Bosch Solar Energy AG took over from Ersol Solar Energy AG and is therefore a relative newcomer to the market by all accounts. In 2009 the company presented three prototypes of crystalline and thin-film modules to the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Hamburg, Germany. They supplemented their thin-film range with a micromorphous PV product in a frame and with a thermally toughened front glass panel. According to the company this is, at 16 kg, substantially lighter than conventional thin-film laminates and is therefore suitable for steeply sloping roofs. They also offer black monocrystalline solar panels in a black anodised frame and black backing foil to give a monochromatic design to suit aesthetic requirements, particularly in special architectural settings.
Bosch also manufactures modules with monocrystalline MWT (Metal Wrap Through) cells which were designed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. The front ‘bus bars’ have been moved to the back of the panel on this particular design which has increased efficiency by reducing the shading caused by the bars.
The Bosch M230W Solar Panel is rated at an efficiency of 14.6% and like other Bosch panels performs well at low light levels. The average price is £450 per module and they come with a 25 year warranty which guarantees 80% power generation over the term of the warranty.
The 2020solar website reports that Bosch c-Si M60 panels achieved a world record for an efficiency of 19.6 percent for large areas silicon solar cells (156 x 156 mm) which give higher energy yields due to an improvement in low-light performance along with a favourable temperature coefficient. This efficiency rating was confirmed by the acclaimed Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. These cells are PERC cells (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell) on which the rear side is coated with a dielectric and a metal layer with point contacts which improves the solar cells opical and electric properties. The front of the cells are also optimised. These qualities help to increase performance in lower light conditions and increased ambient temperatures. To my mind this raises this particular panel to a position alongside other leading makes in the UK market
Other sources report that Bosch panels perform well even at sub-optimal levels of light. They are available in a range of sizes, from 1 kW to fairly large and come with a 10 year warranty and 25 year performance guarantee. They are covered by IEC product certifications
Bosch panels are manufactured in integrated solar cell production plants that make everything from the silicon ingots to the panels themselves. The company says this is due to their drive to cut costs while guaranteeing optimal performance and quality. It hopes to triple its solar cell capacity , creating 1,100 jobs in its Armstadt plant by 2012
Solar Energy Enthusiast