Mobile Access

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by Justine Sanchez

With a record-breaking 2,826 megawatts of PV installed worldwide in 2007, the global PV market experienced a 62% jump over 2006, according to a Marketbuzz report. In the United States, the PV market grew by an impressive 57%. New PV module manufacturers are coming online every month, while existing producers are building new manufacturing plants. This increased competition has given way to an overall increase in production and the introduction of a number of new modules to the market.

With all these new modules hitting the PV scene, figuring out which ones will be available to the residential PV market can be challenging (see "Commercial PV Trend" sidebar). In 2007, we published "The Perfect PVā€”Home Power's 2007 Solar Electric Module Guide" (HP121). Now we've updated that guide with modules available as of September 2008.

How to Use This Guide

The table of PV modules on the following pages includes Underwriters Laboratories-listed crystalline modules that are 100 watts or larger (under standard test conditions, STC), and UL-listed thin-film options of 60 W and larger. Once you know the PV module options, you can match modules to your particular application. Understanding how to interpret PV module specifications will help you make the best choice to suit your PV system goals and help optimize performance over the system's lifetime. On the following pages, you'll find detailed descriptions of each specification and how it's related to PV system design parameters. (Note: In some instances, manufacturers may change specifications for a particular model.)

Every PV technology, like this Kaneka amorphous silicon module, has its appropriate application.

Every PV technology, like this Kaneka amorphous silicon module, has its appropriate application.

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