SunPower solar panels review 2023: Maximum efficiency
Stories of big companies that start with one scientist conducting experiments in a lab are special. They are inspiring in how they prove the importance of creativity, hard work, and devotion to the craft. The story of SunPower, the manufacturer of the most advanced PV modules in the world, is like this. Learn more about the brand and its product in our SunPower solar panels review.
SunPower history: Silicon Valley breakthrough
Stanford, California, 1985. Richard Swanson, an electrical engineering professor at Stanford University, experiments with solar cells in the lab. His tests go so well that he breaks a record for cell power efficiency. This inspires him to take a sabbatical and start a solar company that he names Eos. Then it will change its name to Sunpower and become a company with the most efficient solar panels in the world.
Richard Swanson is credited for creating Swanson’s law,an observation that solar cell decline by 20% for every doubling of solar panel industry capacity.
Almost 40 years later SunPower is still headquartered in Silicon Valley. Richard Swanson retired in 2012 but remains on the advisory board. The company provides solar systems and batteries, primarily for residential customers. Technically, SunPower doesn’t make panels anymore since it spun off this part of its business in 2020 as Maxeon Solar Technologies in Singapore, but we’ll look at their products as if it is one company.
SunPower technologies: Shingled design
American engineers use a wide range of modern technologies to drive up the output of their solar cells. One of the most impressive examples is shingled design.
To make a shingled solar panel, engineers slice cells into several strips and overlay them to create an electrical connection between them. It’s a bit like laying shingles on a roof. A shingled solar panel doesn’t need busbars or thin metal connectors. The panel gets a more uniform look and becomes more durable.
The best thing about shingled design is the way it improves the shading tolerance of a panel. Cells in a standard panel are connected in series which means that their performance depends on one another. Shingles are connected in parallel which makes them independent. In general, a shingled solar panel is 40% better at fighting shading than a standard panel.
Making shingled solar panels is difficult and expensive which is why so few manufacturers use this design — the only one that immediately comes to mind is Solaria.
SunPower Maxeon panels: Efficiency no matter the cost
SunPower Maxeon offers monocrystalline panels primarily for residential projects. There are high-output PV modules and bifacial panels but they aren’t the main FOCUS of a company. The brand also experiments with thin-film panels: for example, Maxeon Air is a highly anticipated flexible panel for home that should come out soon. Besides, SunPower designs solar systems and offers energy storage solutions
SunPower solar panels for home reach the highest conversion rates that are possible at the moment. The panels are just shy of 23% efficiency. If your space is limited and your energy needs are high, high-efficiency panels are what you need.
SunPower Maxeon always takes top places in rankings like “Top-10 solar panels” and “Best manufacturers”. The customer reviews for their panels are overwhelmingly positive which shows how stringent quality control is in the company.
The quality and efficiency of SunPower Maxeon panels come at a cost. They are undoubtedly among the most expensive on the market, if not the most expensive ones. They cost from 1.5 to 3 per watt in the US before installation. When you include labor, shipping and equipment expenses, a system made with SunPower panels can cost 5 per watt or more.
SunPower warranties: Up to 40 years
The warranties from SunPower Maxeon deserve a special mention. The brands offer 40-year coverage for their products which is something that no one else does. The engineers claim that you are 100 times more likely to return a standard solar panel than the product from SunPower Maxeon.
The coverage includes repair, replacement or refund for any defective panel for 40 years, including the removal, shipping and installation. It also covers the performance of a panel: the panel retains 88.3% by the year 40. There are nuances though:
The warranty applies for the SunPower Maxeon product line. SunPower Performance panels get a standard 25-year warranty for product and performance. The 40-year warranty is only available to customers in certain countries. Luckily, the USA is on this list. Customers in Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and Sweden are also eligible. Your system has to be registered. Otherwise, it is covered by a standard 25-year warranty.
What stands out the most about SunPower Maxeon panels — except everything? Here is the list of the most impressive advantages:
The highest efficiency. SunPower panels are known for being the most efficient in the industry which means that they are able to convert more sunlight into electricity. By the end of 2022, the highest number they reached was a 22.8% conversion rate. Top-notch warranties. The brand offers a 40-year product and performance warranty for certain models and 25-year warranties for all the rest. The panels retain over 88% of their power output after 40 years. Amazing quality and great reputation. SunPower solar panels reviews are overwhelmingly positive and the brand is beloved by experts and customers. American design. The panels are assembled in Asia, but the design comes from American engineers. Besides, it’s nice to know that the history of a company stems from Silicon Valley and the genius of Stanford professor. Wide product line. SunPower Maxeon offers panels primarily for residential installations, but there are also flexible panels, high-output modules for commercial installations, and bifacial panels. The company offers energy storage systems as well.
What’s not ideal about SunPower Maxeon panels? This list is going to be short but it can’t be omitted:
High cost. Maxeon and SunPower solar panels are undoubtedly among the highest on the market, if not the most expensive ones. They cost from 1.5 to 3 per watt before installation.Residential projects emphasis. While the company offers panels for commercial systems and mobile solar installations, it’s not their specialty. As a result, Sunpower panels for these applications aren’t as advanced and competitive as, say, high-output modules from Jinko Solar or flexible panels from Renogy.
SunPower solar panels overview: For home, business and travel
We’re itching to take a look at the panels that SunPower Maxeon puts out on the market. Our engineer is going to join us and share his thoughts as well.
SunPower panels are a dream for engineering nerds because there is so much work and creative decisions. You can find IBC cells that LG used as well, or shingled panel design that I’ve seen with Solaria panels, and many more.
Maxeon 3 DC, 430 W — Put it on your house roof
Here is a basic panel for home installations from Maxeon SunPower with 430 W power output. Its conversion rate reaches 22.7% which puts it among the most efficient panels on the market. The panel comes with a 40-year warranty for product and performance and you can expect it to retain over 88% of its power by the year 40.
SunPower Performance 5 UPP Bifacial, 545 W — Use it for your business
A bifacial panel from SunPower Performance line is designed for large commercial installations. The front side is rated for 545 W output with 20.9% efficiency. The active rear side provides up to 20% bonus production. Shingled solar panel design increases the shading tolerance of a panel and contributes to the stylish appearance of the panel. The panel comes with a 25-year warranty for product and performance.
SunPower SPR-E-Flex-110, 110 W — Take it on the road
Here is a 110 W flexible panel from SunPower — a great choice for your camper or boat. The panel flexes up to 30° and it doesn’t require drilling — you can fix it with the help of adhesives. The panel features back contact cells which increase the active area of solar cells and improve the look of a module. It is designed in the USA and assembled in France. The panel comes with a 5-year limited power warranty of 80% of the minimum specified power rating.
A1SolarStore recommends Maxeon 6 AC (E4), 440 W
Here is an AC panel from SunPower Maxeon that comes with a preinstalled microinverter from Enphase. The panel provides 440 W of output with 22.8% efficiency.
AC panels are easier to install than standard DC modules. Micro inverters also provide better efficiency and lower power losses caused by shading, compared to string inverters. Their monitoring capabilities are also superior. The inverter from Enphase works at 96.5% efficiency. The panel comes with a 40-year warranty from SunPower for product and performance. There is also a 25-year product warranty for the micro inverter which is covered by Enphase.
A1SolarStore verdict: SunPower Maxeon solar panels are next level
We’ve looked at the history of SunPower, the technologies that it utilizes, the panels that the brand offers, and discussed their pros and cons. It’s time to summarize everything in a list:
SunPower is an American brand founded in 1985 by Stanford professor Richard Swanson. SunPower designs solar systems and energy storage systems. It spun off solar panel manufacturing as Maxeon Solar Technologies. American engineers utilize a variety of different technologies, such as IBC cells and shingled design, to maximize the production of their panels. As a result SunPower panels are the most efficient ones on the market, reaching up to 22.8% conversion rate. They are also among the most expensive on the market. SunPower panels can come at up to 3 per watt in the US before installation. Shingled design makes SunPower panels 40% more resistant to shading, compared to standard panels. Maxeon SunPower panels come with a 40-year warranty for product and performance for several models. The rest comes with 25-year warranties. The system has to be registered to be eligible for 40-year coverage. The best panels from SunPower Maxeon retain over 88% of their power output after 40 years in service. SunPower has an excellent reputation and is beloved by experts and customers. SunPower Maxeon offers panels for all kinds of projects, including flexible PV modules for mobile installations. Residential projects are their specialty.
What more is there to say? SunPower is an excellent brand. Yes, the panels are impressively expensive. But hey, when SunPower makes them this powerful, this high-quality, this good — they have a right to set the bar. With that, we end our SunPower solar panels review 2023 and we’ll be back with more.
Maxeon still has sights set on U.S. solar manufacturing hub
Maxeon Solar Technologies, the solar panel manufacturing spinoff of installation company SunPower, has a complex American origin story, but its modules aren’t especially popular in the United States. The organization is trying to change that by increasing production at its Mexican module assembly plants and scoping sites for a U.S. manufacturing hub. The demand is there, said Maxeon CEO Jeff Waters in an exclusive Solar Power World interview, but of course everything is dependent on U.S. trade laws and climate legislation.
Since the split from SunPower in 2020, Maxeon has only had access to the U.S. residential and small commercial market through its exclusive supply agreement with SunPower. Through the end of 2022, SunPower dealers can only install Maxeon panels and Maxeon can’t work with any other U.S. residential installers. Beginning in 2023, Maxeon will have the ability to sell products into the residential market and SunPower will have the option to source non-premium panels from other manufacturers.
Solar panel assembly at Maxeon’s facility in Mexico
In the utility-scale market, Maxeon has mostly been shut out due to its Chinese manufacturing partners. When Maxeon set out on its own, it received an investment from Chinese silicon wafer manufacturer Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co. Through the joint-venture, Maxeon has a steady supply of wafers and the ability to assemble modules nearby. That Chinese involvement has made Maxeon’s entrance into the U.S. utility-scale market difficult.
“By virtue of them being produced in China, we really couldn’t sell them into the U.S. because of tariffs and AD/CVD, so we’ve been excluded from the U.S. market,” Waters said. “Soon after we spun off, we started looking into the potential for us to build a panel for that Performance series that could go into the U.S.”
Maxeon has two product families: Maxeon solar panels for residential and light commercial, and Performance solar panels for cost-sensitive markets and utility-scale installations. The Maxeon panels use interdigitated back contact (IBC) technology and are the premium panel class that SunPower installers are familiar with. The Performance line uses shingled, mono-PERC cells and has a bifacial offering.
To get the Performance panels into the U.S. utility-scale market, Maxeon shifted production of PERC cells to its Malaysian facility and expanded its module assembly capacity at its plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to 1.8 GW. Taking production out of China has already led to major U.S. supply contracts: Cypress Creek has agreed to take 300 MW, Origis Energy and Total Energies both signed for 400 MW each and the nearly 1-GW Gemini project outside Las Vegas will use Performance panels.
Solar panel assembly at Maxeon’s facility in Mexico
“This gives us a great avenue into the U.S. that allows us to sell cost-competitively and avoid a lot of the tariff issues,” Waters said. “We found there is a huge appetite to work with a Nasdaq-listed, public company that has more traditional Western business practices when it comes to long-term contracts and business dealings. We’ve had an immense amount of demand for product coming out of [Mexico].”
Greater volume in Malaysia and Mexico was Phase 1 of Maxeon’s U.S. plans. Phase 2 is opening a 3-GW cell and module manufacturing plant in the United States. The company first announced the U.S. manufacturing plans in early 2021 and has been waiting on favorable legislation (like the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America [SEMA] Act) to pass through Congress ever since.
“When we calculated the cost increase due to producing in the United States — and it’s not just labor, it’s everything from infrastructure to energy costs — you need those incentives that were in SEMA to justify producing in the United States, otherwise the cost delta is just far too much,” Waters said. “For us, we want to go big in the United States — 3 GW. Doing that in the United States would be a shot in the arm for the solar supply chain. We know there’s activity going on with others trying to get into ingot wafering and other parts of the supply chain, so we hope that we can be a part of building this tidal wave to get a supply chain back up and running here in the U.S.”
Maxeon has also applied for a Dept. of Energy loan through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 Title XVII program. The DOE loans, which have previously gone to “ground-breaking” projects like early utility-scale installations, stipulate the recipient be working with new or significantly improved technologies. Maxeon is complying with that requirement with its next-generation product that Waters said is “a new technology that’s not done in China or broadly across the [other solar panel brands].” Specifically with Maxeon 7, the company is innovating back-end metallization processes.
“We’ve told the DOE we’re waiting on SEMA to come through. If they come through mid-year, we’re aggressively prepared. We’re already doing final site selection and looking at how to construct the plant as fast as we can,” he said. “If it were mid-year 2022 approval on SEMA and the DOE loan guarantee, you would see us being in production early 2024.”
The U.S. factory would likely set up in the Southeast to serve the eastern side of the country while the Mexicali facility will continue to supply the West.
Until then, Maxeon continues its global reach. It released the thin, frameless, glassless solar panel Maxeon Air to the European market and bumped its performance warranty outside the United States to a 40-year guarantee. Success in Europe, Asia and Australia could eventually lead to the U.S. market — ultimately where Maxeon wants to be a leading player.
About The Author
Kelly Pickerel has over a decade of experience reporting on the U.S. solar industry and is currently editor in chief of Solar Power World.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
My experience with Mexican made electronics and auto parts is they are inferior quality products. It makes me hesitant about them and might just use Q Cells instead on my current project.
Is Maxeon considering making futher supply chain changes (cell supply) due to the AD/CVD Auxin petition investigation? I find the timing of this article rather ironic, due to the fact that these potential 50-250% duties will hurt any module manufacturer sourcing cells from SE Asian named countries.
I’m still trying to confirm whether or not Maxeon uses Chinese parts. While they weren’t named in the suit, it appears that they do. Their defense is that they have premium pricing. That’s not what the suit is about.
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SUNPOWER Maxeon 3 Solar Panel Instruction Manual
Home » SUNPOWER » SUNPOWER Maxeon 3 Solar Panel Instruction Manual
FROM MAXEON SOLAR TECHNOLOGIESNEW REVISION: VSafety and Installation Instructions
This document includes references to Maxeon E-series (SPR-Eyyxxx), X-series (SPR-Xyy-xxx), P-Series (SPR-Pyy-xxx, SPR-P3-xxx, SPR-Pyy-xxx-UPP, SPR-Pyy-xxx-COM-M-BIF), SPR-MAX2-xxx, SPRMAX3-xxx, SPR-MAX5-xxx PV Modules. Do not mix E, X, MAX2, MAX3, MAX5, P Series, P3. P5 and P6 in one System. All module series does not require functional grounding and are compatible with transformer-less inverters (ref. section 4.1)
This manual provides safety and installation instructions for IEC-certified Maxeon photovoltaic modules carrying the TUV logo on the product label (Figure 1).
Important! Please read this instruction sheet in its entirety before installing, wiring, or using this product in any way. Failure to comply with these instructions will invalidate the Maxeon Limited Warranty for PV Modules.1.1 Disclaimer of LiabilityThe installation techniques, handling and use of this product are beyond company control. Therefore, Maxeon does not assume responsibility for loss, damage or expense resulting from improper installation, handling or use.1.2 Conformity to International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards This product meets or exceeds the requirements set forth by IEC 61215 Edition 3-2016 for PV Modules, as well as IEC 61730 Edition 1 and 2 series for Class II applications. The IEC Standard covers flat-plate PV modules intended for installation on buildings and those intended to be freestanding. This product is not intended for use where artificially concentrated sunlight is applied to the module. This manual shall be used in combination with industry-recognized best practices. Modules should be installed by certified professionals only.1.3 Limited WarrantyModule limited warranties are described in the Maxeon warranty document obtainable at www.sunpower.maxeon.com. Please read this document for more information. Warranties do not apply to any of the following; PV Modules subjected to: (i) misuse, abuse, neglect or accident;(ii) alteration or improper installation (improper installation includes, without limitation, installation or array that does not comply with all Maxeon installation instructions and operations and maintenance instructions of any type (as may be amended and updated from time to time at Maxon’s sole discretion), and all national, state, and local laws, codes, ordinances, and regulations);(iii) repair or modification by someone other than an approved service technician of Maxeon;(iv) conditions exceeding the voltage, wind, snow load specifications; and any other operational specification;(v) power failure surges, lightning, flood, or fire; (vi) damage from persons, biological
MAXEON SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES, LTD.Safety and Installation Instructions – Document 001-15497 Rev.V activity, or industrial chemical exposure; (vii) glass breakage from impact or other events outside Maxeon’s control.
Before installing this device, read all safety instructions in this manual.Danger! Module interconnects pass direct current (DC) and are sources of voltage when the module is under load and when it is exposed to light. Direct current can arc across aps and may cause injury or death if improper connection or disconnection is made, or if contact is made with modular components that are damaged. Do not connect or disconnect modules when current from the modules or an external source is present.
- Cover all modules in the PV array with an opaque cloth or material before making or breaking electrical connections.
- Do not disconnect any modules when its inverter is feeding into the grid. Switch off the inverter before disconnecting, reinstalling, or making any action with the modules.
- For connectors, which are accessible to untrained people, it is imperative to use the locking connectors and safety clips, if applicable, in order to defend against untrained personnel disconnecting the modules once they have been installed.
- All installations must be performed in compliance with all applicable regional and local codes.
- There are no user-serviceable parts within the module. Do not attempt to repair any part of the module.
- Installation should be performed only by qualified personnel.
- Remove all metallic jewelry prior to installing this product to reduce the chance of accidental exposure to live circuits.
- Use insulated tools to reduce your risk of electric shock.
- Do not stand on, walk, drop, and scratch or allow objects to fall on the glass surface of the modules.
- Damaged modules (broken glass, torn back sheet, broken j-boxes, broken connectors, etc) can be electrical hazards as well as laceration hazards. Contact with damaged module surfaces or module frames can cause electric shock. Damaged modules should be immediately disconnected from the electric system. The module should be removed from the array as soon as possible and contact the supplier for disposal instructions.
- Unconnected connectors must always be protected from pollution (e.g dust, humidity, foreign particles, etc), prior to installation. Do not leave unconnected (unprotected) connectors exposed to the environment. A clean assembly environment is therefore essential to avoid performance degradation
- Do not allow the connectors to come in contact with chemicals such as greases, oils and organic solvents which may cause stress cracking.
- Do not install or handle the modules when they are wet or during periods of high wind.
- Do not block drain holes or allow water to pool in or near module frames
- Maxeon recommends to not mixing 160mm cells and 166mm cells modules in a cosmetically sensitive application.
- Contact your module supplier if maintenance is necessary.
- Save these instructions!
The module electrical ratings are measured under Standard Test Conditions (STC) of 1 kW/m² irradiance with AM 1.5 spectrum and a cell temperature of 25 °C. Maxeon modules have specific electrical characteristics as shown on the datasheets. A photovoltaic module may produce more current and/or voltage than reported at STC. Sunny, cool weather and reflection from snow or water can increase current and power output. Therefore, the values of Isc and Voc marked on the module should be multiplied by a factor of 1.25 when determining component voltage ratings, conductor ampacities, fuse sizes, and size of controls connected to PV output. An additional 1.25 multiplier may be equired by certain local codes for sizing fuses and conductors. Maxeon recommends the use of open-circuit voltage temperature coefficients listed on the datasheets when determining Maximum System Voltage.
Modules may be connected in series and/or parallel to achieve the desired electrical output as long as certain conditions are met. Please use only the same type of modules in a combined source circuit. Even if allowed by local regulation, Plug and Socket connectors mated together in a PV system must be of the same type (model, rating) from the same manufacturer i.e. a plug connector from one manufacturer and a socket connector from another manufacturer, or vice versa, shall not be used to make a connection. Maxeon recommends that all wiring be double insulated with a minimum rating of 85° C (185° F). All wiring should use flexible copper (Cu) conductors. The minimum size should be determined by the applicable codes. We recommend a size not less than 4mm. The insulation type should be appropriate for the type of installation method used and must meet SCII (Safety Class II) and IEC 61730 requirements. To minimize the risk of indirect lightning strikes (Voltage surges), the system should be designed to avoid loops in the wiring. Maxeon recommends a conservative minimum bending radius (R) 5x cable diameter must be maintained and must not be bent on the direct exit of the connector or junction box. Avoid exposure of electrical connections to direct sunlight and do not place the connector in a location where water could easily accumulate. Installers must refer to the connector manufacturer’s instructions for further installation and connection requirements. Connectors are factory assembled with intentional gaps between the cable nut and the body of the connector. Do not retighten module connector nuts as this may lead to stress cracking of the connector assembly and will void the warranty.4.1 System Equipment GroundingPlease refer to the applicable regional and local codes on grounding PV arrays and mounting frames for specific requirements (e.g. lightning protection). Module TypesSPR E, X, P series modules and our Maxeon and Performance Product Line are compatible with Transformer Less (TL) inverters when used as an ungrounded PV source.No frame grounding requirements (including functional frame grounding), but may be subjected to local regulation. Functional system grounding of polarity (positive or negative) is optional and may be subject to local requirements. E Series:SPR-Eyy-xxx SPR-Eyy-xxx-BLK SPR-Eyy-xxx-COMX Series:SPR-Xyy-xxx SPR-Xyy-xxx-BLK SPR-Xyy-xxx-COMP Series/ Performance Product Line:SPR-Pyy-xxx-COM SPR-Pyy-xxx SPR-Pyy-xxx-BLK SPR-P3-xxx-COMSPR-P3-xxx-COM-1500 SPR-P3-xxx SPR-P3-xxx-BLK SPR-Py-xxx-UPPSPR-Py-xxx-COM-M-BIFMaxeon Product Line:SPR-MAX2-xxx SPR-MAX2-xxx-COM SPR-MAX3-xxx SPR-MAX3-xxx-BLK SPR-MAX3-xxx-COM SPR-MAX5-xxx-COMNote: If you are installing an older Module Type than the above-mentioned, please refer to the different/previous applicable Safety and Installation Manual.If you are doing a frame grounding connection, avoid the direct contact between Aluminum and Copper using an intermediate metal like stainless steel or tin.4.2 Series ConnectionThe modules may be wired in series to produce the desired voltage output. Do not exceed the maximum system voltage specified in the module datasheet.4.3 Parallel ConnectionThe modules may be combined in parallel to produce the desired current output. The series string must be fused prior to combining with other strings if the resulting maximum reverse current exceeds the fuse rating as shown in the datasheets. Bypass diodes are factory installed in the modules. Please refer to the applicable regional and local codes for additional fusing requirements and limitations on the maximum number of modules in parallel.
The Maxeon Limited Warranty for PV Modules is contingent upon modules being mounted in accordance with the requirements described in this section.
5.1 Site ConsiderationsMaxeon modules should be mounted in locations that meet the following requirements:Operating Temperature: All Maxeon modules must be mounted in environments that ensure Maxeon modules will operate within the following maximum and minimum operating temperatures:
Care should be taken to provide adequate ventilation behind the modules, especially in hot environments.Shading: Modules should be installed so that permanent shading of cells is avoided and partial shading that may occur during certain times of the day or year is minimized. Permanent shading is defined as a shade that is cast over the same position (of constant area) of the solar module throughout the generation hours of the day. Shading may induce in certain cases strong energy production reduction, even in the case of small shading, and should be avoided as much as possible, especially at mid-day when the production is maximum.Design Strength: Maxeon modules are designed to meet a positive or negative (upward and downward, e.g. wind) withstanding test pressure load and a negative (or downward, e.g. static load or snow load) withstanding test pressure load, as per IEC 61215 when mounted in the configurations specified in Section 5.2 and Tables 1.2 or 1.3 below.When mounting modules in snow-prone or high-wind environments, special care should be taken to mount the modules in a manner that provides sufficient design strength while meeting local code requirements.Additional authorized Operating Environments: Modules can be mounted in the following aggressive environment according to the test limits mentioned below Salt mist corrosion testing: IEC 61701 Severity 6 Ammonia Corrosion Resistance: IEC 62716 Concentration: 6,667ppmExcluded Operating Environments: Certain operating environments are not recommended for specific Maxeon modules and are excluded from the Maxeon Limited Warranty for these modules. No Maxeon module should be mounted at a site where it may be subject to direct contact with salt water, or another aggressive environment. Modules should not be installed near flammable liquids, gases, or locations with hazardous materials; or moving vehicles of any type.Performance Series Mounting OrientationPerformance Series (P-Series) modules are designed to be installed in landscape orientation. In landscape orientation, P-series modules maintain higher power under row-to-row shading and edge soiling.5.2 Mounting ConfigurationsMounting system must provide a flat plane for the modules to be mounted on and must not cause any twist or stress to be placed on the Module, even in case of thermal expansion.Modules may be mounted at any angle from horizontal to vertical. Select the appropriate orientation to maximize sunlight exposure. Maxeon recommends for a good performance of the system (reduction of soiling effect/water pooling) a minimum of 5˚ tilt angle.The cleaning frequency must be increased for modules installed with a very low angle.commercial modules (96 128 cells) frames have permanently attached stacking pins located a 20mm zone on the long side frame at 388-408 mm (“D” area in Figure 2). Mounting system hardware used with commercial modules must account for the presence of these stacking pins (see Table 2).Specific information on module dimensions and the location of mounting and grounding holes is provided in Figures 2 and Table 2. In order to prevent water from entering the junction box, which could present a safety hazard, modules should not be mounted such that the front/top glass faces downward (e.g., on a tracking structure that positions the module with the junction box facing skyward during sleep mode).We also want to remind you that the watertightness is not ensured by the modules but by the mounting system and that drainage should be well-designed for Modules.Clearance between the module frames and structure or ground is required to prevent wiring damage and allows air to circulate behind the module. The recommended assembling clearance between modules installed on any mounting system is a minimum of 5 mm distance.When installed on a roof, the module shall be mounted according to local and regional building and fire safety regulations. In case the module is installed in a roof-integrated PV-System (BIPV), it shall be mounted over a watertight and fire-resistant underlayment rated for such application Module mounting systems should only be installed on buildings that have been formally considered for structural integrity, and confirmed to be capable of handling the additional weighted load of the Modules and mounting systems, by a certified building specialist or engineer. The mounting system supplier shall manage the galvanic corrosion which can occur between the aluminum frame of the Modules andthe mounting system or grounding hardware if such devices is comprised of dissimilar metals. The module is only certified for use when its factory frame is fully intact. Do not remove or alter the module frame. Creating additional mounting holes or removing the stacking pins may damage the module and reduce the strength of the frame, therefore are not allowed. Using mounting Clamps or clips with additional grounding bolts or grounding metal sheets could be in compliance with this Safety and Installation Instructions manual subject to conditions of Section 4.1 Modules may be mounted using the following methods only:
- Frame Holes: Secure the module to the structure using the factory mounting holes. Four M6 or M8 stainless steel bolts, with nuts, washers, and lock washers are recommended per module. Bolts are to be fastened according to racking supplier recommendations. Refer to Table 2 for the module dimensions and mounting hole locations. (Please refer to the arrows in Table 2, E1E2E3E4).
- Pressure Clamps or Clips: Mount the module with the opposite clips on the longer and/or shorter side of the frame of the module. The clips allowed location should be according to Table 1.1. Installers should ensure the clamps are of sufficient strength to allow for the maximum design pressure of the module. Clips and clamps are not provided by Maxeon. Clamps must apply force collinear with the ‘wall’ of the module frame and not only to the top flange. Clamps shall not apply excessive force to the top frame, warp the top flange, or contact the glass- these practices void the module warranty and risk glass breakage. Figure 1a Force must not deform top frame flange or glass may break illustrates locations for top frame clamp force. Avoid Force has to be applied in line with frame wall clamping within 50mm of module corners to reduce risk of frame corner deflection and glass breakage. When clamping to the module frame, torque should never exceed 15 N.m to reduce the chances of frame deformation. A calibrated torque wrench must be used. Mounting systems should be evaluated for compatibility before installation especially when the system is not using Clamps or clips. Please contact Maxeon for the approval of the use of nonstandard pressure clamps or clips where torque values are Figure 1a: Clamp Force Locations higher than otherwise stated.
- End Mount: End mounting is the capture mounting of the length of the module’s shorter frames with clamps on each shorter side of the frame. Three different configurations are possible: 1) with two mounting rails under the complete length of each shorter side of the Modules, (See Table 1.2), 2) with two mounting rails parallel to the long side of the Modules (See Table 1.2) and 3) without any mounting rail (See Table 1.2). The end-mounting rails and clips or clamps (identified as A(1234) in Table 1.1) must be of sufficient strength to allow for the maximum designed test pressure of the module. Verify this capacity with the mounting system of vendor before installation.
- Hybrid Mount: Combination with clamps or clips located on longer or shorter sides of Modules are also possible, see Table 1.2 for allowed configurations. In any case, four clamping points are needed.
- Maxeon specified or Maxeon-supplied mounting systems. Modules mounted with strict adherence to Maxeon documentation, using hardware systems supplied by or specified by Maxeon.
Figure 2 and Table 1.1 below demonstrate the mounting locations andTables 1.2 and 1.3 give allowed load ratings (designed test value) forMaxeon modules.Figure 2: Mounting Zone locations for Maxeon modulesFor 96 cells, P-Series,104 and 112 cells:
Table 1: Approved module clamping/direct fixation zones
D – There is a 20mm zone at 388-408mm from the corner where mounting is not allowed due to the module stacking pin feature. Not applicable for all P19 Series, all P3Series, 96 cells residential modules, all 104 cells and MAX5 modules.1) No part of the module clamp may extend beyond this area.Figure 3: Mounting Configurations
Configurations 1 and 2 show mounting with rail support, and 3 and 4 show mounting without rail support. In “With Rail Support” the rails become conventional or rails transverse while “Without Rail Support” becomes end mounted on the long or short side. In the case when the glass deflects it would not deflect in the rails for additionalsupport.Table 1.2: Mounting Zone Design Load Ratings for Racking system without rail support underneath the module. Refer to configurations 3 and 4 in Fig.3
5400Pa is allowed with clamps and mounting rails along the longer side of the frame: 2400/2400Pa are allowed with clamps and mounting rails along the longer side of the frameFor Rooftop application, 1200/1200Pa is allowed with only clamps Safety factor of 1.5 includedTable 1.3: Mounting Zone Load Ratings for Racking system with rail support. Refer to Configuration 1 and 2 in Fig.3
Figure 4: Mounting Zone Locations for Performance modulesFor P3, P5 UPP and P6 BIF:
2 Refer to Table 2 for different mounting hole locations3 Safety Factor 1.5 included4 IEC validated5 Minimum washer size of 24mm in diameter is required.5.3 Bifacial GainVarious environmental and installation parameters affect the bifacial gain. Albedo is a measure of the amount of light reflected from the ground surface. A higher albedo factor will increase irradiance on the backside and result in a higher bifacial gain of the module. The surface conditions, the month of the year, time of day, GHI, and DNI both influence the amount of incident rear-side irradiance. Maxeon recommends checking with the solar module mounting hardware suppliers in order to determine the Structure Shading factor of your particular installation. The Structure Shading Factor varies with racking system design, irradiance, albedo, and height of module installation above ground and has an overall impact on the rear side irradiance mismatch. The Rear side mismatch losses are proportional to the albedo, height of the modules above ground, and structure shading factor. The irradiance non-uniformity on the rear side results in mismatch generally as the albedo increases and the installation height of the modules is lower to the ground.5.4 Bifacial Electrical ConsiderationsThe overall electrical bifacial gain is determined by the combination of albedo, irradiance, shading losses from the rear side, rear side mismatch, and height of installation above ground. Please refer to the Maxeon datasheet for the electrical outputs with respect to the overall bifacial gain. Please utilize a suitable performance software package to simulate the overall bifacial gain.5.5 Handling of Modules during InstallationDo not place modules face forward in direct contact with abrasive surfaces like roofs, driveways, wooden pallets, railings, stucco walls, etc…The module front surface glass is sensitive to oils and abrasive surfaces, which may lead to scratches and irregular soiling. During storage, modules need to be protected from rain or any kind of liquid. The required storage temperature is between 10°C to 40°C in a dry environment (humidity between 30 to 80%). Do not store modules outdoors to avoid moisture and wet conditions. Modules that feature antireflective coated glass are prone to visible fingerprint marks if touched on the front glass surface. Maxeon recommends handing modules with anti-reflective glass with gloves (no leather gloves) or limiting touching of the front surface. Any finger print marks resulting from installation will naturally disappear over time or can be reduced by following the washing guidelines in Section 6.0 below. Any module coverage (colored plastic tarps or similar) during installation can lead to permanent front glass discoloration and is not recommended. The use of vacuum lifting pads can cause permanent marks on the front glass. Never lift or move the module using the cables or the junction box under any circumstances. Shading incidence needs to be avoided during PV system operation. The system is not supposed to be energized until the mounting scaffolding, fences or railing have been removed from the roof. Systems should be disconnected in any cases of maintenance that can cause shading (e.g. chimney sweeping, any roof maintenance, antenna/dish installations, etc).
Maxeon recommends visual inspection on a regular basis of all modules for safe electrical connections, sound mechanical connections, and free from corrosion. This visual inspection should be performed by trained personnel. The standard frequency is once a year according to environmental conditions, periodic cleaning of modules is recommended but is not required. Periodic cleaning has resulted in improved performance levels, especially in regions with low levels of annual precipitation (less than 46,3cm (18,25 inches)). Consult your dealer or supplier about recommended cleaning schedules for your area. To clean a module, wash it with potable, non-heated, water. Normalwater pressure is more than adequate, but pressurized water up to 100 bar (min.50 cm distance) may be used. Maxeon recommends using a large hosepipe and not performing cleaning at high outside temperatures. Fingerprints, stains, or accumulations of dirt on the front surface may be removed as follows: first, rinse off the area and let soak for a short period of time (5 mins). Re-wet and use a soft sponge or seamless cloth to wipe glass surface in a circular motion. Fingerprints typically can be removed with a soft cloth or sponge and water after wetting. Do not use harsh cleaning materials such as scouring powder, steel wool, scrapers, blades, or other sharp instruments to clean the glass surface of the module. Use of such materials or cleaning without consultation will invalidate the product warranty. As dry cleaning is also risky for Anti-Reflective (AR) coated module surfaces, a spinning brush is not recommended for module cleaning.Table 2: Module Frame Details
Measurement Tolerances are /-3 mm for the Length and Width of the Module.
Contents of this manual are subject to change without notice. In case of inconsistencies or conflicts between the English version and any other versions of this manual document), the English version shall prevail and take control in all respects. For the latest Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America, and Africa please refer towww.sunpower.maxeon.com/int/PVInstallGuideIEC
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