Chinese solar module manufacturer Sunman has launched a new panel series with a power output of up to 430 W.
“An innovation combining proven crystalline silicon solar cells with Sunman's patented composite material, eArc has the same durability and robustness of conventional glass modules,” a spokesperson from the company told pv magazine. “However, unlike glass, eArc is akin to a flexible ‘solar skin' that is 70% lighter and up to 95% thinner.”
The eArc SMF430F module is available in two versions with nominal power of 425 and 430 W and a power conversion efficiency of 19.0 and 19.3%, respectively. Its open circuit voltage is 49.6-49.8 V and the short-circuit current is 10.67-10.64 A.
The new product has a size of 2,125×1,051x35mm and weighs in at 11.2kg. It relies on 144 half-cut monocrystalline cells, a white backsheet, a frame made of anodized aluminum alloy, and a junction box with an IP 68 rating.
The glass free panel can be used in PV systems with a maximum voltage of 1,000 V and an operating temperature between -40 degrees Celsius and 85 degrees Celsius. The power temperature coefficient is -0.38% per degree Celsius.
The new module, which comes with a 25-year linear power output warranty and a 12-year product guarantee, is manufactured through a process based on the use of glass fiber reinforced plastic (GRP), which the manufacturer says reduces light reflection and opens up new assembly options. As with other products from the company, the new panel can be bonded directly to curved roofs.
“The eArc modules can be the way to make solar energy usable in the long term and economically, particularly in the case of existing buildings or areas that make conventional assembly uneconomical or, for example, impossible due to a load limit,” the manufacturer said in a statement released.
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How recyclable are these new panels?
In five to ten years there will be complaints as the plastic degrades, even with UV protection.
Longevity of these panels likely less than glass ones, fiberglass greenhouses lose their light transmission quite quickly.
Nothing mentioned about reliability compliance codes
While the design has trade offs, it still makes sense for use in remote villages with thatched roofs, which have low load bearing ability. Also the easy of transporting with less likelihood of transport damage would be handy when going to those remote places with poor transport infrastructure.
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