There’s been a long ongoing debate about the who is the world’s leading solar panel manufacturer between LG and SunPower. It’s been mainly focused on efficiency and I think most people agree SunPower wins with the X series and the latest Maxeon 3 panels boosting efficiency above 22%, while the flagship panel from LG, the Neon R cranks in close behind at 21.7%.
But what about other factors like cost, reliability and what’s more practical and easier to install? What I’m talking about is panel voltage. This is big issue in Australia with a 600V limit on domestic rooftop installs, and this is where I believe the LG Neon R wins. The LG is a 60 cell panel which operates at a much lower voltage than the SunPower panels (which are now at 104 cells! Up 8 cells from the previous 96 cell E and X series).
Check out the specs below:
Sunpower is almost double the Voc so when working out the maximum number of panels in a string we are looking at:
SunPower- strings of 7 panels for the Sunpower!
LG Neon R - strings of up to 13 panels for the LG!
The high voltage on the Sunpower panels can make it difficult to design an suitable array as most solar inverters have only 2 MPPT inputs, so 2 strings of 7 using the most powerful Maxeon 3 is only 5.6kW. There is always the option of parallel strings but with a max input current of 12A on many inverters, and a current rating on the Maxeons of 6.05A then this exceeds the current rating!
This begs the question - is the SunPower Maxeon 3 voltage too high to be practical!?
LG Neon R