Solaria designs, develops and sells high-performance, high-efficiency solar panels and systems for residential and commercial applications.
Founded in 2000, Solaria was one of the early innovators of next-generation “shingled” solar panels, a groundbreaking technology in which cells are cut, overlapped (shingled), and more densely packed into the panel. This allows for a substantially higher-power, higher-efficiency panel than conventional options. Solaria began developing shingled products in 2014 and has amassed over 250 issued and pending patents in the field.
The PowerXT® – more power, higher performance
Solaria’s PowerXT® panel was introduced on to the market 2016. It is a high-performance, high-density module (“HDM”) that produces up to 20 per cent more power than a conventional alternative.
The PowerXT® also provides a visually attractive all-black appearance compared to conventional models on the market today. When designing the PowerXT®, the company looked at conventional options and saw the deficiencies in the older established technology.
Conventional panels tend to fail because of manufacturing quality and material selection, which can lead to the premature corrosion of the cells and rapid power loss. Solaria started with the most rigorous manufacturing protocols and quality of materials and redesigned a more energy-efficient, reliable and beautiful looking product.
What makes the PowerXT® stand apart from conventional panels is its technology. Conventional designs use copper strings to connect the cells. When exposed to temperature changes, copper expands and contracts significantly. This puts strain on the points where the cells are connected and are the leading cause of power degradation over time.
Solaria eliminated the need for copper strings by developing a “shingling” technique. The brand then patented technology to cut solar cells into five equal strips. The strips are aligned with a very slight overlap, like the shingles on your roof, and attached using an electrically conductive adhesive.
The shingling technique allows the panel to be more flexible and adapt to environmental stressors like wind, rain and snow, contributing to the efficiency and longevity of the panel. Shingling also enabled Solaria to achieve an all-black look to its panels by hiding the visible circuitry under the overlapped cells, unlike in conventional designs where the circuitry is readily visible.
Combatting conventional challenges
Another common failure point in conventional panels is shade tolerance – for example, from trees or neighbouring buildings. Conventional panels are broken down into three sections. When just 10 per cent of the panel is shaded, the energy output drops to zero. PowerXT® panels, on the other hand, are broken down into 20 sections.
If 10 per cent of the PowerXT® panel becomes shaded, the energy output remains at 90 per cent. When put through an outdoor test at one of Solaria’s third-party testing facilities, the PowerXT® produced 64-83 per cent more energy when shaded compared to conventional panels. Solaria’s higher efficiency technology means more power per square meter area, reducing the number of panels, mounting components and installation labour. These facts, coupled with the all-black design, makes the PowerXT® one of the most cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing residential systems on the market backed by a 25-year product and power warranty.
Up until recently, the power output of conventional designs for residential installation was around 250 watts. Through extensive research and development, Solaria significantly increased the power output of residential panels, while at the same time, creating a beautiful all-black design. Solaria’s newest Innovation and design from Silicon Valley is produced in South Korea for the Australian market, launched in 2020 is the 365-watt PowerXT®.