Until recently, the module power, the most important characteristic of a PV module, has majorly been a function of either efficiency or the number of cells integrated into a module, which was 60 or 72 cells. This was the time when wafers sizes were more or less standard. Then module makers found an easy to way to increase the module power by increasing the wafer size. The development of larger wafers took place so quickly that now the market is fragmented with many module products still using older, smaller wafer sizes.
Today’s module products contain M2, G1, M4, M6, M10 and G12 wafer sizes. However, in addition to wafer size, the number of cells also influences module power, and different combinations of these 2 parameters actually resulted in quite a variety of module configurations. To give you an idea of the different module configurations available commercially from selected companies, TaiyangNews Advanced Solar Module Technologies 2021 report lists different cell sizes and their corresponding power rating. In the graph, per company only one product is listed representing a particular wafer size, the number of cells and cell technology. And yet, the list features 53 different products, meaning so many different configurations are available.
According to the research presented in TaiyangNews Advanced Solar Module Technologies 2021 report, modules based on 11 different wafer sizes were available commercially in the market till the end of 2020. Among these, G1 is the most predominant size represented with 12 different configurations followed by 8 in M6. While 60 (or equivalent) and 72 (or equivalent) are the predominant configurations with respect to cell count, products built with 54, 66 and 78 are also available. Cell size of 5-inch is the smallest among the list, mainly promoted by SunPower for its IBC cell technology. The cell count is also somewhat different at 104 and 158. The shingling modules of the company are also built with atypical cell count of 93 and 80.
Vast variety: The list of 53 products in the TaiyangNews Advanced Module Technology Report, one product from each configuration and per company, is quite overwhelming; and the number also implies different commercially available module configurations (The table includes data from select leading solar companies).
The text is an excerpt from the TaiyangNews Advanced Solar Module Technologies 2021 report. For more details on advanced solar modules and know in detail about module technologies, please download our TaiyangNews report on Advanced Solar Module Technologies 2021, here.
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