Manufacturing Quality Solar Panels With WINAICO
Solar Panels are built with the expectation of being exposed to the elements for their lifetime. On a roof or in a field, the importance of the manufacturing period cannot be underestimated for long-term solar panel performance. WINAICO has recently extended our product warranty to 25-years which reflects the trust of integrity for all our products.
As reviewed by industry experts, we are dedicated to creating quality products, here are some insights into key steps in the assembling of our module. By understanding some of the processes we take when manufacturing our modules, we hope to reflect the extensive structural integrity and our confidence with the new 25-Year Product Warranty.
Solar Silicon Processing
After the production of solar silicon, WINAICO will perform quality assurance on each of the cells to verify minimum performance characteristics are met. By being very selective with the quality of silicon cells in our modules, WINAICO can choose specific electrical properties that correlate with higher efficiency and performance. The silicon is the primary workhorse for the power generation and permitting only high-quality cells in our processing facilities ensures a more consistent and well-balanced end product.
Cells require metal contacts to be soldered across the surface to provide an electric circuit. Our cells are manufactured with two types of metal front contacts; the busbars and ‘fingers’. At close inspection to our solar modules, both of these contacts can be identified by the width of their contacts. Busbars are the 5 long silver contacts that travel parallel to the length of the modules while the ‘fingers’ are much more slender, numerous and operate in a perpendicular orientation. See the image attached for clarification.
The soldering of these contacts enables a greater electrical circuit to be established, generating higher amounts of power and reducing the risks of unbalanced electrical flow. WINAICO has improved from using 2 busbars when the company began up to 5 busbars on all our current WSP and WST modules.
A “stringer” is a machine used to place and solder the busbars onto the front surface of our silicon wager cells. The machine provides identical results to ensure only high performing cells make it into the final module. Ensuring good electrical connections are established is critical to ensuring the cells perform well for their entire working life.
Arrangement of Solar Cells
WINAICO is a proud producer of 60-cell solar modules. While many manufacturers have switched to adding more silicon cells to increase power, WINAICO chose to manufacture higher efficiency modules in the same size module. The compact and high-performance design provides more applications than the current solar industry.
The process to ensure the highest efficiency is with the cell management machines. After the processing and soldering of the solar silicon cells, significant action must be taken to ensure the highest volume of power can be generated in the smallest area. The lay-up Machines precisely allocate the cells to ensure identical results across all modules, reduce empty space between the cells and improve the module efficiency. The allocation of silicon is then followed by the encapsulation process, where the cells are sealed between EVA to maintain integrity for their lifetimes.
Visual Inspection and Quality Assurance
Before the framing of our modules, we conduct two steps of quality assurance on the encapsulated cells. The first step is a visual inspection that aims to ensure product perfection during the mechanical construction phases. Any visual deformity can lead to performance issues and are considered serious faults in the manufacturing phase. The visual defects that are checked include:
- Cracked Cells
- Solder Errors
- Geometric Alignment
This visual inspection provides one step to remove non-functioning modules from our production line. The guarantee for aesthetic perfection is another feature that we expect for all WINAICO Modules. The second step is a more complex analysis of the construction.
The second part of Quality Assurance is known as Electroluminsece Photography or EL Imaging. This process is a complex scan of the modules using a dedicated industrial IR camera with a narrow spectrum of light. The modules are exposed to an electrical circuit that forces the silicon within the modules to emit radiation that is detectable by the EL Image. We wrote an article on how the solar industry conducts these tests, which can be found here.
The images demonstrate an “x-ray scan” of the modules. The process reflects the electrical structure of the modules and helps identify any manufacturing defects in greater detail than purely visual inspection. The machines used in this step are expensive and not all manufacturers complete this process on their panels. WINAICO will always complete EL Imaging on all our solar modules and to ensure every product is functionally perfect when assembled.
The EL Images, like the one attached, can be readily provided to any of our system owners. If you would like to see the Electroluminescence Images and electrical characteristics of your WINAICO Modules, please get in contact with one of our friendly team members by clicking below.
Click Here to Request EL and Flash Data
Entering EL Imaging Machine
Electroluminescence Image of WSP-340MX
Framing and Packaging
The WST Series includes an Internal L-Key, which provides a flush corner aesthetic with the same structural integrity as the External option.
L-key corner pieces reflect critical bridging locations between the edged sides of the module. The one-way clamping mechanism of the corner pieces demonstrates a unique method of module manufacturing that is seldom impossible to disassemble. The engineering process applied to this minor detail of the module highlights the significance of integrity within the manufacturing process.
After the framing is complete, the modules are ready to perform and are packaged to be distributed internationally. WINAICO is in a unique position as a Solar panel manufacturer, importer/exporter and local distributor. This means we control every step from the inspection of solar silicon to the installation onto your rooftop. The WINAICO Authorised Retailer Program is a global initiative to limit the availability of our products to installers that share in our ethos of trust and reliability.
The knowledge that our modules are in the hands of quality installers enables us to better manage our operations. We encourage you to discuss with any of our Trusted Installers, which can be found by clicking below.
Find a Local WINAICO Trusted Installer
WINAICO Framing Machine