The advanced LG NeON H solar panels build upon LG’s solar technology leadership. The technology in the NeON H panels positions them as the flagship range to replace LG’s most popular panel in Australia, the NeON 2. With the LG NeON H 390W solar panels now available in Australia, let’s take a closer look at some key technologies in the panel.
A History of Solar Research and Innovation
With leading expertise in the research, design and manufacturing of semi-conductor technology, LG (at the time known as GoldStar Electronics) first began researching multicrystalline solar cells in 1985 and in 1988 they developed “Solar Lantern”, their first portable solar cell technology. The Central R&D lab was also researching producing solar cells and by 1989 had developed their first panel manufacturing technology.
Research and development continued, and the LG Energy Business Division began mass production of panels in 2010 and cooperated with the LG Production Technology Institute to design and manufacture the production equipment for the panels.
Around 25 % of the LG Solar workforce is focused on research to discover and develop new solar technology. LG solar research leadership is demonstrated in the number of patent applications. In the decade from 2010 to 2020, LG had 882 patent applications, more than double the amount of its major four competitors combined.
The LG NeON range of panels are the winners of numerous awards, including winning three of the prestigious Intersolar Awards for PV Innovation in Germany.
Lower Degradation with LG N-Type Cells
It is almost ironic the power output of solar panels degrades over time due to exposure to sunlight. This is called Light Induced Degradation (LID). In many cases, the electricity output of the panel will fall by 20% over the life of the panel due to this degradation.
Silicon is the main material used in the manufacture of solar cells, and some other elements are required to allow the cells to convert sunlight to electricity.
Exposing a plain silicon cell to sunshine will not generate electricity as the electrons released by the light do not flow in the same direction. To overcome this and have the electrons flow in the one direction to generate electricity, the silicon cells must be “doped” by the addition of impurity atoms to create a region that has fewer negative charges, compared to the more negative charges in the N-type pure silicon.
In the P-type cells used in most solar panels, this is achieved by the addition of Boron. When the P-type silicon is joined with the normal N-type pure silicon cells this generates the electric field required to corral the electrons in one direction and produce electricity.
However, it is the addition of Boron in P-type cells that causes the panels to degrade with exposure to sunlight.
LG developed proprietary technology for treating N-type cells with phosphorous. These cells are used in NeON H panels and help lower the panel degradation. Over the life of the solar system, the output of the LG panels will only degrade by around 10% instead of 20% on cheap panels, increasing the power yield and increasing the lifetime savings for the customer.
LG “CELLO” Technology
LG developed CELLO technology to increase the power production from cells. Each solar cell has thin wire busbars running through the cell that collect and transport the electricity generated. LG’s CELLO Multi-wire busbar technology reduces electrical resistance and boosts panel efficiency. Due to the wires, circular cross-section incident light is dispersed more evenly into the cell increasing power generation.
Half Cut Cell Technology
The LG NeON H panels have 120 monocrystalline half cut cells. Half-cut cells are standard solar cells that have been cut in half with a laser. The use of half cut cells has positive effects on the panel performance and power output.
Half cut cells reduce resistive power losses in the cells. When electricity is
generated in the cells it feeds into the embedded wire busbars to travel through the cells. When electrical current is carried or transported, some power is lost due to resistance. The longer the electricity must travel, the more power that is lost. These losses are reduced in half-cut cells as the current produced must travel just half the distance compared to standard solar cells.
Another advantage of half-cut cells is improved resistance to shading. The is not due to the technology in the cells, it is an advantage that comes from the way that the half-cut cells are wired together in the solar panel.
In panels with 60 standard cells, the cells are series wired, typically in three rows. If any cell in a row becomes shaded it affects every cell in that row, reducing the panel’s output by one third.
Panels with half-cut cells have 120 cells, also series wired, and the panels have six rows of cells. When a cell in a row becomes shade affected, again all the cells in that row will still suffer a loss of output, but the panel will only drop in production by a sixth instead of a third.
Being a conservative company, before releasing the NeON H panels, LG carried out in-depth testing and research on half-cut cells to establish the longevity and reliability of the technology. There were early concerns the laser cutting of the cells causes surface damage near the cut and micro cracks in the cut heat-affected zone.
These quality issues needed to be stabilised before LG put half-cut cells into mass production. With their stringent research and high-quality manufacturing processes, LG are able to confidently back the NeON H panels with their outstanding 25-year product warranty on the panels. Other manufacturers back their half-cut cell panels with only a 10 or 12-year product warranty.
The type and quality of glass used on solar panels can affect the output. HTAR (Highly Transmitted Anti Reflection) glass is used by LG on the NeON H panels and as the name suggests increases light transmittance to the cells and reduces light reflection off the glass. This increases the amount of light received by the cells boosting power generation compared to the standard anti-reflection glass used in the previous generation of panels.
The HATR glass combined with the robust and light design of the panels ensures the panels can withstand extreme conditions with a front panel wind rating of 5,400 Pascals.
These superior technologies used in the LG NeON H solar panels, combined with excellence in high-quality manufacturing and the backing of a 25-year product warranty, make the LG NeON H a superior choice for residential and commercial solar systems.
Contact SolarBright today for an obligation free, customised LG Solar Proposal that will suit your specific requirements.
SolarBright is one of the largest LG solar installers in Sydney and NSW, an LG Solar Authorised Platinum Partner and a CEC Approved Solar Retailer.