Equipment and products that enable us to use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels and conventional electricity are highly beneficial. Examples include solar thermal systems, solar electric (photovoltaic) systems, and wind turbines. Other power generation equipment, such as fuel cells and some energy storage systems (like batteries) are included here because they help us accommodate varied energy sources so that we may eventually move beyond fossil-fuel dependence.
Hanwha SolarOne monocrystalline, multicrystalline, and building-integrated PV (BIPV), PV modules are manufactured by the company from crystal growth through module production, in contrast with many other companies, which buy components. SolarOne modules are appropriate for residential, commercial, or utility-scale use. Its standard mono- and multicrystalline modules are available in 170–195 watt and 195–220 watt versions, respectively. Its all-black models are intended for residential and small commercial use where a more “streamlined” look is desired; and its BIPV modules can be incorporated into walls, windows, roof skylights and other applications. Hanwha SolarOne’s modules come with a –/+3% power tolerance and a 25-year performance warranty.
Choose a photovoltaic (PV) system to fit your energy needs, budget, and the space you have for installing the modules.
Crystalline modules are proven, efficient, and reliable, and produce the most power per square foot, especially during peak hours. You can get these as mono- or polycrystalline products and the lesser-known ribbon technology. They don’t work well on cloudy days or in high heat, however.
Monocrystalline modules are the most efficient rooftop mounted systems, with some modules reaching 20% efficiency. So if you don’t have much space for a PV installation or want maximum power production, these are a good choice. Polycrystalline modules are almost as efficient as monocrystalline, and they are less expensive, so these are a good option for those on a tighter budget or with a little more space for the modules. Thin-film PV is less efficient than crystalline, and less expensive, too.
Thin-film works well in low-light conditions and in high temperatures so over the course of a year can create more power than crystalline PV per rated capacity, but because the rating capacity is lower for the same area, you’ll need a lot more room on the rooftop to have that much capacity. Amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), and copper indium selenide (CIS)/copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) are the major technologies.
GreenSpec lists PV modules that have high warranted minimum power ratings—the amount of power the company guarantees the module will produce—and high PTC (PVUsa test conditions) efficiency ratings, which are considered more of a “real world” representation of performance. PTC ratings are used by the California Energy Commission to determine rebates and are usually several points lower than the STC (standard test conditions) ratings.
Ratings and Commentary