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REC Alpha Pure R Series Solar Panels: A Technical Review

REC Alpha Pure R

The REC Group (purchased by Reliance Industries Ltd in 2021) has always been dedicated to making solar modules eco-friendly, effort-efficient, and affordable. Its recent addition to the award-winning Alpha series, the REC Alpha Pure R Series Solar Panels marry robust innovation with sustainability.

 

Specifically designed to maximize solar power output in residential units with space constraints, the REC Alpha Pure R series appears to be quite the performer.

 

From better output under shaded conditions to minimized carbon footprint, REC has packed a lot in its Alpha Pure R solar panel.

 

Does it deliver on its promises? Keep reading to learn more about the Alpha Pure R.

REC Alpha Pure R Series (430W): Product Overview

REC Alpha Pure R Series Solar Panels

The REC Alpha Pure R Series Solar Panels are an improved version of REC’s Alpha series of solar modules. This model boasts 80 half-cut Heterojunction (HJT) cells embedded with G12 solar wafers in a gapless format and can produce 430 W of power.

 

Given that residential solar modules typically produce 250-400W of power under optimal conditions, the Alpha Pure R series outperforms many leading market players.

 

REC achieves this by combining multiple technological innovations in one model.

HJT Cells

First off, REC uses bifacial HJT cells. HJT cells have an ingenious design where a layer of monocrystalline silicon is inserted between two layers of amorphous silicon. This reduces the non-homogenous area of each cell. Each solar cell absorbs more photons, thus improving efficiency.  

 

REC makes another interesting addition to the Pure R series with the G12 solar wafers.  These are the largest commercially available solar wafers at 210 mm². The larger the solar wafer, the more its surface area, boosting its capacity to generate power.

 

In a unique gapless layout, these half-cut HJT cells can produce 223 watts of power per square meter. And that’s not all.

 

It adds to the model by using 16 busbars (as opposed to the standard 5) to connect its solar cells. The increased number of busbars helps reduce internal resistance.

 

Therefore these solar panels offer a remarkably improved module efficiency of 22.3%. In contrast, a traditional PV module with monocrystalline solar cells has only 15-20% efficiency, that too, under optimal conditions.

Double Split Junction Box

REC further bolsters the solar panel’s performance by splitting the junction box into four sections. This “double-split” junction box reduces power loss due to resistance by 4x. The heat build-up within the solar panel also decreases by 15-20 degrees C.

 

The ingenious design of the junction box also minimizes the panel’s surface area, which  cannot produce power under shaded conditions. So, the Alpha Pure R gives you 50% more output, even under shaded conditions.

 

All these factors contribute to its high power density of 223 watts/m², making the Alpha Pure R the third most efficient solar panel of 2022

Temperature Co-efficiency

The REC Alpha Pure R Series Solar Panels are anti-LID (Light Induced Degradation) and have a temperature coefficient of only -0.26%/°C at 44°C (its Nominal Module Operating Temperature).

 

Temperature coefficients vary from -0.3% /°C to -0.5% /°C in standard solar panels. But the lower it is, the better the solar panel performs under hot and low-light weather conditions.

 

The Alpha Pure R has a lower temperature co-efficiency than most residential solar panels. So it produces more output as the temperature rises and performs well even under extreme weather conditions.

 

The Alpha Pure R has a 9 A current — another factor that works in its favor. Since most Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE) devices are compatible with 9 A current, you can optimize output by incorporating micro inverters or solar optimizers in your panel.

 

Since the correct usage of MLPE devices can cut down power loss caused by partial shading by 20-35%, the fact that your solar panel is highly compatible with them is a major advantage.

 

To summarize, REC’s Alpha Pure R offers seamless performance under harsh conditions and limited space. That makes it a winning solution for residential solar needs.

Technical Specifications: REC Alpha Pure R (430W) Series

  • Cell Type
    Heterojunction (HJT) with G12 solar wafers
  • Dimensions
    68.1 x 44.0 x 1.2 in (20.77 square feet)
  • Weight
    47.4 lb
  • Solar Cells
    80 half-cut cells with gapless technology
  • Cables
    12 AWG (44 mm²) PV Wire, 67 + 67 inches
    (EN 50618 compliant)
  • Junction Box
    4-part, 4-bypass diodes, lead-free
    (IP68 rated)
  • Temperature Coefficient (Pmax)
    -0.26%/°C at 44°C
  • Construction
    3.2 mm solar anti-reflective solar glass
    with high-resistant black polymer back sheet
  • Frame
    Anodized aluminum (black)

What To Expect from the REC Alpha Pure R Series

The Alpha Pure R series is exceptionally well-designed with robust features. Here’s what you can expect from the model:

Compact Size

The Alpha Pure R series is built for houses with space limitations for solar module installation. At only 20.77 square feet and 47.4 lb, it is considerably lightweight for the wattage and output it provides.

 

REC achieves this with its solder-free solar cells arranged in a gapless layout. The solar cells are interconnected with REC’s iconic foil and wire combination, overlapping at the edges.

 

This arrangement eliminates all the otherwise wasted white space between cells, creating a compact and high-performing solar panel. Because of its precise design, you get a solar module with more output per square foot compared to traditional PV panels.

Excellent Performance

REC leaves no stone unturned in fine-tuning its technological innovations to upgrade its Alpha Pure series to Pure R.

 

The HJT solar cells arranged in a gapless layout give you impeccable passivation, excellent efficiency, improved current flow, and minimal losses. It guarantees a high energy generation capacity for 25 years.

 

In the first year, you will get a 98% capacity. Expect 0.25% degradation from the second year onwards. At that rate, you still get a 92% capacity by the end of the 25th year. Per a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study, solar panels experience a 0.8% degradation in output every year.

 

So a 0.25% yearly decline is minimal.

 

All the factors mentioned above combine to make the REC Alpha Pure R a dependable and long-term player in the solar market.

Made to Last

One of the main issues plaguing the solar industry is the degradation of even the best models when exposed to extreme weather conditions. That’s, however, not the case with the REC Alpha Pure R.

 

It has a 30 mm thick anodized aluminum frame that can withstand 7000 Pa of snow and 4000 Pa of wind load. Anodized aluminum is known for its durability because it can withstand high heat and chemical changes. It also offers excellent ease of maintenance.

 

In addition to the frame, the Alpha Pure R has anti-reflective solar glass with a high-resistant black polymer backsheet. The solder-free build also reduces thermal stress. So the solar panel’s vulnerability to developing micro-cracks or hotspots is

much less compared to soldered PV modules.

 

Support bars on its rear add to the solar module’s stability.

 

As you can deduce, the Alpha Pure R is built to last, even under extreme weather conditions, adding to the panel’s longevity.

Eco-conscious Design

Solar panels generate toxic waste. According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), there could be 78 million metric tons of solar waste by 2050. And a significant part of this solar waste comprises harmful elements like lead.

 

Standard-issue solar panels contain 14 g of lead alone, besides cadmium and other harmful substances.

 

By making its Alpha Pure R series free of lead, REC reaffirms its commitment to the environment. It is ROHS compliant. The brand also consciously deploys energy-efficient manufacturing processes, reducing the overall carbon footprint of its products.

Product and Performance Warranty

REC offers two warranty plans for its Alpha Pure R series.

 

Under the standard warranty, you will get 20 years of product and 25 years of power warranty. If you opt for the Pro Trust warranty plan, you get 25 years of product and performance warranty. And REC’s warranty plans are at par with industry standards.

 

However, remember that the warranty holds only if the REC professional team installs the solar panel.

Aesthetically Appealing

The REC Alpha Pure R’s sleek body and complete black design make it aesthetically appealing. When installed, it gives your rooftop a stylish appearance while helping you go clean and green.

The Verdict:

There’s no doubt that the REC has loaded the Alpha Pure R series with robust features, making it a dynamic addition to its product list. By amplifying productivity, boosting ease of use, and offering an eco-friendly build, REC has come up with a one-of-a-kind solution.

 

The Alpha Pure R is a worthy contender if you’re looking for a cutting-edge but eco-friendly solar panel for residential use.

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