The newest solar panel technology was on display at Solar Power International in Las Vegas. The biggest attention getters were higher efficiencies and bifacial – but there are other technologies- cut cells, string ribbons, anti-soiling coatings, and solar tiles – that also deserve some time in the limelight.
On this site, there is a huge amount of attention going toward the Tesla Solar Shingles, with installations just starting to appear in the wild, but there are plenty of other good-looking panels in the silicon sea!
First off – solar roof tiles from Hanergy – Hantiles. I’ve seen product like this in pictures on the internet, but never seen them in real life. Hanergy launched the product back in July. The company produces Hantiles by encapsulating thin, flexible thin-film solar cells into ultra-clear float glass. It claims the PV cells in Hantile offer a conversion efficiency rate of 16.5% at the production level, with a target of 17.5% by the end of 2017. One gentlemen standing next to the table admiring the product with me, suggested it’d be a real challenge for Hanergy to get these approved to be used as building materials in the USA. If approval occurs – I’d bet a lot of people would be interested in a premium 16.5% efficiency, beautiful product on their roof. Pretty cool.