Split cell solar panel technologies are becoming all the rage as the industry pushes within solar 3.0 (300W and above). Risen’s entry level split cell solar module, the Risen RSM120 poly presents face value qualities which should command excellent value. However when delving deeper, are such qualities excellent value or simply or another low cost imitation of a technology evolution?

.Make and model:  Risen RSM120.

Variants: 275W / 280W / 285W / 290W.

  Affordability, 12-year warranty.

  Durability.

On face value the Risen RSM120 poly looks like a respectable solar module fit for the average suburban environment. A relatively clean finished exterior, modern qualities and promoted endorsements which should present a reputable product. As such, the Risen RSM120 should score exceptionally high in the Solar Review Module Assessment with a notable price point which is usually the undoing of alternative leading solar module technologies.

Design.

Cast an eye across the product data sheet. Risen have a tendency to focus more about them as a company as opposed highlighting particular design features of a solar panel.

Looking beyond company endorsements the Risen RSM120 poly is a split cell polycrystalline design with a 5 bus bar cell connection. Enough to pass as an up to date solar module design. A white EVA substrate (back sheet) ensures the rear of the Risen RSM120 poly solar module is protected from imposing environmental elements will ensuring cooler operating conditions. With no real elements of inspiration the overall design is considered standard when assessing current global industry innovation. No international awards have been identified in relation the Risen RSM120 poly range.

Download the Risen RSM120 poly datasheet here:
Risen Energy - Risen RSM60 Poly Module - Solar Review

Risen

RSM120 - Design
  • Polycrystalline cell.
  • 5 front bar contact.
  • No enhancer.
  • Glass-laminate (White).
  • Out of date.
  • No awards.
  • TÜV certified.

Durability.

The most disappointing aspect of the Risen RSM120 poly solar panel exists within the durability stakes. Three key tests for module durability have failed to be disclosed to the end-user. Damp Heat, Thermal Cycle and Hail Impact tests have registered a not listed result. One can only assume that such testing would be inline with IEC standard and Risen have decided this is not in the end-users best interest as many alternative manufacturers are exceeding IEC Standard in such durability tests. 

Both Salt Mist and Ammonia Resistance register as excellent. Although nothing record breaking, snow and wind loading match that of an IEC Standard pass mark.

Risen Energy - Risen RSM60 Poly Module - Solar Review

Risen

RSM120 - Durability
  • Snow load 5400Pa.
  • Front wind load 2400Pa.
  • Rear wind load 2400Pa.
  • Damp heat testing not listed.
  • Thermal cycle testing not listed.
  • PID resistant.
  • Salt mist resistance certification
    IEC 61701 (Severity 6).
  • Amonia resistance certification
    IEC 62716.
  • Hail impact not listed.

Efficiency.

In a time where modern split cell designs are now pushing 19%+ efficiencies the Risen RSM poly registers a maximum module efficiency of 17.3% in 290W variants. Below average mainly due to the polycrystalline cell composite, however a feature which does aid in the affordability stakes. Possessing a slightly better than average Temperature coefficient of -0.39%C the Risen RSM120 still has a better module efficiency than the industry average. Power tolerance is excellent at +3%.

Risen Energy - Risen RSM120 Poly Module - Solar Review

Risen

RSM120 - Efficiency
  • 17.3% Maximum module efficiency.
  • -0.39%°C Temperature coefficient.
  • 0/3% Power tolerance.

Performance.

Risen Energy - Risen RSM60 Poly Module - Solar Review

The performance score of the Risen RSM120 poly is relatively good. Inline with many respected manufacturers a 3% first year degradation is acceptable during the solar modules stabilisation period. Thereafter annual degradation is expected to be no more than 0.7% per annum for the remaining 24-years. Should the Risen RSM120 poly fail to meet performance expectation at standard test conditions, Risen Energy will provide a parts only replacement guarantee.

Risen

RSM120 - Performance
  • 3% degradation in the 1st year.
  • 0.7% degradation per annum.
  • 25-year linear performance warranty.
  • Parts only performance warranty.

Guarantee.

The product guarantee is the most important guarantee within a solar module warranty. Better than many the Risen RSM120 poly solar panel is equipped with a 12-year product guarantee and that’s about as good as it gets. With no authorised or manufacturer trained installer network an end-user has very little assurance of a manufacturer best practice installation. Installation to manufacturer guidelines defines whether a warranty claim will be successfully upheld or not. In the event of a successful warranty claim Risen will provide a parts only replacement. From what can be determined, logistics and replacement costs are on the end-user/ installer.

Risen Energy - Risen RSM60 Poly Module - Solar Review

Risen

RSM120 - Guarantee
  • 12-year warranty.
  • Parts only warranty.
  • No authorised installer network.

Affordability.

Affordability wise the Risen RSM120 poly solar module will be on the radar of many. Produced by a large company and available at the cheaper end of the solar module affordability spectrum. Ultimate value for money though is reduced by the level of technology inside.

As a gauge, Risen RSM120 poly solar panels are available online from:

USD 0.34 per watt  |  AUD 0.47 per watt  |  EURO 0.30 per watt

Excludes taxes, shipping and installation.

Source – Google

Risen Energy - Risen RSM60 Poly Module - Solar Review

Risen

RSM120 - Affordability
  • Superior technology score (3.0).
  • Approximately $0.34 per watt USD ex.

OVERALL.

The Risen RSM120 poly facilitates those with lower budgets to join the solar power revolution with a modern solar panel design. Overall durability and product support is questionable, therefore the Risen RSM120 poly solar module should only be considered for mild environments. 

Risen

RSM120 - Overall
  • Design 2.6
  • Durability 2.9
  • Efficiency 3.3
  • Performance 3.5
  • Guarantee 2.7
  • Technology 3.0
  • Affordability 3.8

Keep scrolling for the scorecard. Got questions or an opinion? Don’t be shy leave it in the comments section below.

Insight:

How was the score for the Risen RSM120 poly range of solar panels calculated? By utilising the Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria Version 2.3 >

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