Panasonic introduces half-cut HJT residential solar modules


From pv magazine USA

Panasonic drew some attention at the RE+ conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, as it brought in Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps to promote its new products, including a new series of residential solar modules, a home battery, and a home energy management system.

“Panasonic’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, including developing the technologies to create a cleaner future such as high-performance solar panels and home energy storage, is why I have chosen to work with them this year to outfit my own home with a Panasonic solar energy system,” said Phelps.

The major panel supplier revealed the 430HK2/420HK2 Black series modules, made with heterojunction (HJT) technology, half-cut cells, and gapless connections. The 430 W and 420 W modules are the company’s most powerful available and sport efficiencies of 22.2% and 21.7%, respectively.

The Evervolt HK2 series are backed by a 25-year warranty for performance, product, parts and labor. Panasonic said the panels have a low degradation rate of 0.25% annually, leading to at least 92% of the original output by year 25. The company said its modules benefit from minimal low induced degradation and potential induced degradation.

Read more about module performance in our recap of the Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC) PV module index.

Along with the HK Black series, Panasonic displayed its modules with passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) technology and half-cut cells, which are slightly less powerful but offer a lower price point. The 405PK2 and 400PK2 series offer 20.8% and 20.5% efficiencies respectively and power ratings of 405 W and 400 W.

The modules offer a power output of at least 84.8% at the end of 25 years of operation. These modules are offered the same 25-year warranty on performance, product, parts, and labor.

“Our variety of premium modules offer various capabilities and price points, allowing more flexibility and options for both consumers and installers,” said Mukesh Sethi, director of solar and energy storage at Panasonic Eco Systems North America.

Home battery

Along with the new modules on display was a home battery announced in June. The new generation Evervolt home battery is a a modular energy storage device that supports both DC and AC coupling.

The storage system includes a hybrid inverter and lithium-ferro-phosphate battery. It also includes the SmartBox, a home energy management device.

Each battery is modular in increments of 4.6 kWh of usable energy, offering up to 18.4 kWh per battery. Up to four EverVolt batteries can be connected to one SmartBox, achieving up to 30 kW of power and 72 kWh of usable energy. Up to 15.2 kW of solar modules can be connected to three maximum power point trackers. The battery offers up to 7.6 kW of continuous backup power in a single battery.

The battery’s 160 A AC current helps keep more appliances running continuously, and it can use both 120 V and 240 V with no transformer needed. It is rated for a 6,000 cycle lifespan and has a 98% peak efficiency rating and 97.5% CEC weighted efficiency. It also enables 200% PV oversizing, meaning solar capacity can exceed inverter capacity by up to 200%.

The battery operates on multiple operating modes, including back-up, self-use, time-of-use and custom modes which can be set through a mobile app. The device is connected with a Wi-Fi monitoring system connected to Panasonic’s app.

Homeowners can track battery levels, view energy consumption data, and view alerts and instructions on how to troubleshoot errors. The system can receive firmware updates in real time via over-the-air software.

The EverVolt battery has black-start functionality to restart a system with solar power after a grid power outage. It is compatible with generators of up to 125 A to support the home during long power outages. The SmartBox allows for the backup of up to six electrical panel loads.

The battery system can be installed indoors or outdoors and is UL9540A certified for unit level thermal runaway. Panasonic includes a 12-year product warranty that covers product, performance and labor across all major systems and components of the solar installation.

“With the increased focus on clean energy, the EverVolt Home Battery System provides homeowners with a new, enhanced solution for energy management that is easy to install and can be used with new and existing solar systems,” said Sethi.

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