SolarEdge and Panasonic sitting in a tree…

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Panasonic likes to show off their products by showing off their projects – as in this list of solar power projects installed over the last couple of decades that use Panasonic HIT solar modules. The proof is in the pudding right?

SolarEdge, on the other hand, likes to show off their products by making everyone else’s product work better. That might be why they’re about to break 1 GW per quarter of shipped product, and expanding into all the important places in the solar power and energy storage market.

Launching this morning is a product of the two companies coming together to to make the Panasonic HIT solar module just a bit better with a factory installed SolarEdge optimizer – the new HIT S Series smart module.

Panasonic Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin Layer (HIT) solar cell

The manufacturers project that each module will generate up to 25% more electricity in its lifetime due to SolarEdge’s optimization of the module’s maximum power point tracker (MMPT). As the module has the optimizer integrated, it will also limit installation time once on site.

SolarEdge also notes that the optimizer attaches to the solar module frame versus the solar module junction box (see above image), meaning the optimizer can be removed without replacing the module. This is different than the P300J optimizer which replaces the junction box and permanently attaches to the solar module.

This ability to switch out the inverter without the module must have mattered to Panasonic significantly. When the company launched their updated HIT module in Europe at the beginning of 2018, they noted they had a failure rate of 0.0037% – 148 modules returns out of 4 million shipped.

Of particular interests to the staff writers of pv magazine is the continuing move of intelligent hardware to the solar module, as well whether or not this trend will build as Enphase’s AC smart module push grows.

The unit will be on display at the upcoming Solar Power International show in Anaheim, California at the end of the month. Watch pv magazine USA’s upcoming show coverage for images.