Use HIT modules in your next installation with RatedPower's latest update
Ready to upgrade your solar project design? RatedPower now supports HIT modules for superior performance and efficiency. Optimize your solar investment today!
Planning a PV installation is no easy task. There are many factors to consider in order to ensure the highest level of efficiency and output from your system. These things include the type of equipment, the location and potential civil works, the orientation of the modules, and the electrical configuration.
Selecting the right photovoltaic (PV) modules is especially important. Different PV module technologies convert sunlight into electricity at different efficiencies, and some cost more than others for various reasons. Some PV modules perform better in certain environmental conditions than others, and durability and degradation concerns are also key considerations.
Thankfully, modern technologies like heterojunction technology (HJT) and heterojunction with intrinsic thin-layer (HIT) modules degrade more slowly, which can lead to more power output over the system’s lifetime.
With recent developments to RatedPower, users can now choose HIT PV modules within their designs. Let’s take a closer look at these modules and how to use them in our solar design platform.
Looking for a guide to help you compare solutions for your solar engineering and design stack? Then check out our Buyer's guide to utility-scale solar software. It will give you a snapshot of the utility-scale solar design and engineering software landscape and show you how to speed up your design process, boost efficiency and reduce costs.
HJT modules are not a new advancement in PV module technology but have recently grown in popularity. They combine traditional crystalline silicon (c-Si), poly or monocrystalline, and amorphous silicon (a-Si) into a single cell. These solar cells are expected to eventually replace passive emitter rear contact (PERC) modules as the next generation of this type of technology.
There are a number of benefits of using HJT modules over PERC:
Superior efficiency — Heterojunction solar cells boast efficiencies surpassing 22%, making them more efficient than many other types of solar cells.
Simplified and eco-friendly manufacturing — HJT cells require lower temperature processes and fewer manufacturing steps than traditional technologies like PERC. This makes the production process simpler and less energy-intensive, thereby reducing carbon emissions.
Cost-effective production — Despite requiring new manufacturing lines, the simplified production process of HJT cells leads to significant cost savings in the long run.
Longevity and durability — The power output of HJT modules remains above 88% even after 30 years, and they are less prone to light-induced degradation (LID), which can reduce the efficiency of solar cells over time.
Optimized for warm climates — HJT modules exhibit lower temperature coefficients, enabling better performance in warmer climates.
Enhanced bifacial performance — HJT modules offer a high bifaciality factor, reportedly up to 85%, enhancing their ability to generate power from both sides of the module.
All these reasons make HJT more efficient than its predecessor while still being cost-effective. It can be used for a variety of applications like residential rooftop solar systems or large-scale solar farms. Due to their high efficiency, heterojunction solar cells also require fewer solar cells per panel. This means they take up less space, making them ideal for installations with limited roof space.
HIT (heterojunction with intrinsic thin-layer) modules are a type of HJT module developed and initially trademarked by Sanyo, subsequently acquired by Panasonic. The patent expired some years ago, and now other manufacturers are commercializing their solutions with this technology. HIT cells have an additional layer made from amorphous silicon, known as the intrinsic layer.
While all HIT cells share similarities with traditional heterojunction solar cells, their design and manufacturing processes differ. The main difference, however, is that the additional intrinsic layer is sandwiched between two other layers. This intrinsic layout is a key factor in achieving higher performance. This layer is not “doped” with other elements like boron or phosphorus.
RatedPower responded to calls from customers asking us to include both HJT and HIT modules in our platform. We conducted an analysis and found the changes that needed to be made were relatively simple.
Specifically, we found that no changes were required in the energy calculation model for HIT module integration. All that was needed was three specific modifications on our end. First, we updated our system to accept a certain type of file (PAN files) with a specific label (“mtHIT”) that indicates the file contains information regarding HIT modules.
The next was to set Light Induced Degradation (LID) at zero for HIT modules. This matches competitor software PVsyst’s default value for this technology and follows the advice that HIT modules, made with a certain type of silicon (n-type), don’t experience this type of wear and tear in the same way.
All that was left to do was to contact the main manufacturers of the technology who shared their available models with us, then add HIT modules as an option in the software so customers could select them when creating projects.
Thanks to these simple steps taken by RatedPower, it’s now possible for customers worldwide to use both HJT and HIT modules in the platform.
What you should do now
Whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways we can help you grow your solar business and reduce LCOE of your PV plants.
- Get hands-on with a free RatedPower self-service guided tour. If you’d like to learn the ins and outs of how top photovoltaic software can help your engineering team, go ahead and request your free demo. One of our solar experts will understand your current design and engineering workflows, and then suggest practical tips on how to speed up them though the right tool.
- Let's get physical, physical! Learn the latest on renewable energy and PV in the second edition of Pulse, our annual get-together full of technical workshops, inspiring talks from energy leaders and tons of networking. Learn more.
- If you’d like to learn insights, ideas and inspiration for the low-carbon energy transition for free, go to our blog or visit our resources section, where you can download guides, templates and checklists solar successful pros use.
- If you’d like to work with other passionate experts on our team, or learn more about our purpose and corporate values, then see our Careers page.
- If you know another solar designer, developer or engineer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn or Twitter.