What’s The Big Hype About ⅓-Cut Solar Cells?

Residential PV consumers don’t often know the difference between modules' various options and technologies. Typically, they rely on the experience and knowledge of a solar installer. However, this isn’t to say that homeowners take the advice flat out, especially with competing price points on the table.


But homeowners should be aware of specific details about their rooftop modules, and by default, residential solar installers should also be knowledgeable of them. These details go beyond size, cost, installation requirements, etc., and should also include PV technology advances and innovations.


For instance, did you know that ⅓-cut solar cells provide additional efficiency? This fact alone is an attractive talking point, but the 210mm 405W Vertex S modules using ⅓-cut solar cells also offer additional flexibility for residential solar installers, which translates to more flexibility for homeowners.


The benefits of ⅓-cut solar cells represent a win for everyone, including the planet. But what else sets ⅓-cut solar cells apart from the rest?


Improving Efficiency and Thinking Ahead


Much as it sounds, a ⅓-cut solar cell is one cell cut into three even sections, making each cell smaller to include more cells per module and increase overall efficiency. Additionally, the ⅓-cut design means the solar cells can operate independently from each other to more consistently deliver peak performance from the module, regardless of temporary factors like shade. 


Now you might be asking yourself: “Since more cells per module lead to greater efficiency, then why wouldn’t module manufacturers make ¼-cut or even ⅕-cut solar cells?” This line of thinking raises a valid question, which Trina Solar has acknowledged in its ongoing efforts to devise an ideal residential solar module. It’s true that ¼-cut and ⅕-cut modules would provide slightly higher power ranges per module, but when optimizing an energy solution, there are additional manufacturing complexities to consider. 


Specifically, additional solar cell cuts require more bypass diodes for circuit protection within the module. More bypass diodes mean more raw materials, leading to additional costs and production timelines. When cost reduction goals are the main considerations for residential solar solutions (in addition to efficiency), it makes sense to keep the module as sleek and simple as possible. The ⅓-cut solar cells only require three bypass diodes to maintain an affordable cost and higher value for end users. Further, the design mitigates risks associated with upgrading that might occur down the road, all while maximizing the efficiency capabilities of today.


Furthering Solar Performance


Trina Solar has doubled down on efficiency, implementing the ⅓-cut solar cell design into the game-changing Vertex S residential modules. First, the Vertex solar module series lead the charge in size alone, boasting ⅓-cut solar cells on larger 210-mm wafers. Considering the standard wafers in the industry have traditionally been 166 mm, this is quite a leap forward. The Vertex modules take advantage of five columns of 30 ⅓-cut solar cells, making them wider and longer than traditional 72-cell modules but still compact and powerful for flexible rooftop PV systems. 


For added customer peace of mind, the 210 Vertex S modules come automatically covered by TrinaProtect, the industry-leading 25-year product and 25-year performance warranty program.


Simply put, Trina Solar’s residential solar solutions enable installers to appease their customers with peace of mind regarding their energy solutions. The highly reliable and efficient Vertex S and Vertex S+ panels deliver higher power gains and better customer value while setting a new standard for rooftop solar. 


Third-cut solar cells represent one of the ways that Trina Solar continues innovating and advancing the solar industry. Reach out to learn more about ⅓-cut solar cells or additional solutions Trina has introduced to encourage and accelerate rooftop solar adoption.

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