As the world quickly warms up to larger and high-power solar modules, it is imperative to look at the way the entire industry chain is gearing up to soak up the opportunities these present, and also the challenges these poses. On Day 2 of Our Very High-Power Solar Modules Virtual Conference on May 18, 2021, TaiyangNews brought together leading PV module manufacturers and inverter suppliers to discuss latest technological developments in the field of solar manufacturing and the impact of larger wafer format products on the entire supply chain.
The conference started with an opening speech from the Vice Chairman of the Shanghai New Energy Industry Association (SNEC Organizing Committee), Qun Wang who introduced the world’s largest solar show SNEC 2021 that’s due to begin in 2 weeks in June 2021. Our Tayiang event was an official cooperation also pre-viewing products to be displayed at SNEC by world leading module and inverter suppliers.
Touting the growing industry support for ultra high-power solar modules, Head of Global Presales Team at Trina Solar, Yaodi Liu said the 600W+ Photovoltaic Open Innovation Ecological Alliance launched in July 2020 has now more than 74 members from across the industry chain, including inverters makers and tracker suppliers. Liu also wasn’t worried about PV grade glass availability sharing reports of more than 50 GW of glass availability in 2021 for 600W+ modules, expected to expand to 120 GW in 2022. Trina will have 50 GW of module and 35 GW of cell production end of year. At SNEC it will focus on its 210mm based modules up to 670W. For Trina Solar’s presentation, please directly contact [email protected].
Presenting an overview on matching inverter technology to high-power modules, Solis Sales Manager Pedro Wiesmann pointed out that with cell sizes and module sizes changing, inverter companies need to keep pace with the technological changes as large modules have high currents and the inverters need to be able to manage that. During SNEC 2021, Ginlong Solis will be launching its new 350kW string inverter and the Solis FlexiONE residential storage solution, along with other products. For Solis presentation, please directly contact [email protected].
Risen Energy’s Head of Product Management Yifeng Song shared with the audience that for his company G12 is the optimal size and heterojunction (HJT) is the optimal cell technology for the near future, especially given that the industry ecosystem is improving to accommodate 210mm modules at every step of the way. According to him, since 210mm modules come in the same size it presents an advantage for downstream customers.
At SNEC 2021, Risen Energy will be displaying its N-type HJT products, including what Song termed as the world’s ‘first HJT module with a 210 mm wafer’ and 22.3% efficiency having 630W output. For Risen Energy’s presentation, please directly contact [email protected].
Speaking about techno economic feasibility of inverter selection for large wafer based high-power modules, Sineng Electric’s Senior Product Manager Habibul Jack rooted for larger modules with 182mm & 210mm wafer size. He stressed that these help lower overall LCOE for a solar PV facility by bringing down overall capex, estimating 7% to 9% reduction in balance of system (BOS) cost. Jack presented his company’s SP-275K-H1 inverter as tailored for 182/210mm based high power modules. Sineng is producing both string and central inverters.
Jack said Sineng Electric’s current annual manufacturing capacity at its Wuxi, China location is 13 GW, and at Bengaluru, India location is 3 GW. The company aims to expand it to 23 GW and 10 GW, respectively, by Q3/2021.
At SNEC 2021, Sineng Electric will be exhibiting its high current inverter, string inverter for C&I rooftop, string PCS solution and Central PCS solution. The high current inverter will be specially for the China market, and with some changes, it will be available for rest of the world. For Sineng Electric’s presentation, please directly contact [email protected].
R&D Director of Jolywood, Dr. Jia Chen  presented the benefits and applications of the company’s N-type TOPCon module based on POPAID technology that stands for Plasma Oxidation & Plasma Assisted Insitu-doping Deposition, saying it is wrap-around free and it is using this as a replacement for LPCVD.
Jolywood currently has 9 steps for its J-TOCon 2.0 module production, which is the same number as for PERC, but for its J-TOPCon 3.0, the company wants to bring down production steps with the help of POPAID Twin-stars and less average cost feature.
The manufacturer said it shipped over 4 GW of N-type modules by the end of 2020, including 458 MW for the Oman Ibri II project (see Chinese Trackers For Ibri II Oman PV Project). Jia said his company is producing 182mm sized modules to meet customer demand, and would explore 210mm modules as well in the future if there is demand for these. For Jolywood’s presentation, please directly contact [email protected].
TaiyangNews’ guest for the much awaited feature of our events, the fire chat, was Trina Solar’s Head of Global Product Strategy and Market, Franck Zhang in conversation with Managing Director of TaiyangNews, Michael Schmela.
Batting for ultra high-power modules, Zhang argued that Trina’s 210 mm based products bring in significant BOS savings for the customers, and that in future this would encourage some innovative solutions in the market to deploy larger modules that could be heavier to lift.
Zhang believes there is growing customer demand for its 600W+ modules as the company has already locked in more than 12 GW of orders for utility scale projects, along with some 3 GW to 4 GW for distributed projects.
Answering Schmela’s query about whether there is enough demand to absorb growing module capacity in the market, Zhang replied in the affirmative saying as global warming pushes countries, companies and people to opt for low-carbon solutions, the demand and supply of modules will continue to grow. He expects 2021 to end with 150 GW to 170 GW PV capacity globally, and in 5 years’ time it could go up to 300 GW.
Day 1 of the conference on May 17, 2021 had industry leaders as LONGi Solar, JA Solar, Astronergy and JinkoSolar sharing their latest product developments, along with VDMA and TUV Rheinland sharing insights about the technological developments expected. TaiyangNews also did a pre-launch presentation with results of our report on Very High-Power Solar Modules that will be launched during SNEC 2021 (see Day 1: TaiyangNews Very High-Power Solar Modules Conference).