LG Solar Panels – Neon R series
LG Solar’s history dates back to 1958, when the company (then GoldStar) was founded. Only in 2004, after consolidating several solar research laboratories under the LG Electronics umbrella did it acquire its present name – LG Solar. In 2009 the company launched mass production of its PV cells and modules in their newly built factory in Korea. From the very beginning of the company’s work in the solar energy arena, LG was always considered to be among the top performers in terms of R&D and consequently, PV product quality. Just like with most premium product manufacturers, high-quality items mean relatively small capacities. As of 2018 LG Solar plans to increase its production capacity to 1.8 MW and by 2020 – up to 3GW. When compared to the “big boys” these are rookie numbers, not even making the TOP 10 list.
In order to justify LGs products as an optimal choice – five key questions need to be covered. First and foremost – who is the customer and what are his expectations. If the customer is the owner of a house for which he would use these modules, LG Neon R series is a good choice. If, however, we are speaking about utility or C&I scale projects, these modules might miss the target. This aspect is mainly determined when prioritizing the question of cost-effectiveness. While high-efficiency and lifetime are both crucial factors for a residential rooftop plant, larger installations still prioritize payback period.
Assuming that the right application for this product is chosen, let’s look at the questions 2, 3 and 4 – all of which have to do with the product itself. Efficiency – how much power can a user expect to crank out from a sq. meter. LG Neon R is the company’s most advanced solar module yet offering up to 370W from a single standard dimension 60-cell unit. This is made possible by the use of IBC (Interdigitated back contact) cells with 30 integrated bus-bars on the rear side of the cell. The combination results in almost the highest output available on the market today, giving way only to a couple of even more expensive options.
The LG’s own in-house produced IBC cells are based on a n-type Monocrystalline technology, which, besides high efficiency, enable the modules to retain a higher output over long-term. Neon R series offer an above average efficiency warranty that guarantees 88.4% of the original power output after 25 years. This is even more important for the residential applications as the user often has little interest to invest in the replacement of his solar modules. In terms of general warranty, the series offer a 25 year product warranty (Parts & Labour) which is also considered to be outstanding when compared to the market average of 12 years.
The 4th point to cover is the module’s ability to withstand negative environmental and physical effects. LG boasts that its Neon R series are able to produce up to 2.9% more energy in hot climate conditions when compared to the market standard of p-type Monocrystalline cells (majority of which are known as PERC). The modules are also certified for salt mist and ammonia induced corrosion, both of which would otherwise limit the geographical applicability. Corrosion from salt mist resistance allows for the modules to meet their performance levels when installed on the coastline. Ammonia corrosion resistance allows for the modules to be safely installed on or near farms. Other environmental effects result in the modules breaking or being ripped of their mounting construction. The characteristics that determine the ability of the product to resist these effects are labeled by LG as front load and back load. The Neon R series offer a 6000 Pa (600 kg/sq. m) and a 5400 Pa (540 kg/sq. m) load resistance respectively. The front load is mostly important for countries with snowfall, while the latter is important for pretty much any location as wind is present everywhere, occasionally even in the center of a city.
LG Solar Panels – Flash Testing
When high performance and durability levels like these are being promised, quality control is essential. Phrases like flash testing, quality control in several manufacturing steps or TUV Rheinland certification are not anything out of the ordinary, but LG takes a few steps forward. In order to make sure that the customer gets what he is paying for, LG made sure that it’s manufacturing process would be certified by not 1 but 4 certification institutes (TUV Rheinland, VDE, UL, Intertek. Additionally, the company takes care to maximize the safety of their products by using tough plastic moulded corner sections during transportation. This is especially important as the microcracks which can occur in the cells in these handling stages usually become evident only after several years of operation.
The last but certainly not least aspect is product and service availability. Even though LG modules are manufactured only in South Korea and soon – the US, LG modules are relatively easy to obtain pretty much everywhere. For example in Australia, while most manufacturers have only a single office or none at all, LG has one in each mainland state capital. When you couple that with the 25 year parts and labour warranty, paying a extra for a premium product and service becomes justified. With exceptional product quality, full company support and record-low warranty claim cases, LG Neon R is one of the best choices on the market today.