SunPower Maxeon 5 AC Modules Structure: Wake Up Earlier, Go to Bed Later – so You Save More
As we learned with energy yield, home solar systems face a range of much non-ideal conditions to produce energy throughout their lifetimes:
- Hotter operating temperatures since they are on the roof in the sun.
- Sunlight is not always perfectly clear – clouds, pollution, as well as the shift in colour at sunrise and sunset all change the intensity and colour (or spectrum) of light throughout the day.
- The sun is only directly overhead for a few minutes. Think of the low sun in early mornings, early evenings, and throughout the winter.
When these conditions change, your savings from solar power can vary greatly. However, Maxeon 5 AC solar panels are designed to capture these non-optimal hours of the day. This design enables SunPower systems to deliver more energy than systems made with conventional panels1 National Renewable Energy Lab measurements. Green, M., et al., "Solar cell efficiency tables (version 36)" Progress in Photovoltaics, 18(5), 46-352. , even from the same rated watts. Let’s take a look at how it works…
How SunPower Maxeon 5 AC Modules Structure Produces a Higher Energy Yield
1. SunPower Maxeon panels are more receptive to blue light typical during cloud cover, and to red light which occurs early or late in the day.
This is thanks to both the cell design and high quality anti-reflective glass on the panel’s surface. Being receptive to a broader spectrum of light means Maxeon panels produce more energy when the sun is at a lower angle. The effect is especially pronounced during the winter months and in northern latitudes, as our 2018 blog confirmed on a home in Sweden. On that home, Maxeon panels generated yield of 111% (kWh/kW) versus a nearby conventional system that generated 99% yield with the same watts, and comparable roof azimuth and slope. Monitoring data showed that the Maxeon panels typically produced energy between 15 minutes and 2 hours before and after the conventional panels, resulting in more energy and higher returns.
2. The integrated Enphase microinverter activates your solar system at very low levels of power, producing higher energy yield on cloudy days and during sunrise and sunset
The microinverter is powerful device which sits behind each individual Maxeon AC solar panel, enabling the DC solar panel to produce AC power for use in your home. Like Maxeon panels, the Enphase microinverter also gets up earlier and works later than conventional options, thanks to Enphase Burst Mode™. Burst Mode requires only 22 volts of DC to activate your solar system, producing higher energy yield on cloudy days and during sunrise and sunset. These complementary advantages of the Enphase microinverter and the Maxeon AC solar panel enable your system to harvest more energy over a longer period of the day.
While these power output advantages might not seem important to a system in an ideal location, it can also make a huge difference to homeowners to capture light in variety of situations like these:
- Non-ideal roof orientations facing away from direct sun for part of the year
- Partial shade to the roof from the homeowners’ chimney or favourite tree
- Roofs with skylights or roof windows
- Multi tilt roofs which are not big enough for full string systems
These concerns could have eliminated a house from being suitable for solar in the past. The power and flexibility of the SunPower Maxeon AC module system can provide new options for this type of homeowner.
A Powerful and Flexible Solution
Not all home solar systems are the same. An advanced home solar system can produce more energy, more simply and reliably than conventional solar. The SunPower Maxeon 5 AC Module System – with industry-leading 25-year warranty coverage on the module and the microinverter – is an elegant solution that simply works harder for your home, delivering more energy yield over the life of your system. Learn more.