No matter how much progress there has been in the solar industry, and even with end customers increasingly looking at LCOE and $/kWh, peak power still remains the sales metric for solar modules to a great extent. As mentioned above, the output power of the PV module is a function of the number of cells embedded in the panel, which also dictates how PV panels are typically classified, i.e. 60 and 72 cells (or eq.). Module makers, however, are increasingly experimenting with different configurations, and successfully so as evidenced by the commercialization of such products. Another development that is of even greater importance, which is directly impacting module power, is the industry’s move towards employing larger wafers. So regardless of configuration, wafer size and the number of cells, we have listed in our Advanced Module Technologies 2021 report, the top module products from leading solar companies with a rated power of above 500 W (research status: Dec. 2020).
All 13 modules listed in the graph above are obviously based on larger wafer formats – either M10 or G12. Of these, staking its claim at the top as the most powerful module is the HiKu7 series from Canadian Solar Inc. (CSI) with a rated power of 665 W. And with an area of above 3.1 m2, this module employs the largest commercially available wafer format of 210 mm side length. For the panel, 66 of such very large cells are cut into 132 half cells. The 12-busbar interconnection configuration combined with the half-cell layout also helps the module achieve a decent efficiency of 21.4%.
The n-type TOPCon module from Jolywood, employing 78 cells of M10 wafer size cut into half and interconnected with 11 busbars, is the second in line with a rated power of 615 W. Rated at 610 W, GCL’s M10 series is configured pretty much the same as Jolywood’s module except that it uses PERC cells interconnected with 10 wires.
Risen and Talesun take the next ranks in this power rating with respective labelled wattage of 605 W and 590 W. Risen’s TITAN series is based on 60 PERC cells of G12 format, which are sliced into two and connected with 12 circular wires. BISTAR is the name of the high-power module product from Talesun that consists of 78 PERC cells with 182 mm edge length and is based on half-cell and 10-busbar configuration. The remaining eight products featuring in this list use a lesser number of cells and are quite tightly packed in a power range of 545 W to 555 W. Of these, Trina Solar’s Vertex series and Maxeon’s Performance 5 series are based on G12 size PERC cells. However, the 555 W rated product from Trina Solar uses 55 cells cut into 3 pieces, while Maxeon’s module with an atypical cell count of 57 due to its shingling module design has a labelled wattage of 545 W (In the meantime, Trina has announced a new 600W+ module (see Trina Solar Launches 670W Vertex Solar Module Series).
The remaining 6 products are based on the M10 cell size and 72 of these cells are interconnected in a half cell layout. The graph also helps in evaluating the corresponding efficiency of these powerful modules.
NOTE: The data for the products in the table above is taken from specs provided by the companies along with data sheets (status: Dec. 2020).
For more information on trends in power characteristics of  commercially available high power modules, please download and read TaiyangNews report on Advanced Module Technologies 2021, which can be downloaded for free here.
TaiyangNews Advanced Module Conference 2021 Videos are available on YouTube; to view recordings of the conference click here.