JinkoSolar says it Tiger module series produce 10% more power than its predecessor Cheetah modules and 5% more than Cheetah+. While mass production will will start in Q1/2020, it aims to quickly ramp up to 10 GW annual production capacity for Tiger within 2020. (Photo Credit: JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd.)
- China’s JinkoSolar aims to start volume production of its Tiger series of modules in Q1/2020
- Over the course of 2020, it targets to ramp up to 9-10 GW of annual production capacity
- Says monthly production for these panels is already ramping up considerably outpacing expectations
- The company eventually wants to increase the power rating of these modules to 500 W in 2021, up from 460 W today
- JinkoSolar says it is also on ‘on-track’ with its plans to produce the required wafer size to feed Tiger module production
- JinkoSolar releases white paper about its bifacial module series Swan and discusses key aspects of this technology such as simulation and system design
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JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. plans to start volume production of its Tiger flagship solar panel series with 460 W output capacity in Q1/2020, aiming to ramp it up to 9 to 10 GW within the same year. The management said monthly production is already ramping up considerably with ‘yields outpacing expectations’ giving it the confidence to achieve the humongous target production volumes within stipulated duration.
The company launched the Tiger module, which advertises as next-gen panels, at the All-Energy Australia 2019 trade show in October 2019 (see JinkoSolar’s New PERC Module With Tiling Technology).
The Tiger series has many advanced features. The module is built with Tiling Ribbon (TR) technology, an innovative design that works in similar to shingling eliminating the inter cell gaps. Shingling is somewhat a complicated process as it involves cutting of cells into five to six strips and has introduced a new material to the production process – electrical conductive adhesive -, which is used for gluing the cell string similar to roof tiles. TR, on the other hand, employs an established material – circular copper wires -, that has been already employed in multi-busbars connection. These ribbons are flattened exactly at the place where cells overlap. This also explains that the Tiger series uses multi-busbar based interconnection based on 9 busbars. The multi-busbar approach helps in reducing the resistance and also lowers the negative influence of microcracks and hotspots, as the approach provide alternative flow paths for the charge carriers. JinkoSolar provided a first online technical presentation on its new Tiger series as part of TaiyangNews’ Advanced Solar Module Technologies 2019 webinar in late October.
The Tiger series also features half cell technology, which reduces the resistance losses. This technology mix has enabled the Tiger series to attain efficiency of 20.8% and high rated power of 460 W. The new series deliver 10% more power than Cheetah version and 5% over Cheetah+, adds JinkoSolar. As per the company’s roadmap, it will target to power up the Tiger series from 460 W now to 500 W or above by 2021.
Today’s major trend to increase module power is to employ larger wafer formats, especially using the M6 format, which has a side length of 166 mm. Instead of relying purely on larger wafer formats, the Tiger series uses also advanced technologies such as half cell, multi busbar and TR onto the table. Employing larger wafers puts some limitations at the cell processing equipment and optimization in mounting structures, according to Jinko Solar, which is not necessarily the case with Tiger. JinkoSolar’s Director of Global Product Management, Jeff Zhou provided background on the Tiger module technology in an interview with TaiyangNews earlier this month (see A True Tiger).
However, the Tiger series also uses wafer sizes larger than M2, but the world’s largest module supplier would not provide the exact measurements. Jinko Solar’s Leshan fab of 10 GW capacity has completed the first phase of equipment move-in in May 2019 and has been on-track to produce wafers for Tiger in high volume starting Q3/2019, the company informed. In November 2019, JinkoSolar said it was expanding its high efficiency mono wafer production capacity at Leshan with an additional 5 GW, which on completion will take the company’s cumulative wafer production capacity to 18 GW (see JinkoSolar Adding 5 GW More Mono Wafer Capacity).
White paper on bifacial Swan module
In addition to its future plans for its Tiger series, Jinko Solar has just released a white paper about its bifacial Swan series, which the company characterises as its star product in 2019. This module series use 158.75 mm size p-type mono-crystalline bifacial cells and half cell module technology. According to the white paper, the somewhat larger than normal wafer size of the Swan series boosts module power by 15 W compared to modules made with M2 size. The half cell approach reduces the current, thus the internal resistance losses. Most importantly, Swan is a bifacial module featuring a transparent backsheet or glass as rear cover.
According to Jinko Solar, its Swan series can reach 5 W higher front side power compare to traditional bifacial modules, facilitated by employing ceramic glass or mesh transparent backsheets. These two mimic the role of backsheet reflections in the cell gaps of the monofacial module. Not only its glass-glass, but also the variant using transparent backsheet comes with a performance warranty of 30 years. In addition, the outer layer of the transparent backsheet product is made of PVF film, which is strongly hydrophobic, thus reduces the rate of dust absorption. According to JinkoSolar, compared to dual glass products, its bifacial module with transparent backsheet weighs 30% less, and can save its customers 15% in structure costs and 20% in installation labour cost, thereby saving more than 3% BOS cost.
JinkoSolar’s white paper also discusses several other important aspects of the bifacial technology such as simulation and system design aspects one should carefully look at when considering installing bifacial PV systems.