The solar module manufacturer Astronergy is upgrading production at its Frankfurt (Oder) factory to 5-busbar technology. Thanks to additional contacts on the front of the cells, these modules offer more power than 4-busbar modules while also improving reliability. With the inclusion of these new modules, known as “PENTA”, in its product portfolio, Astronergy is following a trend in the premium sector. The new modules will be available from summer 2017. Five conductive tracks improve efficiency across the same surface area
Thanks to an additional conductor, modules with five busbars feature a larger cross section and thus lower series resistance, making them more efficient. “With our new PENTA modules produced in Germany, we are increasing our share of modules in the highest available power classes,” explains Paul Ji, who took over as Managing Director for Astronergy Solarmodule GmbH in Frankfurt (Oder) at the beginning of the year. The price per watt peak remains the same for the customer, and modules will continue to be plus-sorted in 5 watt-peak increments. “Additional efficiency gains are possible with more than 5 busbars, but these gains are too marginal for us to take up in production,” according to Ji.
By increasing redundancy, the 5 conductive tracks also improve the reliability of the modules: “If the conductive tracks or contact fingers are disrupted during the lifespan of the module, other tracks are available to safely ensure continued power flow,” explains Ji.
Production changeover will be completed by the end of July
Upgrades to the five production lines at the highly automated factory in Frankfurt (Oder) will begin in June 2017. As 5 rather than 4 busbars must now be soldered at the connection points in the same amount of time, a new soldering technique is needed to keep throughput constant.
Changeover should be complete by the end of July. Beginning in August, all of the modules in the Astronergy product portfolio will be available with 5 busbars – in both mono and polycrystalline versions as well as in a “black” edition, which appears entirely black and meets the highest aesthetic standards. Astronergy’s new module series has been tested and certified by TÜV Rheinland and is particularly robust in the face of adverse weather conditions.
Customers can continue to count on the comfort they expect from Astronergy
For customers who receive Astronergy modules directly via wholesale, little will change: The exterior dimensions of the modules remain identical. Although the Violin and PENTA series are technically compatible, Astronergy will continue to keep 4-busbar modules in stock during the transition period, meaning that it will still be possible to exchange and replace individual Astronergy modules.