Michael Harre, Vice President of EU Solar Business Group at LG Electronics talks to AZoM about high performance neon modules for solar power use.
How does the new high-performance Mono XTM Neon module work?
The module is based on N-type cells and provides 20 per cent more output than the current module, Mono X™. The mounting process is also easier for installers thanks to reduced weight and improved assembly mechanisms. With this module, the focus is on the bi-facial cell, which does not only capture the light from the front, but also the light reflected from the back sheet onto the cell back side, increasing both light yield, but also the energy and financial return for the solar power user.
How does this new module fit in with your sustainability strategy?
LG plans to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases used by its products to 30 million tons annually, and by 150,000 tons by 2020. The company has reduced the use of harmful substances in its manufacturing processes, a fact that has been recognised by TÜV Rheinland of Europe and UL of US.
The new modules have an improved power output per m2, meaning fewer modules are needed to produce the same amount of energy; therefore, fewer modules need to be manufactured. As a result, we can produce a lot more kWh with a lot less material and thus contribute to our sustainability strategy.
Can you discuss the in-house improvements that have helped improve the performance of this technology?
In-house improvements have been achieved through LG’s heavy capital and personnel investments in research and development. The Mono X™ NeoN module uses sunlight from both the front and the back sides of the solar cell. In addition LG raises the performance of the modules to an efficiency degree of up to 18 per cent by the use of the N-type cells. Installers profit from reduced weight, sturdy frames and a handy form factor.
What would you say is the core focus of this technology to help increase the light yield, energy and financial return for the solar power user?
LG’s N-type technology has high-efficiency modules that provide customers with significant economic benefits. LG also offers sterling warranty policies, including a ten year product cover and a 25 year linear power warranty.
Based on long-term investment, how have anti-reflective coatings, anti-reflective glass, and temperature coefficient helped increase the efficiency of LG’s modules?
Double anti-reflective coatings on the cell, anti-reflective glass, reduced temperature coefficients and bi-facial cells result in higher energy yields than conventional modules. Basically, these 3 AR effects – double AR coating on cell as well as AR coating on the cover glass – result in more photons making it into the cell and contributing to producing more electric power.
How does the anodised aluminium frame make this equipment ideal for extreme weather conditions?
Anodising is an electrochemical process that gives the frame a durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. All frames on the Mono X™ Neon are anodised to lengthen the product life cycle. A thick and dense oxide (SiO2) helps protect modules from extreme weather conditions.
What is the main output performance of this Neon module?
Peak performance with Mono X™ Neon is between 280 and 300 watts per 60-cell module. Right now, main power classes are already 285/290 Wp per module.
Can you describe the main areas of application for this technology?
The key markets for LG Solar in the UK are the residential sector, along with small to medium sized businesses. The LG Solar product suites are a higher quality product and suit the residential market. Of course, the higher efficiency also makes it attractive for industrial applications, so that the target market segment of NeoN is not limited to residential.
How do you plan on developing this milestone to support a future of greater sustainability with your products?
The Mono X™ NeoN has the highest power output per m2 of any LG Solar products. LG Solar will continue to build on the improvements made for this product to continually reduce the modules required to achieve the same high level of system performance.
How is solar technology transforming the market and will this change your R&D efforts for your products?
Solar technology is at the heart of the renewable energy debate. More and more people
and businesses are looking at ways that they get to take more control over energy production. For homeowners, there’s a sense of environmental responsibility; for businesses there is a real issue of de-risking their organisation through a reliance on external energy providers. All in all, residential and industrial customers invest in solar to be able to have their future energy bill under their own control and contribute to environmental protection.
The research and development within LG will continue to be focused on optimising the efficiency of each unit, to ensure that the technology is accessible to anybody.
What are the key industry players in the market saying about your products?
In Europe, we serve the “who’s who” of specialist PV distributors. Many of these have been in the business for more than 15 years. They are highly impressed with the technological advancements LG Solar has shown over the last three years.
While LG Solar’s average efficiency of 60-cell mono modules was 235 Wp in 2010, it is now at around 285 Wp. Normally, manufacturers have only been able to increase their module power by 5 Wp per module and year. LG has clearly outperformed competitors and this is what makes distributors highly interested in working with LG.
Where can we find further information on your products and services?
You can find more information on the LG Solar website or by emailing [email protected].
About Michael Harre
Michael Harre has been Vice President of the LG European Solar Business Group since 2011. LG’s Solar group produces solar cells, modules and solutions in the pioneering renewable energy market. Michael Harre is directing a rigorous expansion plan for the company.
Prior to joining LG, Michael Harre held the position of Chief Sales Officer at SCHOTT Solar AG. He has also held a board position at the Department of International Marketing and Sales of Photovoltaic Modules and Receivers for Solar Thermal Power Plants for ten years.
From 2008 to 2010 he was an elected board member of EPIA, the world's largest photovoltaic industry association. In 2009 he was appointed to the Energy Advisory Board of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate.
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