st floor.

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