Like many things, the solar panel industry is undergoing rapid transitions as technology continues to improve. The improvements in solar panel efficiency, cost, and other factors over the past few decades have been impressive. One newer type of technology that is providing a boost to solar efficiency is half-cut cell panels. In this blog, we will explore this technology and how it can help New Braunfels customers generate more energy.
What Are Half-Cut Cell Panels?
If you’ve been looking into solar panels for your home, you probably know that each panel is made up of a number of photovoltaic cells. These solar cells are the devices that work to convert sunlight into energy. Essentially, solar cells are what allows solar panels to generate power.
A traditional solar panel will have roughly 60 solar cells in it. These cells work together to produce energy. However, a half-cut solar panel operates differently in two ways. First, each solar cell is carefully cut in half with a laser. This allows for more cells to fit on a half-cut cell panel. Thus, this type of panel can fit 120 or more cells. This also reduces the current, which cuts down on energy loss to resistance.
The second difference is that half-cut solar panels are split in two, creating independent top and bottom portions that essentially operate as two distinct panels. Thus, if part of your panel is shaded, the other part can still function as normal. This is able to be done by specialized wiring, serving to improve efficiency.
In other words, half-cut cell panels have two major differences that allow for slight increases in the efficiency with which they produce power. For our New Braunfels customers, this means these panels tend to perform better than traditional solar panels.
Growth in Half-Cut Cell Panels
If you have noticed solar panels around the New Braunfels area, you may have seen a half-cut cell panel in use. This is because this type of solar panel has been rapidly increasing in popularity due to its benefits.
The technology was first produced roughly eight years ago. Since then, it has been increasingly adopted throughout the industry. For example, only a small percentage of the market share in 2017 was comprised of half-cut cell panels. However, by 2022, they comprised approximately 20% of the world market.
It is predicted that these types of solar panels will continue to increase in popularity, with them comprising roughly one-third of the world market by 2028. Thus, you will likely see more of these in the New Braunfels area in the near future.
Benefits of Half-Cut Cell Panels
There are a few different benefits that you get with a half-cut cell solar panel. Here are some of the major ones to consider.
Better Shade Tolerance
Due to each half-cut cell panel being wired into two functionally separate portions, there is greater shade tolerance. If your New Braunfels property has trees, this may be a big benefit as you would have increased output even in times of day where part of the panel is shaded.
Resistance is a natural process that occurs with electricity. High levels of resistance mean that more power is lost as the energy travels. Half-cut cell panels create lower levels of internal resistance, meaning you lose less of the power you generate as it travels through the cell.
Hot Spots are Less of a Problem
Hot spots occur when a portion of a solar panel becomes too hot, resulting in it being overloaded. It has to shift power to other cells, which lowers the overall output. Half-cut cell panels have a greater number of cells, meaning there are more areas to spread excess heat to, reducing the impact of hot spots.
Because half-cut cell panels are more efficient, they often have better warranties for customers. For example, New Braunfels customers will find that the DNA-144 from Aptos has a warranty that is 2.5% higher than the industry standard at the 10-year mark and 5.7% higher than the industry standard at the 30-year mark.
Disadvantages of Half-Cut Cell Panels
While there are many benefits to utilizing a half-cut cell panel in New Braunfels, it is also important to consider disadvantages. Fortunately, there is only one disadvantage when it comes to this technology. That lies in cost.
Half-cut cell panels are more expensive than traditional solar panels. This is because the manufacturing process is more complicated and time-consuming. While they will pay off in the long term, they require a higher upfront cost than traditional panels which may be a deterrent for some customers.
If you would like to learn more about half-cut solar panels and other options for your New Braunfels home or business, we invite you to contact us. Our professional staff are always happy to answer your questions and give you objective advice regarding a potential solar system.