Canadian Solar Comes with PERCs
As we approach the close of 2016, two trends have garnered enough interest in the minds of installers to become part of the national module discussion.
The shift from polycrystalline to a more affordable high-efficiency monocrystalline Passivated Emitter Rear Contact (PERC) technology and
the significant increase in consumer demand for solar brands they recognize.
Throughout 2016 and transitioning into 2017, Civicsolar has watched as Canadian Solar remained a leader in both the advancement of solar module technology and achieving the operational efficiency necessary to produce a more affordable module. All the while, Canadian Solar has taken steps towards realizing the company’s vision for a more sustainable future through the advancement of solar technology. Now, Canadian Solar is looking to share its success with consumers.
The Shift to a Superior Cell: Poly to Mono PERC
Once an R&D concept that could only be showcased in solar trade show booths, Monocrystalline PERC technology is finally a reality. What was previously considered a relatively high cost up-sell when compared to budget friendly polys has now been dramatically reduced as a result of continuous tech advancements and economies of scale.
A conventional crystalline silicon solar cell has two layers: the base and the emitter that are protecting the interface between them. As seen in the photo below, PERC technology is different because it enhances the cell's ability to capture long wavelengths typical of the morning and late afternoon sun. The passivation layer reflects light back into the cell, capturing more amperage per cell. According to GreenTech Media, “PERC cell efficiency claims 19.8 percent to 20.4 percent, while standard p-type multi-production line efficiency is in the range of 17.2 percent to 17.8 percent.”
By offering this technology, Canadian Solar has successfully bridged the gap between high power output and affordability. For installers looking for first-class power density modules that homeowners will also like to look at, the 290 black modules are the best of both worlds.
As solar continues to become a commodity product, aesthetics, and brand recognition become a higher priority in the minds of consumers. Brand associations can frequently be connected to the environmental initiatives a company is making in order to have a positive impact on the planet. This cognisance imparts a demand on manufacturers to be simultaneously reliable, bankable and sustainable in their practices.
Many homeowners are realizing that choosing Canadian Solar has a larger impact than the energy it saves in their home because Canadian is taking additional steps to reduce its environmental impact as a company. This past month, the Canadian Solar team released their 2015 Corporate Sustainability Report which reveals their commitment to social and environmental sustainability. Some actions included in their dedication to sustainability include decreasing Canadian Solar's water consumption per Megawatt (MW) and a 33.4% increase in solar energy generation at manufacturing sites since 2014. To CEO Dr. Shawn Qu, the rapid 51.6% growth in 2015 module sales translates to Canadian Solar’s larger vision of moving the energy economy toward renewable solar. Consumers are noticing and excited to share with their communities, “I have some Canadians on my roof” one Austin, Texas homeowner said proudly of his PV system.
Canadian Solar is achieving its goal of contributing to the foundation of a more sustainable future by broadening access to breakthrough solar technology at affordable prices. This leading PV manufacturer is doing more than just making solar modules, it is promising to make a difference for integrators, installers and energy consumers in order to create a brighter, more sustainable tomorrow.