Half cut cell modules are a newer technique for manufacturing solar modules that uses either mono-crystalline or polycrystalline cells. In recent times customers have seen a new technology employed in bifacial cells that provide increased efficiencies of the installed system. The half-cut cells too are also a newer technology that result in increased efficiencies and hence the power output of the solar panel system. Half-cut solar cells, in keeping with their name, are traditional silicon solar cells that have been cut in half using a laser cutter.
Cutting a cell into half increases the efficiency of the system as the electrical resistance loss on the entire module is reduced. Half-cut solar cells are known to display power output up to 5 to 8 W per module, depending on their design and cell type.
What is exactly ‘half cut ‘ cell
Conventionally, a solar PV module has multiple solar cells that are assembled to create a system of a pre-defined wattage. In half cut solar module, the cells are cut in the halves using laser and placed together to create the module as per a desired watt. For example, instead of having 60 solar cells, 120 half sized ones will be used. An additional benefit of half cut panels is that they are better at handling shading losses than their traditional counterparts because of the way they are internally wired together.
Advantages of Half Cut Solar Cell Modules
- Higher Power Output–Half cut solar cells have increased overall efficiency that produces higher power output of the system compared to a traditional solar module.
- Less Space Requirements– Since power output per module is more in half cut cells, the number of modules required to produce the same power is very less. This leads to a reduced space requirement for the solar installation.
- Lesser Capital Costs–Lesser space requirements can benefit large-scale utility plants as their land requirements for the PV plants will be less and in turn lead to a reduced capital expenditure costs for solar power developers.
- Higher Returns–For solar power developers that sell power to utilities or private customers, higher output from modules results in higher recoupment for their capital invested.
Disadvantages of Half cut Cells
- Higher cost– because of expensive laser technology involved in cutting the cell.
- There is a potential for soldering defects– The soldering required is more which also increases the chances of soldering defects.
- Internal cell defects– Solar cells can have internal defects after cutting that might reduce their efficiency.