LG Electronics is making the winning move with a premium product strategy in the photovoltaic (PV) module sector, which is being fostered as the company’s new growth engine. With technology advancing at a fast-growing rate, the company is chasing the established vendors – Germany’s SunPower and Japan’s Panasonic – in the premium PV module market, heralding the era of “three PV powers.”
The company announced on Nov. 9 that it will release its latest solar PV module, “NeON2,” in Korea by the end of this month. The 320W NeON 2 is a premium PV module with a double-sided cell structure boasting the world’s top efficiency rate of 19.5 percent for 6 in. (15.67 cm) N-type wafers with 60 cells.
High-efficiency additives, including electrical conductivity, are being used to produce the n-type wafer, but the fractional yield is lower than the general-purpose p-type wafer due to the elaborate process. Accordingly, it is classified as a premium technology. Currently, only some companies around the world, such as SunPower and Panasonic, have established the n-type production system.
The high efficiency of the NeON 2 can be attributed to its newly developed LG “Cello” technology. The innovative Cello technology consists of 12 thin wires instead of three bus bars, which offers significantly improved power output and minimized power losses.
Accordingly, when a 1 MW PV power plant is being built with the NeON 2, it will take 25 percent less space for installation than an existing normal efficiency 255 W module with 60 cells. Also, the NeON 2 is designed to withstand more than 1 ton of weight, designed to be durable enough for several decades of use.
The linear performance warranty of the NeON 2 stands at 92.6 percent after 10 years of installation and 83.6 percent after 25 years. Moreover, LG has extended the product warranty from the previous 10 years to 12 full years, strengthening after-sales service. For its “groundbreaking idea and technological innovation,” the LG NeON 2 was recognized in June by the Intersolar Europe Photovoltaics Award.