PERC Technology – what it is and why you’ll want it!

If you work in the solar industry, chances are you’ve heard buzz about PERC technology. PERC has been a game changer for monocrystalline solar modules. With PERC solar cells, mono modules are generating higher power outputs than we have ever seen on the mainstream market – up to 10% more power than older technology. How is this possible?  Let’s explore how PERC works and a few of its benefits.

PERC’s History

PERC stands for “Passivated Emitter Rear Contact.” Although the buzz about PERC is relatively recent, the technology has been around for quite some time. An Australian scientist named Martin Green and his team at University of New South Wales developed the technology in 1983. However, it was difficult to translate the laboratory application of PERC to manufacturing operations. Recent innovations in cell materials have brought PERC out of the lab and into the solar module market. However, because the technology is new to the world market few manufacturers have successfully developed a PERC panel.

How PERC Technology Works

In a nutshell, PERC technology creates higher power outputs by allowing more light to penetrate the cell. Older cell technologies focused on maximizing the light captured at the surface of the cell. With PERC, a “passivation layer” is added to the rear of the cell so light can be better captured throughout the cell. This layer also has reflective properties that allows light to bounce off the passivation layer and elsewhere into the cell. This produced additional energy (see illustration below).

Benefits of PERC Technology

An obvious benefit of PERC technology is that it allows for very high-power modules. To put it simply, the more power a module produces, the more money you save. You save on the number of modules you need to purchase, since fewer modules will be needed to power the solar array. This leads to lowered costs for the overall system. Fewer panels means less racking, wiring, combiner boxes and reduced labor hours. The overall BOS (Balance of Systems) costs can be reduced significantly by using a high-power panel.

We know our clients want to pack as much power as possible in order to dramatically reduce their energy costs.  To accomplish this, we have developed the MSE PERC 60 module. This product features a compact 60-cell design that makes it perfect for rooftop installations. Although the PERC 60 is smaller, it packs a lot of power – up to 305W. Our MSE PERC 72 is a bit larger but even more powerful, producing up to 365W.

Is PERC Right for Your Project?

Obviously, PERC is not for the best option for every project. That being said, it is more likely that PERC technology will add value to rooftop projects, projects with high cost of land, high cost of labor or other supplies. We have a team of experts that run models for our customers’ solar installations in order to determine the best product for their installation and, when applicable, validate PERC’s benefits over time. It has been demonstrated time and again that PERC’s benefits are substantial, translating to significantly decreased installation costs and significantly increased earnings over the lifetime of the installation.

Economic demand across the world for PERC panels has made supply in the US very tight. Mission Solar is in a group of elite panel manufacturers that provide steady volume of PERC panels to the US market, a point of pride for our organization. If you are interested in PERC modules or would like to learn more, we’d love to speak with you! Contact our sales team to schedule a meeting.