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Unlocking more solar power

Chasing high efficiency is only one half of the electricity generation equation. With dramatically rising energy costs – South Africa’s power utility Eskom is seeking a 32% price increase in 2023 – it is tempting to over-capitalise on solar generation for the long-term benefits. 

The cost of new technologies, however, could quickly erode your perceived savings and choosing the best option to balance the cost of generation (how much you pay for your setup) with electricity yield has never been more important. SOLARWORLD Africa (Pty) Ltd has, since 1984, seen the changing photovoltaic landscape in Africa and Qcells represent the biggest shift towards maximising the cost and savings benefit.

Gregor Kuepper, managing director of SOLARWORLD Africa, says: “From the start, SOLARWORLD has committed to ongoing innovation in the photovoltaic space, and has only partnered with manufacturers that understand our markets, offering solutions that meet and exceed expectations and seek long-term benefits and not just for the immediate future. The technology we see in Qcells is testament to this.”

Q.ANTUM DUO Z – the technology central to the Q.Peak Duo range of PV panels – is the culmination of evolution over generations of designs. First Q.ANTUM integrated a power reflector into the cell design for a seven percent increase, then Q.ANTUM DUO halved the cells to pack more into less space to gain an extra four percent. 

Now, in its final form, Q.ANTUM DUO Z reduces the gap between cells (the Z is for zero gap) for even greater cell density to maximise the gains over the lifecycle of the technology and add a further three percent electricity generation gain. 

That zero gap is also achieved by using round wires and not flat solder, which cuts down on busbar shading and allows for better generation when the sun is flatter on the horizon. This layout boosts module efficiency above 20 percent across the full range.

“Our long-term experience, as well as the feedback of our partners validates the approach to trust in top quality and advanced technology products to secure stable energy production over the entire lifespan of solar systems. Quality always pays off in the long run. With regards to the Qcells solar modules and technologies, our partners are confirming that Qcells products are outperforming the calculated yields, as well as the real performance of other products they used for installations in Southern Africa,” says Kuepper.

Kobus Engelbrecht, managing director of African Technical Innovations, has been working with the SOLARWORLD Africa team for several years, he believes Qcells not only delivers on its promises, but exceeds expectations. “It’s believed that Einstein said ‘Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it’. Whether or not he did actually say this is debatable, that this is the absolute truth is not debatable. A small increment in yield compounded over a long period of time has a significant impact, especially towards the end. We all want and expect our money to work harder and harder for us as time goes by. This is a concept that Qcells fundamentally understands. This is also a concept that cannot be achieved without the best quality in the world and once again a concept that Qcells live by.”

Qcells panels have solutions for rooftop and ground installations, and offer three key customer benefits:

Better use of space

Higher density of more efficient cells means more electricity generation from a smaller panel. This smaller footprint reduces overall storage and transport costs, and offers more installation flexibility

Higher performance and wider performance range

Round wire connections and the integrated power reflector increase internal reflection and reduce shading so that the sun’s energy is used more effectively. The reduced shading also widens the performance range by allowing for better use of the flatter rays when the sun is closer to the horizon in the earlier morning, later evening and over Autumn and Winter.

Better power/price performance

Qcells technology has evolved over time and isn’t introducing any expensive new substrates. By maximising efficiency within established manufacturing processes, these panels are saving costs throughout the value chain.     

These panels come with a manufacturer warranty of 12 years for the product and 25 years on the linear performance – Qcells expects units to deliver 86 percent of its stated power for up to 25 years. This confidence combined with extreme weather ratings for wind and snow make Qcells a sound investment for long term electricity generation.

For more information on Qcells, contact SOLARWORLD Africa via their website or call 021 421-8001.