Listen and subscribe to Solar r.e.view

In this bittersweet episode, Kate Collardson signs off as co-host of the Solar Tech Talk podcast, but not before she and Aaron talk with the team at LG Electronics about their up-and-coming products, the new LG NeON® H+, module size changes, supply constraints and lots more. After that, Silfab, North America’s fastest-growing module manufacturer, talks module and cell technology, nimble team dynamics, on-demand production, and their rapidly expanding manufacturing footprint. 

We’ll miss you, Kate! Look forward to having you back on the show sometime soon.

In This Episode:

RAPID ROUNDUP (00:06): Kate shares her big news, and Aaron already wants a reunion episode. The duo chats about and the fantastic vendor and policy insights they offer, and reminds our audience that BayWa r.e. customers can benefit from our industry discounts with Cascade Eco Minerals. Aaron shares the Solar Builder heads-up on the much-discussed white paper from JinkoSolar, LONGi, and JA Solar on M10 / 182mm wafer PV modules.

DEEP DIVE 1 (04:52): Director of Solar + Storage Brian Lynch and Senior Regional Sales Managers Sarah Gaddis and Helga Canfield from LG Electronics visit Solar Tech Talk for a savvy sit-down on the PV module market. Their conversation starts with the trend of larger format modules for residential markets, and larger wafer modules for commercial markets. The experts caution the nuance of size versus efficiency from the market competition, and advise on the manufacturing capacity at LG’s Alabama facility. Upstream issues persist overseas, creating downstream repercussions. Dive in on the technical aspects of 60 versus 66 cell modules and where installers can take advantage of each in their system design, from geographic region to region. Plus: pandemic sales hurdles with homeowner engagement figure into the conversation, as well as the changing opinions of installers, and the long-term implications of module-size changes for warranties, racking solutions, inverter pairing, net metering limitations, and supply chain issues. We also look forward to 2022 and LG’s views on operational certainty; the efficiency and aesthetics differentiators for the LG NeON® H+ Black residential half-cut module; and more on the technical ramifications of half-cut cells. Keep listening for a blurb on AC modules, too!

DEEP DIVE 2 (40:40): Silfab Solar Director of Business Development Ryan Adams checks in with Aaron and Kate with news from up north. Silfab already announced big news earlier this year unveiling their Burlington, Washington manufacturing facility. Ryan continues the theme of larger modules being the big industry trend, and gives us a quick history of cell-size evolution, from blip in history that was M2 to now M10 coming to market. We discuss the leverage that utility-scale solar has in driving the module market, and what that means for residential installers and system designers here in the United States. The trio also discusses the upper limit for cell-sizes and the balance for microinverters, current capacity, and MLPE compatibility; racking, wattage-per-rail, and other footprint issues; little tweaks such as cell-to-cell spacing to bigger leaps like cell topology (including heterojunction cells, back-contact cells, conductive backsheets). Kate and Ryan drill in on the advantages of back-contact technology, especially for keeping modules cool; how half-cut cells modulate resistance and reap better efficiencies; and the tug-of-war between cell manufacturers and module manufacturers. Ryan provides some assurances to distributors and installers on Silfab’s mindset on maintaining consistency and expectations, while adapting to upstream changes in technology and supply. There’s a great typewriter joke in here — listen all the way through to the end.

Bon voyage, Kate!

BayWa r.e. Solar Systems LLC supplies residential and commercial solar installers in the United States with quality solar + storage components, forecasting, business planning advice, and a community of experts. Visit to read our industry insights articles and stream our Solar Tech Talk and Solar Town Hall podcasts on YouTube and Spotify. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to stay connected. Ask us about our Split Pay financing program and use our industry-leading Webstore to save time, get gear shipped, and get jobs done! Part of the BayWa r.e. Global family of renewable energy companies.