Clean Power

Published on January 16th, 2016 | by Guest Contributor


Panasonic Launching Larger High-Efficiency Solar PV HIT Modules

January 16th, 2016 by  

Originally published on Sustainnovate.
By Henry Lindon

Panasonics-NEW-Solar-Panels-CategoryBannerLarger high-efficiency solar photovoltaic HIT module offerings from Panasonic — including high-efficiency 96 cell panels — will soon be available in the North American market, according to a new press release from the company.

In addition to the expansion of product range availability, Panasonic Eco Solutions Company will also introduce extended product warranties to the North American market in 2016.

Given the rapid growth in the residential solar photovoltaic (PV) market in North America in recent times, the expansion of offerings from Panasonic, a 2015 Zayed Future Energy prize winner, was expected. And this is likely to be accompanied by similar moves from other companies as well.

“North America is one of the fastest growing markets for renewable energy in the world and solar is expected to drive a significant percentage of that growth over the next several years,” stated Dan Silver, president, Panasonic Eco Solutions Company North America. “Panasonic’s commitment to residential solar in North America has never been stronger. By offering our customers an affordable way to reduce their energy bills and their carbon footprint with one of the most efficient, highest-performing solar solutions on the market, we’re perfectly positioned to meet this growing demand.”

Here are some details on the company’s HIT modules:

* Leading Edge Technology – Silicon Hetero Junction (SHJ) Solar Cell – Panasonic’s original silicon heterojunction cell has a unique property that helps minimize loss of electrons and helps maximize the performance of the cell increasing its output.
* Original Pyramid Structure – While the rough surface of other panels reflects sunlight, Panasonic’s pyramid structure helps the cell surface absorb more sunlight in turn generating more energy.
* High Efficiency Performance at High Temperatures – Due to the patented property of the panel’s amorphous silicon layer in each solar cell, Panasonic HIT is efficient and maintains high output even at high temperatures.
* Water Drainage – Rain water is drained off the panel surface. This helps avoid not only water accumulation, but also water stains after drying. Even in low-angle installations, the water drainage helps to keep the panel clean.
* High Testing Standards – Panasonic’s testing criteria is more exhaustive than industry standards.

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  • Rob

    OK so getting price data from Panasonic is not realistic because they sell to installers and not to the general public. But how about efficiency numbers? Will their new panels get over 25% efficiency just like Panasonic did in their labs? If so they could charge as much as twenty or thirty percent more than competitors because the performance of their cells will be so much better. But the competition is also making major improvements. Really interesting. Maybe I will finally buy solar panels on the roof of my home.

  • Benjamin Nead

    Panasonic bought up Sanyo a couple of years ago. Sanyo’s HIT panels were always highly regarded in the solar PV industry, comparable to Solar World, Kyocera and Sun Power. It appears that Panasonic is continuing with Sanyo’s development and refinements.

    I just googled “Panasonic HIT” and it didn’t take long to find an online link
    showing tech specs for their upcoming 96 cell panel, to be released in the
    spring of 2016 . . .

    Price? You’ll typically never find that displayed on a PV manufacturer’s web site.
    Most manufacturers don’t sell directly to the public. Many retailers also don’t show online prices for many of their higher performance panels, since their clientele for these things is more likely going to be professional installers, buying in quantity at just above wholesale and then reselling to the customer as an installed product and part of a whole system. Regional shipping costs are also going to be a factor and will be tied to quantity purchased. But I did see an online retailer selling an older/small HIT series panel and price per Watt was around $1.30, or $450 for a 240 Watt panel, shipping not included.

    • Frank

      240 x 1.3 = 312 so I’m not clear on how you get 450.

      • Benjamin Nead

        Sorry. That should read a dollar eighty ($1.80,)
        not a dollar thirty ($1.30.)

        A 240 Watt PV panel costs $450. Divide 450
        by 240 and you come up with 1.875 . . .
        so, actually, just a around $1.88 per Watt.

  • Philip W

    no numbers => no good

  • JamesWimberley

    The claim for the surface texture is interesting. Note that the payoff will be mainly in off-angle capture, not standard efficiency which is measured for orthogonal light. We do need an indicator for oblique light performance.PVWatts just uses standardised correction factors, not measured ones.

    I share others’ dissatisfaction with the uncritical reporting here. How do Panasonic’s new panels compare with high-end ones from competitors like SunPower?

    • jeffhre

      Overall performance is the measure. “We do need an indicator for oblique light performance.” That likely creates an indicator that may see a few % points or even fractions of a % difference in overall yearly ratings.

      • Matt

        Yes, since most (>90%) home is roof top and fixed. The knowing off angle can be very useful.

      • JamesWimberley

        Evidence? The normal operation of a solar panel is off- axis: it will only get perfectly orthogonal light for a few minutes twice a year, for fixed-tilt. Single-axis tracking extends this to two whole days.

        • jeffhre

          LOL, OK two days, sounds optimized, let’s go have a beer!

    • Omega Centauri

      I would tend to agree. We hear about technical details, but nothing about actual performance, like area efficiency, nominal panel output, the rate output degrades with temperature, and so on.
      Probably these are still aspirations for the next gen technology. Also 96cells, presumably this means the panels are larger. How does that square with existing mounting hardware?

    • Coley

      Sorry, this isn’t “uncritical reporting” it’s an advert pure and simple.

      • Aku Ankka

        I think understatements are sometimes better than unadorned truth, especially in promoting proper etiquette and behavior. While I don’t disagree with your assessment, I think James’ wording was very practical in the context.

  • Andre Needham

    “silicone” != “silicon”. Please change any reference to “silicone” above to “silicon”

    • Freddy D

      HaHaHa! even better! didn’t notice that. Maybe the silicone is for “augmentation” purposes…

  • Freddy D

    No specs on efficiency, wattage, and price? No limits on advertising on the site?

    • Kevin McKinney

      Hey, we were told that water drains off its surface! Who cares about petty stuff like efficiency? /sarcasm

    • jeffhre

      Not a single number in the whole announcement? Competition is good, but…

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