Solar Panel modules with a capacity of above 300W are fairly common in the industry today. They are economic and efficient for both residential and commercial purposes. However, increase in module capacity can have numerous benefits – reduced maintenance, handling and system costs, to name a few. However, as of 2020, only a handful of key brands carry these types of panels. Here, we take a look at some benefits of 500W rooftop solar panels, and how this can drive the industry forward.
Back in early 2000s, the first commercially available solar panels were 150W. then came the 250W, and the 300W sizes. There are numerous advantages to larger module size
- Lower labour and material handling cost
- Quicker installation, lower cabling costs, and less number of interconnects
- Increased power output, and savings
- Reduction in space requirements.
Trina’s Duomax V and talmax V are 500 W panels with a maximum efficiency of 21%. The former has a glass-glass frame, while the later sports a glass-backsheet frame. On the other hand, the 500 W panels from Risen are 50-cell half-cut mono PERC made from 210mm M12 wafers. They have a better temperature coefficient and 21.6% conversion efficiency. Such high efficiency large-capacity modules can also lower the unit price of tracking systems, and rails; cost of large-scale solar farm projects; and levelized cost of power generation. The biggest benefit from the current generation of 500W panels would be in commercial projects where space restrictions would pose a limitation on the total capacity of rooftop PV system.
More research and development in this domain is gaining significant momentum as well. Busbarless technologies, better cell-surface passivation, bifacial systems etc. can significantly contribute to increase in conversion efficiency per module. A standard 60-cell 500 W panel can also become lucrative for residential consumers. However, as compared to the past decade, like the other electrical and electronics industries, the rate at which these changes trickle from the lab to consumers would be exponentially faster.