LeTID in PERC Solar Panels and why quality is worth paying for

In a previous blog post about PERC solar panels we discussed what PERC actually means and whether you should be buying a PERC solar panel for your Sunshine Coast solar power system. Since then further information about a serious potential issue with some PERC solar panels has come to light – namely LeTID.

LeTID stands for Light and Elevated Temperature Induced Degradation which has been shown to cause severe and permanent power losses of up to 10% in some PERC solar panels. LeTID, is a form of solar system cell degradation which is accelerated by high irradiance at higher temperatures (such as those experienced on the Sunshine Coast) after hundreds of hours of light exposure – it is not the same as LID (Light Induced Degradation).

LeTID is a complex subject and currently there is no consensus on what actually causes the phenomenon to occur however it is clear that quality components and manufacturing can reduce or even eliminate the issue. Mandatory testing for LID is being introduced by the IEC however some manufacturers such as REC are already testing their products to ensure they meet and surpass the required standards.

As you can see from the table below testing of both the REC TwinPeak and REC Peak Energy panels show no signs of LeTID and the degradation rates are well within the IEC test results.

LeTID test results of REC panels

It should be noted that REC has had PERC cells in mass production and installed out in the field for much longer than any other manufacturer and now has over 2 GigaWatts of PERC products installed around the world in different and demanding climates.

In this time, not a single solar panel has been notified or returned to REC with an LeTID defect.

In addition to this testing REC conducts annual degradation tests on its solar panels and even in Singapore which has the highest recorded average temperature for the longest period none of the the REC solar panels showed any signs of LeTID.

For more information about LeTID and REC Solar panels please read this Whitepaper on the subject.

If you are considering a PERC solar panel for your solar power system then ask to see LeTID test results from the salesperson and if they can’t supply them ask yourself if it is worth buying an unproven product?

At SunWorks Solar Sunshine Coast we passionately believe that using quality components coupled with a quality installation really does make a difference – it might cost a little more but as Benjamin Franklin once said “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

For a quality residential or commercial solar power system for your home or business contact us today.