Shingled Solar Cells
Shingling solar cells follow similar processed as in solar roof shingles. They are made by cutting a full-size solar cell into 6 equal strips. These cell strips are then assembled and overlaid, like roof shingles, into longer strings of up to 40 cells depending on the panel size. This results in a usual string voltage (V) but a fifth (or sixth) of its electrical current (I). Thus, by lowering the current passing through the cells, the resistance is also lowered and by lowering the resistance, operating temperature is also lowered. And by lowering the operating temperature, the chances of the formation of hot-spots are lowed.
In this arrangement, the cells are connected directly by physical contact, without visible busbars and ribbons required to hold the cells together. In the shingled configuration, almost 30 metres of busbar and soldered joints that is required on conventional solar panels are done away with. This reduces the risk of busbar failures.
Hyundai and other manufacturers uses an electrically conductive adhesive (ECA) instead of busbars and ribbons. This reduces stress on the cells during manufacture as well as power loses that come with shading of parts of the cell by the busbars and ribbons. Solar cells heat up during the day. As they do, the soldered ribbons also expand. This can lead to power loses. The ECA used in joining shingled cells together reduce the stress that occurs due to this and the potential of microcracks.
Increased Electricity Harvest
The space between cells are eliminated completely. This removes the inactive areas of the panel that increases cell resistance and in turn reduce performance. Since more of the module, nearly 100% can be covered by solar cells, more light can be harvested per surface area.
Parallel Cell Connection
In conventional solar panels, individual cells are wired in series. Therefore when a cell is shaded, its performance drops and with it, the performance of the entire solar panel. In the shingle configuration, the cells can be wired in groups and configured in parallel so as to make the cells perform more independent of others.
Best Solar Panel Aesthetics So Far
The main attraction of shingled cells is there state-of-the-art aesthetics. Without any visible circuitry, their surfaces look like they are made of coloured glass. How solar panels integrate into rooftops aesthetically is an important consideration for manufacturers. Shingled solar panels are the most aesthetically pleasing so far, next to IBC solar panels.
The shingled cell technology is proprietary to American brands, Seraphim, Solaria and SunPower. These brands hold important intellectual property rights to the shingled cell technology. Alongside the cost requirements of using adhesive to solder cells, the absence of offerings from Chinese mass-market brands can be used to explain why shingled solar panels still have a rather small market share. The technology has not yet been fully opened to experts in driving down costs, Chinese mass-market directed manufacturers, to beat manufacturing and pricing costs down to competitive levels. Regardless, Chinese brands Yingli and Znshine both offer shingled cells. The largest manufacturers who have the power to make the most impact on purchase cost of shingled solar cells, LONGi, Trina, Suntech and Jinko are still new to shingled cells.
The shingled cell technology is compatible with the more traditional silicon cell technologies such as all-black, half-cut, PERC, HJT and so on and can be found adapted to those configurations. For now, this still emerging technology represent the highest limit of traditional undoped crystalline silicon solar cell development so far.
Solarkobo helps businesses and homeowners make the best choice of solar panels. We also provide stellar installation services in Lagos and throughout Nigeria.