Standard PV solar modules might be a good choice if you want to use solar energy to power your home. However, you might be interested in trying out the new cutting-edge technology of shingled solar PV panel. Let’s break down the basics of shingling technology.
In terms of performance, dependability, and aesthetics, shingled modules represent the current state-of-the-art in solar panel technology.
We will cover a number of shingled solar panel-related topics in this article, outlining the key distinctions between them and solar shingles.
Table of Contents
- Shingled Solar Panels Vs. Conventional Panels
- What Are the Advantages of Shingled Solar Panels?
- Are Shingled Solar Panels Right for You?
- Final Words
Shingled Solar Panels Vs. Conventional Panels
We will discuss the key distinctions between shingled solar panels and standard solar panels in this section, taking into account their most significant facets and characteristics.
Composition and Structure
Type of Cells
Typical semiconducting and light-absorbing components, such as crystalline silicon, thin films, heterojunctions, or N-type IBC, are used to create both conventional and shingled solar cells. However, in terms of their makeup and structure, the layout or interconnection of conventional and shingled solar cells differs most significantly.
Interconnection of Cells
Depending on the output desired, each solar panel has a different number of cells that are connected or arranged differently.
Typically, traditional modules can have 32, 36, 48, 60, 72, and 96 cells. Spaces separate the cells, which are arranged in a rectangular or square shape. These gaps are then filled with copper busbars or ribbons using high-temperature soldering processes to provide interconnection between the solar cells. Traditional cells are also frequently linked in series.
On the other side, shingled modules avoid the use of ribbons, busbars, and soldering processes.
Instead, they use laser technology to divide their cells into 3 to 6 strips, which are then strung together by attaching the front edge of each strip to the back edge of the strip next to it. No gaps exist between the strips as a result of the placement of an appropriate electrically conductive adhesive in that connection.
As a result, a continuous string of strips is produced by this process, which can be joined to other strips using ribbons and busbars to produce shingled modules. In this instance, cell strings are connected in parallel, which is another significant difference.
Panel Power Output: These days, the typical solar panels have a power rating of 300–400W. However, there are numerous models available on the market that, in some cases, can even achieve power ratings of up to 600W. Solar panels made of shingles, in particular, range in power from 300W to 500W.
Panel Efficiency: The quality of the energy conversion process will vary depending on the cell type and interconnection. The range of panel efficiency is 15% to 22.6%, regardless of whether you’re using mono PERC, half-cut MBB, or another type of solar technology. However, the shingled panels are capable of efficiencies ranging from 18% to 20.5%.
Additionally, shingling can be used in conjunction with glass-glass and bifacial techniques, just like many other advances in PV module technology. Since more of the module can be covered by solar cells, shingling is a very suitable method for bifacial modules. More light can be absorbed, and “back-escape” losses can be reduced, which normally occur when light passes through the gaps in traditional bifacial modules.
When it comes to the dependability of any solar panel, the module’s resistance to outside forces (like wind and snow) is a crucial factor. Consequently, load testing of PV modules during the manufacturing process is essential.
The shingled solar cell approach is more resilient to failure brought on by external forces being applied to the panel than conventional solar cells, according to various static and dynamic tests of mechanical loading.
For instance, after being tested using an IEC standard 5,400Pa positive load, shingled solar cells show no power attenuation and no microcracks, whereas a conventional half-cut cell module has some microcracks and a slight power attenuation of about 1%.
Standard panels may not be the most aesthetically pleasing due to the numerous circuitries that are visible across the area of the modules, but shingled solar cells enhance building design by eliminating many of the ribbons and busbars present in conventional panels.
On the top of your roof, installing conventional and shingled panels is not too difficult. Installing these two technologies doesn’t differ significantly from one another.
To size, install, and operate your solar system properly, whether it is using shingles or a conventional roof, it is always important to conduct a more thorough analysis with skilled installers.
Also Check: Who Invented Solar Panels?
What Are the Advantages of Shingled Solar Panels?
Basically, the four main benefits of the shingled solar panel design are that they produce more power, increase reliability, and are aesthetically pleasing.
Higher Power Density
Since they no longer need several meters of ribbon across the module, shingled solar panels are able to utilize their entire effective area, resulting in higher power output per square meter than conventional panels. This means there are more solar cells exposed to sunlight and producing more energy.
Therefore, shingled panels can achieve a higher power density in less space than conventional ones because their modules are not separated by multiple busbars (MBB) or soldered ribbons as in conventional ones.
Additionally, it is anticipated that shingled solar cells will continue to improve their power performance in the upcoming years.
Lower Energy Loss
The individual cells of conventional solar panels are frequently wired in series, which means that when a specific area of the modules is shaded, a bypass diode will be activated, shutting off that side of production and leaving only the remaining cells of the module, resulting in power loss.
In contrast, a smaller number of cells will be impacted by the shading effect in a particular area of the module because shingled solar cells are wired in parallel. This results in a significant reduction in energy losses.
Moreover, using shingled panels greatly reduces the ohmic losses as the current is lower (which also improves temperature performance) than traditional ribbon-connected strings because of the smaller area of the “shingles”.
With this cutting-edge technology, your home will have an elegant and cutting-edge design while producing solar power that is effective.
Presently, producers are creating solar panels that look more attractively like shingles. As shown in the figure below, some businesses have created an unusual all-black appearance for their panels by burying the visible circuitry beneath the overlapped cells, giving your home a more streamlined appearance.
In actuality, tests on the dependability of PV modules reveal that shingled solar panels provide a more reliable technology than conventional modules in terms of shading, mechanical resistance, suitable connections, low currents, etc.
As a result, they are a valuable product to take into consideration whose reliability keeps growing over time.
Are Shingled Solar Panels Right for You?
As we’ve seen, shingles solar cells are currently developing a variety of cutting-edge features for optimizing solar energy. The residential market has seen significant advancements in this technology thus far, but it may take more time for it to become a significant player in the commercial and industrial markets.
However, as more retailers and manufacturers invest in them, the supply of solar shingled panels is increasing and the cost is coming down, making them a very promising technology. As a result, they are gradually becoming more available to all kinds of customers.
Additionally, if you are someone who likes to have the latest cutting-edge technology then you would need to compare solar shingles and shingled solar panels. In this regard, shingled solar panels have a few significant advantages that can make them a much better option.
How Do Shingled Solar Panels Work?
Shingle solar cells are solar cells that have typically been cut into five or six strips. The electrical connections can be created by layering these strips, much like shingles on a roof. The strips of solar cells are joined together using an electrically conductive adhesive (ECA) that allows for conductivity and flexibility.
What Are the 3 Types of Solar Panels?
Polycrystalline, monocrystalline and thin-film.
What Are the Drawbacks of Solar Shingles?
- More limited availability is present.
- Compared to solar panels and regular roofs, they are more expensive.
- They offer fewer options for color and style.
- Since they are a part of the roof itself, they cannot be installed at an angle to produce the most energy like solar panels.
Shingled cells are created by laser cutting a standard full-size, high-quality monocrystalline PERC cell into, typically, 5 or 6 strips. Depending on the size of the panel, the solar cell’s narrow strips are strung together into long strings of 34 to 40 cells. They are connected by means of an electrically conductive adhesive (ECA), which enables flexibility and conductivity.
Thanks to this structure, shingled panels can offer more production per square meter. In modules with shingles, the cells run the entire length of the module, resulting in better operation in situations with partial shading. Additionally, these modules cost less to make and are less vulnerable to hotspots.
In conclusion, solar shingled panels are a fantastic option to take into account, especially in the residential market, making them applicable to any homeowner who wants solar on the roof, just like with traditional modules.