I wrote in my previous post that how PERC Solar Cell Technology resulted in the increase in efficiency when an extra layer is pasted at the back of the solar cell.
Another technology that has come into the main stream is Half-cut Solar Cell technology.
This technology improves the efficiency of the solar panel and gives a boost in its power output.
You see the traditional solar panels having 60-cells or 72 cells solar cells,
once half-cut technology is implement, these become 120 half-cut cells or 144 half cut cells solar modules.
What is Half-cut Solar Cell Technology?
As the name suggests, the traditional silicon solar cells are cut into halves that improves the efficiency.
In addition to this,
the half-cut solar cells are now more durable and become resistant to cracking because of their small size.
the half-cut solar cell technology is even more worth-while for people that are having space constraints and shading is a problem.
Moreover, this also improves the financial feasibility of the Solar Power System for a person that has installed Half-cut solar cells based solar panels.
It is because of these advantages, the Half-cut Solar Technology is getting popular in the solar market and is gaining the market share with acceleration.
Let's discuss more that how it improves the performance and the durability of the solar panels?
1) Reduction in heat losses
When the sunlight falls on the surface of the solar panel, the interconnected solar cells with in the module converts it into electricity.
We all know that not all the sunlight is converted into electricity.
We call it a conversion loss.
This electric current produced by the cells flows through the strips or wires that connect them together.
In this process, some of the electric energy is dissipated as loss in the form of heat energy.
The amount of heat loss is directly proportional to the square of the current flowing in the solar cells.
If I keep Resistance and Time constant
If current is 2 units, Heat generated would be (2)² = 4 units
If current is 3 units, Heat generated would be (3)² = 9 units
In simple words, the heat generated is a square of current flowing in the solar cells.
More current means even more heat loss.
If I cut the 1cm² solar cell in 2 halves and then connect them in series, the current production will also reduce to half.
It means, the heat loss is reduced to one-fourth (1/4) of what it was when cell was complete.
That saved heat loss is converted into equivalent amount of useful power for running our electrical appliances.
The half-cut solar cell technology uses this concept and when you implement this you get more efficient solar panels.
2) Size Effect on the structural strength of the solar cell
The material strength is random and the strength of the weakest part of the solar cell further decreases with the increase in its size.
any stress in that part can create serious flaws in its working and can even break it down even before its maximum load strength is reached.
When we reduce the size of the solar cell, the chances of cracking are reduced and increases the overall strength of the cell.
3) More shade tolerance
Look at the front of the solar panel, you'll notice that solar cells are arranged in certain fashion called Rows.
There are 4 rows in the above panel and each row is having 9 solar cells connected in series.
A total of 4 x 9 = 36 cells in the solar panel.
(while any 2 rows can either be connected in series or parallel depending on what kind of voltage manufacturer wants to generate from the solar panel.)
The number of solar cells in each row are the same. Therefore, the power produced by each will also be the same.
That is P/4 by each row, if the total power of the solar panel is P watts.
If any 1 solar cell in any of the 4 rows is shaded then whole string is affected.
You can see that if the second-last cell of the first string/row is completely shaded, the power output of the whole row is affected and it reduced to zero.
Now, your solar panel is producing 3/4 P and P/4 power is lost.
if I cut each cell in 2 halves, I'll be having 2 x 36 = 72 half-cut solar cells.
the number of rows will also be doubled to 8.
Now each row is having 9 half-cut solar cells connected in series that are producing P/8 of the total power of the solar panel.
If any of the half-cut cell in any row is completely shaded, the power loss would be P/8 instead of P/4 that we saw when the solar cells were complete.
In this way, the half-cut solar cells technology help reducing the shading loss.
Top companies that manufactures Half-cut solar panels
The solar cells are brittle and can be cut using laser.
The existing manufacturers do not need to change the production line to produce half-cut solar cell modules.
They can do it by adding 2 more steps in their production line one is laser cutting of the solar cells and then connecting them with strips into a string.
Let me give one simple cost-benefit analysis technique.
When the percentage increase in the efficiency is more than the percentage increase what you're going to pay for the half-cut solar cell panels then it is profitable to go for this type of solar panel technology.
The half-cut solar cell technology solar panels are recommended for those home-owners having space constraints and where the roof is shaded at least once in a day due to nearby buildings, trees or any other nearby constructions.