LG’s back-contact PV module is now available

At a solar trade show awash with modules, LG unveiled two models that are helping to raise the bar on technology designs for the industry. At the Solar Power International trade show, LG announced that its most powerful model, the NeON R 60-cell solar panel in 350W, 355W, 360W, and 365W versions based on back-contact technology, is now commercially available. This puts LG in competition with SunPower, which is the only company to date to produce back-contact cells & modules at a significant scale.

Additionally the company unveiled its 365W NeON R ACe, which sports a on-board Enphase microinverter plus WiFi communications. The NeOn R ACe will be available in early 2018, according to Ju Hwan Yun, the principal engineer for the solar system development team and solar R&D lab at LG Electronics in Korea.

The R model with a 365W configuration offers 29 percent more power than a conventional panels with a 290W rating. Another feature of the R model is what LG calls the “include the highest wind/snow load rating in the industry,” with a spec sheet citing 125 pounds per square foot for the front of the module.

With a wifi communications system the R ACe model cuts costs compared to panel makers that still string wire to carry communications signals, notes Yun. Among other features of the R ACe model is an on-board set of connector cables tucked into the sides of the portrait-oriented frame.

Both models are designed for the long haul, using N-type cells with virtually no boron content, unlike conventional p-type solar modules, so Light Induced Degradation is reduced significantly, LG notes.

“As the solar technology space continues to evolve we are proud to offer one of the highest power output modules for residential applications,” said Stephen Hahm, vice president and head of LG Electronics USA’s Energy Solutions business, in a press statement.