- Day 1 of TaiyangNews Global PV System Technology Trends H1/2023 conference brought together solar cell & PV manufacturers to discuss their latest technological development announced during SNEC and Intersolar 2023
- Companies are speeding up with their manufacturing expansions with a clear technology roadmap panned out
- They also see promising growth in newer solar applications as agrivoltaics among others as opening up more avenues for module demand
Solar manufacturers are stepping up with technological innovations, something that was clearly visible at the world’s largest solar shows SNEC in China and Smarter E/Intersolar Europe in Germany in May and June 2023. Sifting through the many announcements made during the 2 events, TaiyangNews has picked out some key takeaways which we are discussing during our 2-day Virtual Conference on Global PV System Technology Trends H1/2023.
On day 1, ITRPV Steering Committee Chair Markus Fischer as the keynote speaker shared the latest trends along the solar module value chain from the International Technology Roadmap for PV 2023. Last year was significant in terms of higher shipments and standardization of M10 module size. Even shipment costs are coming back to normal.
At the end of 2022, global solar production capacity was 600 GW, of which c-Si accounted for around 95%. After shipping around 295 GW modules in 2022, up from 183 GW in the previous year, the world is getting ready to report more than 300 GW in 2023, said Fischer, pointing to a production capacity that could be as big as 1 TW.
While n-type is seen as leading the size reduction trend for wafers, ITRPV analysts want the industry to watch out for wafer bending for large formats. With 130 µm, HJT can deploy the thinnest wafers. N-type material is to dominate the market after 2026, according to Fischer, but p-type is to stay mainstream as base for p-PERC technology at least until 2025.
While M10 /G12 dominate the near future as was clear at Intersolar Europe 2023, M6 will be around till at least 2027.
Fischer ended by saying that according to ITRPV, tandem architectures are expected to come into commercial availability starting 2026 -2027 with an efficiency of about 27.5%; Silver is not an issue as of now as Tier 1 makers are already using less silver than the target under ITRPV.
Senior Product Marketing Manager, LONGi, Jason Yan presented the company’s Hi-MO 7 solar modules for utility scale applications. This is the latest product in the manufacturer’s Hi-MO series and was launched during SNEC this year (see LONGi Expands Hi-MO Series).
Based on M10 n-type wafer size, Hi-MO 7 uses LONGi’s HPDC bifacial cell with high-precision SMBB interconnection technology. It has a bifaciality of 80±10% and temperature coefficient of -0.28% /°C. Weighing 31.8 kg, the module offers a power output of 580W and efficiency of 22.5%.
Yan shared the company’s annual production target for Hi-MO 7 is 30 GW by the end of 2023 with a cell fab in Ordos, and module fab in Chuzhou and Jiaxing regions in China.
Aiko Solar’s Head of Product Management & Solutions Sales, Dr Shawn Li presented the company’s all back contact (ABC) solar modules with the world’s highest commercial module efficiency of 24% (see Top Solar Modules Listing—June 2023).
Li said the ABC module series of the company, based on backcontact architecture, covers the entire spectrum of applications, right from residential, C&I and utility. He also spoke about a new product based on ABC dual-glass module from the company, with efficiency of up to 22% and power output of 445W, that’s 50% lighter.
Trina Solar’s Product Manager Rocky Li presented the company’s Vertex n-iTOPCon module series. Currently, it holds 23.8% PERC cell efficiency, and 25.8% TOPCon advanced efficiency, which according to its efficiency roadmap will increase to a maximum of 24% for PERC by 2025. For i-TOPCon advanced, it will scale up to 26.3% by 2025 and to 26.6% by 2027.
Li also shared the ‘golden size’ module products from Trina for all three applications of rooftop, C&I and utility with respective benefits of size and weight, container utilization that he said are at par with the industry standards.
At the end of 2023, Trina aims to grow its solar module production capacity to 95 GW, cell capacity to 75 GW that will include 40 GW i-TOPCon, and Si ingot capacity to 50 GW.
AE Solar’s Head of Research and Development, Dr Hamed Hanifi talked about rethinking of half-cell interconnection and module design that helps boost energy output and durability. Hanifi focused specifically on the German company’s advanced module series TERRA, which he said is innovatively interconnected, offering high tolerance on partial shading and no self-shading.
It is built to withstand high resistance against wind and snow with the use of smaller cells. He explained that to deal with cell breakage and bending of the laminte, AE Solar puts the long side of cells in parallel to the longer side of the module to reduce stress caused by bending.
Hanifi batted for TERRA modules as the ‘perfect’ choice for vertically mounted applications, especially in the agrivoltaic space.
Astronergy Technical Manager EMEA, Ibrahim Desouky demonstrated the company’s N7 module technology. For this, it has used yet another wafer size of 182mm x 191 mm. At cell level, it has a 5% higher wafer area and 7.6% more power compared to M10 on which is based its N5 module.
The N7 series uses a light directing film that increases power by up to 2W and provides -30% less cell shading, he claimed. Apart from Astro 5 and Astro 7, Astronergy is also offering Astro N7s and Astro-AgriPV in its product portfolio among its new products.
At the end of 2022, Astronergy had total cell capacity of 13 GW, comprising 4 GW n-type, which will increase to 45 GW and 36 GW, by 2023-end, and 90 GW and 81 GW by 2025-end, respectively. Astronergy’s module capacity roadmap is to go up from 20 GW in 2022 to 50 GW in 2023 and 100 GW in 2025.
Sharing the company’s Himalaya high efficiency HJT technology for multi-scenario applications, Huasun Energy’s Director of Pre-sales Technical and Product Support Tracy Hong touted the technology for its lower carbon footprint. So HJT manufacturing there are only 4 steps as compared to 10 steps in other technologies.
HJT is also cost-effective since it uses thinner wafer. The company uses 130 μm wafer now, but plans to reduce it to 90 μm in the future. It currently has 2 GW production capacity for G12 series that has a maximum module efficiency of 23.2% and output of 720W, suitable for both commercial and utility projects. For G10, the capacity it has is 2.5 GW at present, and for M6 its current production capacity is 600 MW.
As per the company’s technology roadmap, Huasun will aim for 26.0% to 26.5% cell efficiency for G12 in 2024, taking it to 28% cell efficiency for 800W HJT+perovskite+210mm wafer module in 2025.
Huasun is going the whole hog for HJT technology. At the end of Q2/2023, it had annual HJT cell and module production capacity of 5.1 GW each, representing 25.3% cell efficiency and 23.5% module efficiency. At the end of 2023, it aims to grow to over 20 GW, and to 40 GW by 2025-end.
Runergy’s Module Technical Support Director Peter Peng discussed the cell manufacturer’s strategy to expand into module manufacturing. It ventured into module business in 2022 and aims to have over 34 GW n-type cell and 21 GW module capacity by 2023.
It is also improving n-type cell efficiency from 24.6% in 2022 to 25.2% in 2023, taking it up to 26.2% in 2025. With in-house cell manufacturing in China and Thailand, Runergy says it can fully support growing module demand with high quality control. Peng announced the company’s n-type module will be available for shipment in Q3/2023 for the US and EU markets.
Runergy modules cover different application scenarios as residential rooftop, commercial rooftop and utility applications.
On Wednesday June 28, the 2nd day of the Global PV System Technology Trends H1/2023 event will an exciting line up of speakers, including JinkoSolar’s Leo Cong; Solis’ Claire Gardner; JA Solar’s Jerry Sun; TWSolar’s Jack Xu; Risen Energy’s Jiajun Ye; DAS Solar’s Leo Chang; Jolywood’s Frank Wang; and DMEGC’s Rene Schuler, who will speak about what’s new in module, inverter and battery storage fields. TaiyangNews Head of Technology Shravan Chunduri will also be sharing a summary of our Top Solar Modules report for H1/2023. Registrations are free and can be done here.