A half-cut solar module or panel is a type of solar panel that is made up of two separate sections of solar cells, each of which is half the size of a traditional solar cell. This design creates several benefits for the overall performance and durability of the solar panel.
First, because each solar cell is smaller, the electrical current flowing through each cell is reduced, which results in a lower resistance and increased efficiency. Second, the smaller cells also help to reduce the effects of shading or partial obstruction, as the current flow in one half of the panel will not be affected by shading in the other half.
Additionally, the half-cut design provides better resistance to hot spots, which can occur when a single cell or group of cells are producing more power than the rest of the panel. This can lead to localized overheating and reduce the panel’s overall efficiency and lifespan.
With the growing popularity of solar energy, experts are working hard to develop a technology that provides increased efficiency at a reasonable cost. The half-cut solar cell is a more efficient and improved variant of the classic silicon-based whole solar cell, allowing for greater power and energy generation from the same roof area.
The half-cut solar cell or module has been thoroughly defined in this article. We hope that by the end of this article, you will have a thorough understanding of the half-cut solar cell, and its advantages and disadvantages.
The market for half-cut solar technology is expected to develop significantly from 2% in 2016 to 40% by 2028, according to the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV).
What is a half-cut solar cell?
A half-cut solar cell, also known as a twin solar cell, is a typical solar cell that has been sliced into two halves using laser technology to improve durability and efficiency over a full-solar cell. A traditional solar panel with 60/72 solar cells, for example, will be replaced with 120/144 half-cut solar cells, increasing power output capacity and durability.
Monocrystalline and polycrystalline half-cut solar cells are both available. Monocrystalline half-cut panels are preferred because the efficiency gains from monocrystalline and half-cut technologies are comparable.
Benefits of switching to a half-cut solar cell
Reduced Losses– When compared to standard solar cells, half-cut solar cells have lower resistive losses (Resistive losses are generated during the conversion of solar energy into electrical energy by solar cells).
Half-cut solar technology divides the cell into halves, reducing the current generating capacity of each cell by half and lowering power loss.
Where, P- Power
I – Current(Amp)
R – Resistance(Ohm)
Power losses are reduced as current-carrying capacity is reduced.
The fill factor (the ratio of maximum achievable power output to the product of open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current) increases when power loss is reduced, enhancing the solar panel’s output efficiency.
More tolerance for shading: Half-cut solar cells are more resistant to the effects of shading on panels than whole solar cells. Solar cells are linked together in a series of combinations in traditional full-cell solar technology. Even if one cell is shaded or damaged in this arrangement, the entire row within that series wire stops working.
To achieve 30V in full cell technology, 60 solar cells functioning at 0.5V are connected in series. The number of solar cells required with half-cut solar technology is doubled, requiring 120 solar cells instead of 60.
If 120 0.5V solar cells are linked in series, the solar panel will function at 120* 0.5V= 60V, which is double the required voltage. Half-cut solar cells are wired differently than regular solar cells to make them work.
Two sets of 60 series-connected solar cells, each working at 30V, are connected in parallel in this technology (As in parallel the voltage remains constant). This design improves shading tolerance because even if one cell is shaded or damaged, the other parts will continue to function at their best.
Space requirement: Half-cut solar cells have a higher power-generating capacity than normal solar cells. As a result of the increased power output, the number of solar cells required for installation is reduced, conserving space.
For residential, commercial, and industrial locations with limited space, half-cut solar cell technology has proven to be a viable option.
What makes half-cut solar cells more efficient?
The half-cut solar cell is a modified variant of the traditional complete solar cell that incorporates cutting-edge technologies to improve the solar panel’s efficiency and durability.
To improve the efficiency and endurance of the half-cut solar cell, the following procedure is used:
- Increased number of busbars
- Split junction box design
- Cell passivation technology
Increased number of busbars
The solar cells are metalized with busbars, which are thin strips on the back and front of the solar panel. The busbar’s primary function is to link the solar cell and permit DC flow. Traditionally, solar panel systems used two busbars, but as technology advances, the number of busbars is being expanded to five or nine to obtain improved energy efficiency.
The increased number of busbars provides benefits such as:
- The distance that electrons must travel to reach the ribbons is shortened, allowing for increased current flow.
- Internal resistance is minimized as a result of the shorter distance, boosting cell efficiency and durability.
Split junction box
The split/dual junction box is another novel feature of half-cut solar cells. A junction box is a single unit that connects the solar panel to the rest of the system via a bypass diode.
Split cell technology is a cutting-edge method of increasing voltage by lowering the size of the solar cell. The junction box in split cell technology is divided into three boxes, each of which has a bypass diode and an internal string, as the name implies.
Split cell technology offers the following advantages compared to traditional technology:
- Less metallization (metal coating): This reduces the internal resistance, allowing current to flow more freely and saving space. (Because the number of modules necessary to create energy is reduced, space is saved.)
- Increased efficiency: The space saved during the installation of solar cells is used to increase the spatial distance between the cells, increasing efficiency. This design allows for more internal light reflection from the back sheet into the cell surface, allowing for more power generation.
- Reduced operating temperature: Lowering the operating temperature improves cell efficiency and dependability.
Cell passivation technology
The “passivation technology” is another feature that helps improve the efficiency of half-cut solar cells. The term “passivation” refers to the process of depositing a unique dielectric layer on the cell’s back side above the aluminum metallization layer.
The PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) layer assists in catching reflected solar radiation and produces energy even in low light circumstances. It also reduces atom recombination, which helps to keep the cell temperature low.
Moving from full-cell to half-cell manufacturing presents two major challenges:
- Laser Cutting: Because PERC (passivated emitter and rear cell) solar cells are fragile, laser cutting them into two halves is a sensitive procedure that necessitates the use of more experienced and precise equipment.
- Stringing: Stringing refers to the procedure of installing busbars on each half-cut cell. The stringing technique increases panel production costs when half-cut solar cells are manufactured.