Solar Frontier abandons thin-film, launches 250 W monocrystalline panel


Japanese copper/indium/selenium (CIS) thin-film PV module manufacturer Solar Frontier, a unit of Japanese energy company Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd, has unveiled its first monocrystalline solar module just weeks after announcing its intent to stop CIS production at its Kunitomi factory in the middle of last month. “We have decided to close the production of CIS solar cell modules by the end of June 2022,” the company said in a statement released at the time.

The CIS decision was part of a plan to make the company a PV system provider and panel manufacturer on an OEM basis.

The new 250 W mono residential PV panel is called SFB250-88A and has a size of 1,320x977x35mm. Its weight is 14kg and its power conversion efficiency reaches 19.3%. The open-circuit voltage is 30.36 V and the short-circuit current is 10.41 A. This panel can be used with a maximum system voltage of 1,500 V and with operating temperatures ranging from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius. The power temperature coefficient is -0.35% per degree Celsius.

The company provided a comparison with its largest CIS product – the SFK190-S module with nominal power of 190 W– which measures 1,257x977x35mm and weighs in at 18.5kg. Its higher weight, compared to the new monocrystalline product, depends on the use of the thin-film technology that, despite its lower environmental impact, gives birth to heavier panels. The SFK190-S module has an efficiency of 15.5% and its temperature coefficient is -0.33% per degree Celsius. The maximum operating system voltage is also 1,500 V.

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The manufacturer said that the SFB250-88A panel has almost the same compact size as the CIS modules of the SFK series but noted that it offers a 22% higher yield.

The module is available for sale in the Japanese market starting from today. It comes with a 20-year performance guarantee, with an annual degradation rate of 0.7%.

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