Rugged & flexible
Made in the USA
Why is this ground-breaking technology?
Given the limited available surface area on boats and the challenges of the marine environment, marine solar panels need the highest efficiency combined with rugged construction. The new Solbian SR+ panel by Merlin Solar is the first marine solar panel to use Panasonic’s Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer (HIT) cells, now the most efficient solar cells on the market. Common failure modes with conventional solar panels are microscopic (invisible to the naked eye) include cell cracking from flexing and thermal stresses (differential expansion and contraction of different materials in the panel); fracture of the intercell connecting grids; and delamination/water intrusion. Unique in the marine world, the Solbian SR+ panels use a patented energy collection grid and intercell connection system (MTAT) from Merlin Solar that (1) adds many more interconnection points on a cell surface than in a conventional panel such that microscopic cracking has little impact on energy collection; (2) incorporates a ‘spring’ effect that neutralizes the harmful effects of differential rates of thermal expansion and contraction; and (3) has a dramatically more rugged and reliable cell interconnect system than the conventional busbar approach. The panels are built for the toughest environments. Every cell is electroluminescence (EL) tested before incorporation in a panel. Every panel is EL tested following manufacturing to ensure there are no hidden flaws. The HIT cells + MTAT + EL = SR+, the most efficient and most rugged semi-flexible solar panels in the marine marketplace. SR+: a technically significant advance in efficiency and reliability for marine solar.