Maxeon’s New Silicon-based Solar Panels Coming Out This Summer

Headquartered in Singapore, solar manufacturer Maxeon Solar Technologies Ltd. announced today that it will release a new line of frameless, thin, lightweight, glass-less, and flexible silicon-based solar panels this summer called Maxeon Air. The panels will be made available in select European markets in the second half of 2021, before a general global release in the first quarter of 2022.

Maxeon proudly states that the new panels, which are structurally advanced but equivalent to standard solar panels in terms of efficiency and performance, to be a result of five years of research, development and testing. Maxeon Air solar panel will be presented to the public during “The Smarter E Industry Days” on July 21-23.

Jeff Waters, CEO of Maxeon Solar Technologies, said, “For close to fifty years, the solar power industry has almost exclusively utilized glass superstrate panel construction. As solar panels have increased in size, and the cost of solar cells has been dramatically reduced, the cost of transporting, installing and mounting large glass panels has become a relatively larger portion of total system cost.” He adds that with Maxeon Air technology, the company can now develop products that reduce these costs while opening up completely new market opportunities such as low-load commercial rooftops.

The company claims that Maxeon Air solar panels are conformable, ultra-light, robust and fire-certified panels that can be adhered directly to the roof without the need for racking or other mounting systems. The first product introduction using the technology will target installation on roofs that are not engineered to support the weight of conventional solar systems. In Europe alone, the company estimates that there is an unserved annual market for low-load roofs of over 4 GW.

The several innovative features of the panels include:

  • Lightweight and conformable: Metal frames and heavy glass aren’t used in the panel, and the resulting installed weight of around 6 kg/m² is less than half of conventional systems and greatly reduces the rooftop load.
  • Peel-and-stick design: The factory integrated adhesive layer enables the installation of the solar panel directly on the roof surface, reducing installation time and minimizing business disruption.
  • Robust construction: Engineered to conform to uneven roof surfaces, these solar panels integrate Maxeon® IBC solar cells, which incorporate a solid metal foundation and stress relieved cell interconnects, thereby protecting against corrosion and enabling fault tolerant circuits that allow energy flow even with cracked cells.
  • Leading Energy Yield: Maxeon IBC solar cells are the most efficient on the market, as a result of which the solar panels are 20.9% efficient and shade tolerant and deliver maximum energy yield from limited rooftop area.
  • Hot spot resistance: Maxeon IBC solar cells have the unique ability to share current in reverse bias voltage while shaded, avoiding damaging or dangerous high temperatures. This feature is particularly important when panels are adhered directly to the rooftop.
  • Certified: Engineered to the highest safety standards and certified for fire resistance, Maxeon Air solar panels are designed to resist the stresses imposed by installation and long-term weather exposure.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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