Shingled Solar Panels, What Are They?

Normal solar panels use a number of individual solar cells depending on the desired output of the panel. This is an easy way to learn if a solar panel is what it says it is, just count the cells to find the actual wattage of any panel!

The solar cells are laid out across the panel with spaces between them. They are then solder connected together using copper ribbons. (see picture)

The more copper ribbons used the less losses across the cells and more efficient the panel becomes.  A lot of solar panel manufacturers have realised this and increased the number of ribbons to 4, 5 or 6.   However, the more ribbons over the cells means less of the cells is exposed to sunlight, which in turn reduces the output of each cell by as much as 3.5% that’s per cell of course. There is typically over 30 metres of ribbons needed per solar panel (depending on the size of course).

There have been many break through advancements in solar panel design over the years to help eliminate this problem of losses gaps caused by the ribbons.

Tiling Ribbon Technology

TR technology is short name of “Tiling ribbon technology”, which is patented technology of Jinko (manufacturer). Common ribbons are flat, but Jinko uses circular ribbon. The main purpose of using TR technology is that it can eliminate cell gap to increase module efficiency significantly.

Shingled Solar Panels

Shingled solar cells are solar cells which are cut into typically 5 or 6 strips.  These strips can be overlaid, like shingles on a roof, to form the electrical connections.  The strips of solar cells are joined together using an electrically conductive adhesive (ECA) that allows for conductivity but still gives flexibility.

This allows the cells to be joined completely differently to normal solar panels, now there are no ribbons needed and the solar cells can be joined together easily with no gaps between the solar cells.

Shingled solar modules can also be wired differently to normal solar panels. Solar cells in a normal solar panel are wired in a series configuration whereas the cells in shingled panels can be wired in parallel.

So what is the advantages

More power per sq/mt! A shingled solar panel does not need ribbons across the top of the panel so more of the cells are getting sunlight.  The cells do not need to be spaced apart like in normal solar panels so the solar panel area can produce more energy more efficiently.


Normal solar panels have the cells wired in series so when a part of the solar panel is shaded it can have a dramatic effect on the output power.  By building the cells in shingles, they can be wired in groups and configured in parallel which greatly reduces the losses caused by shading. Test have shown that a shingled panel can perform up to 45% better than a normal solar panel of the same wattage!


Remember all those ribbons joining the cells together, they are merely soldered together thus can break over time, shingled panels use a conductive glue which is (over the years) less likely to give way, especially if like most, you have bought flexible panels to walk on!


It was to be said, most normal panels aren’t overly pretty! But with solar cells edge to edge, shingled do look a little better!

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