“Neon R” solar panel from LG breaks 21% efficiency

Flagship residential solar panel from LG breaks 21% efficiency, goes all black

LG is pushing out their upgraded “Neon R” and “Neon AC” solar panels to the residential solar market in the USA. The Neon R peaks at 365W and 21.1% efficiency in a 60 cell format. The Neon AC – with an integrated Enphase Microinverter – peaks at 330W and 19.3% efficiency. […]

The Neon R has two variants – the standard, higher efficiency, Neon R and the more aesthetically consistent Neon R Black. The standard R ranges from 355-365W per panel, while the R Black ranges from 345-355W – peaking at 10W less and 20.6% efficiency. The two panels are the same otherwise.

The ‘Black’ panel exchanges the white backsheet – see below in the two images – for a more aesthetically pleasing black backsheet. The physics of backsheet color means that prettier solar panels will cost you about 2.4% less wattage. You will also pay more for the Neon R Black versus the standard.

Neon R solar panel from LG styles




Compared to most any other ‘black’ solar panel that is sold for aesthetics, the Neon R has one extra step up – they’ve moved all of electrodes to the backside of the solar cell. This does two things – first, the panel hides all that highly reflective silver making for a more consistent dark panel, and secondly, it increases the total amount of silicon solar cell that gets directly hit by sunlight. That increases efficiency.

This AC panel does not have the pure black face of the Neon R panel, however, it does have an electrode technology – called Cello – giving it an efficiency bump. The electrodes are actually thin and round – taking up less space, and reflecting photons in a way that they can potentially be recaptured by the solar cells behind them.

“Neon R” solar panel from LG breaks 21% efficiency

Additionally, moving to many busbars – 12 and 30 – from the industry standards that are around 3-5 busbars, also increases effective panel efficiencies by lowering losses. Incremental efficiency increases outside of the solar cell itself, like the electrodes here, really excite us.

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