Jinko enters the residential solar game with a bang

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Chinese module manufacturer Jinko Solar has unveiled a few details about its newly-launched all-black monocrystalline module for residential PV projects, the first purely residential module ever released by Jinko.

The company describes the new product as an all-black, n-type panel with 405W of power output and a conversion efficiency of 21.22%. The modules are exclusively designed for the residential PV segment. Jinko has claimed that they are “one of the world’s most powerful residential solar panels.”

The new product also features a black backsheet and black frames for a particularly sleek appearance that matches rooftops, the manufacturer said, without disclosing more technical details.

As with any high power density panel, this new offering from Jinko will make it easier for customers and project developers to squeeze as much generation as possible out of limited rooftop space. This is especially important in markets like Florida and the greater American South, where the humid climate requires the use of air conditioning nearly year-round, leading to especially high energy consumption.

As for how significant of a power density upgrade this new panel represents, pv magazine spoke to a residential installer who shared that the average residential installation utilizes panels in the 340W range, meaning this new product from Jinko is, on average, delivering 16% more power.

As was true with the 500W panels discussed last week, the biggest hurdle between release and becoming the industry standard for these panels will be price. Reducing installation size and the amount of panels used ultimately drives down balance-of-system costs, but these subtractions are negligible if the cost per panels increases significantly.

The advantage of all-black panels is that metal grid-lines are generally not visible on the surface, which makes  them easier to visually integrate into roofs. With their full black appearance, the panels can also be used to meet particular architectural requirements. However, they are slightly less efficient than traditional modules for residential applications.

One installer also shared that a portion of all-black panels’ popularity is purely aesthetic and that customers are often drawn to the sleek look.

Jinko Solar launched its polycrystalline Eagle Black module series in early 2016.