Mitsubishi Electric Making High-Output Solar Panels for Major Overseas Markets

The new lineup comprises modules with outputs of 210, 220, 225, 230 and 235 watts. Shipments will begin on January 15, 2010. The new high-output modules use lead-free solder and incorporate PV cells with four bus bars.

Using the new cells in combination with an increased module size achieves a power output of up to 235 watts per module. Larger output means that fewer modules are needed to build a system, helping to reduce total system cost.

The new models will be on display at the 24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition starting September 21, 2009 in Hamburg, Germany, and also at Solar Power International 2009 on October 27, 2009 in Anaheim, California, USA.

Product Overview

The global PV systems market has been rapidly expanding due to increasing environmental concerns, as seen in worldwide efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to prevent global warming. Especially in Europe, where many countries have adopted a Feed-in Tariff system, and in the United States, which has recently seen an expansion in government subsidies, there are many large PV plants built mainly for the purpose of receiving returns on investments. As a result, there is a growing demand for PV modules with higher output.

Main Features

1) Use of four bus bars increases output from each PV cell. By increasing the number of bus bars from two to four, the internal resistance in each PV cell has been reduced, increasing individual cell output by 3 percent compared to those used in Mitsubishi Electric’s previous models.

To use four bus bars, however, each bus bar needs to be narrowed so that the cell can collect enough sunlight, which makes it difficult to connect each cell in the interconnecting wire soldering process with automated equipment. Mitsubishi Electric has overcome this difficulty by developing a high-quality graphic sensing technology that increases the accuracy in cell alignment.

2) Larger module size delivers greater module output
By increasing the number of cells used in each module from 50 to 60 in addition to the use of four-bus-bar cells, module output power increased by up to 24 percent per module compared to Mitsubishi Electric’s 190-watt module. As a result, the number of modules needed to build a system can be reduced, saving on installation parts and labor costs.

3) Optimized frame design withstands a load of 5400Pa based on IEC static load test
The newly designed frame can endure force of approximately double that of Mitsubishi Electric’s previous models. Even with their larger size, the new models have passed the IEC static load test of 5400Pa, which is a standard for PV module performance established by the International Electrotechnical Commission. The new frame has also been designed to facilitate a wider variation of installation methods.

4) 4-layer junction box
Mitsubishi Electric has developed a 4-layer junction box based on the company’s current triple-layer junction box design, increasing the module’s overall safety and reliability. UL V-0 certified potting material, a metal barrier cover, and a plastic resin cover were used to cover the electrified area inside the junction box. In the new design, a 4th layer, an extremely heat-resistant and flame-retardant sheet, was added to the inside of the metal cover.

5) 100% lead-free solder
Like previous Mitsubishi Electric PV modules, the new models continue to use only 100-percent lead-free solder, for less environmental impact than traditional PV modules.
About Mitsubishi Electric

With over 80 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products to both corporate clients and general consumers all over the world, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) is a recognized world leader in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and building equipment. The company recorded
consolidated group sales of 3,665.1 billion yen (US$ 37.4 billion*) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009.

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