PERC or IBC?

Solar Options

Two Types of Photovoltaic Cells

Both Available from SunPower and Solaron

The solar industry has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, constantly developing more efficient panels and technologies to convert sunlight into electricity. As with most industries, multiple technologies develop at the same time, each offering benefits and perhaps a few challenges. In the solar field, there are two technologies that lead the industry in providing the most power and efficiency for homes and businesses.

What are PERC Solar Panels?

PERC stands for “Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact”. They are an improved version of conventional solar cells. PERC cells have an added layer on the back side of the cell, so that any sunlight reflected from behind the cell can be caught and turned into electricity. It effectively allows a second chance to catch missed sunlight, adding 6 to 12 percent more efficiency to the solar panel. PERC cells are manufactured like conventional solar cells, which means the same equipment and processes are used in their production. With their increased efficiency, it takes fewer PERC cells to generate the same amount of electricity as conventional cells, which means fewer panels are necessary.

Both conventional panels and PERC panels use metal ribbons that connect the cells. With hot and cold temperatures, these ribbons expand and contract. As years go by, that fluctuation sometimes compromises the connection between the cells, resulting in less generation of electricity.

Since Solaron installs Maxeon solar panels from SunPower exclusively, you get an array of 104 solar cells generating electricity in every panel. If any of those connections become compromised and your efficiency drops below acceptable levels, your panels are backed by a 25-year comprehensive warranty. Not only that, but we replace the metal ribbons in their PERC panels with conductive adhesive, which endures the expanding and contracting of temperature changes much more effectively.

What are IBC Solar Panels?

“Integrated Back Contact” panels, or IBC panels, increase solar efficiency even further. Instead of using metal ribbons to connect the cells, IBC panels use a layer of tin-plated copper along the back of all the cells, making a durable foundation as well as a reliable connection. Maxeon IBC panels offer more than 20 percent higher efficiency than their PERC counterparts and their degradation rate is much lower than any other panels on the market – 2 to 3 times lower – offering more performance in both higher temperatures and shady situations.

IBC technology uses more material and also needs a different manufacturing process than conventional or PERC panels. As a result, it costs more to produce them. Though their up-front cost is higher, so is the return on your investment. Compared to conventional solar panel systems, IBC panel systems of the same size create 55 percent more energy within 25 years. Not only that, but the IBC panels installed by Solaron are also covered by SunPower’s 25-year warranty.

The Best of Both Worlds

That’s one of the many reasons Solaron is proud to work with SunPower exclusively – they are unmatched in bringing efficiency and technology, offering you the best photovoltaic power for your home or business. SunPower offers PERC or IBC panels made by Maxeon, and Solaron is happy to install either option for your solar panel system. If you still have questions as to which option is best, we’re here for you. Give Solaron a call or schedule a free solar home analysis with our online form. Take advantage of working with the leading company and the leading technologies in the solar industry!

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