- Day 2 of TaiyangNews Virtual Conference on Global PV System Technology Trends H1/2023 saw participation from a host of module, inverter and storage companies
- With their future production roadmap is TOPCon or HJT, it is n-type that’s gaining market share with focus on making it better than competitors
- Companies are also going in for further customized products for various applications and regions, to remain relevant
After an insightful day 1 of the TaiyangNews Virtual Conference on Global PV System Technology Trends H1/2023, day 2 continued the discussion with more leading companies presenting technological innovations in their products, as showcased during SNEC in Shanghai, China, and at Smarter E/Intersolar Europe at Munich, Germany.
The conference started with Head of Technology at TaiyangNews, Shravan Chunduri presenting a brief summary of our Top Modules Report H1/2023 that analyses the efficiency progress of solar modules over the last 18 months, with an emphasis on H1/2023 (free report download here).
According to the report, more and more companies are offering modules with more than 1 technology as they diversify to IBC, heterojunction (HJT), TOPCon, going beyond PERC alone.
Similarly, there is increased focus on efficiency. While Aiko Solar leads with the highest commercial module efficiency of 24.0%, the largest share of companies is seen in the efficiency band of 22.0% to 22.5%. The lowest of the 4 efficiency bands (21.5% to 21.7%) that the report categorizes the commercial modules with highest efficiency, is seeing the crowd dispersing.
Even then, the list is dominated by PERC modules, yet TOPCon is growing its clout. Modules with high power of over 600W are dominant in the list with 45% share, added Chunduri.
JinkoSolar Product Manager Leo Cong spoke about the dimension of standardization calling it the best choice for next-generation module products. Cong shared that the company recently held a seminar for rectangular products and invited other manufacturers to attend. He explained, “The (9) leading companies reached an agreement on the module size 2,382 mm x 1,134 mm and vertical hole distance 400-790-1,400.”
Focused on n-type, JinkoSolar expects this technology to represent more than 60% of its shipments in 2023. It also has a plan to roll out rectangular wafer (182mm x 210mm) based Tiger Neo new products with 600 W to 620 W output and efficiency of 22.21% to 22.95%, starting in H1/2024. These rectangular products will exceed 10 GW annual production capacity under phase I.
Marketing Manager-Europe for Solis, Claire Gardner talked about the inverter maker’s new string inverter and battery storage solutions, including an inverter for utility scale applications with 350 kW capacity.
Gardner said the Chinese company makes efforts to understand the needs of individual markets to offer products that are relevant and helpful in those scenarios specifically. For instance, shared Gardner, Solis is coming out with its new hybrid PRO storage to address grid instability in a market like South Africa that battles load shedding on a regular basis.
Its various new offerings, that the company unveiled at SNEC and Intersolar 2023, includes a plug-and-play mini-inverter for balcony solar applications for a market like Germany that’s seeing a growing interest in these products.
JA Solar’s Senior Manager of Product Promotion, Jerry Sun shared the design concept and updated technical features of the manufacturer’s DeepBlue 4.0 based on 182mm x 199mm wafers.
Released during SNEC 2023, JA’s DeepBlue 4.0 Pro comes with 22.5% efficiency and 630W output. Its core technology is bycium+cell of which JA says it has independently developed. It also integrates SMBB technology and high-density encapsulation technology.
Interestingly, JA is using 3 different module configurations from this single wafer size, which Sun explained is intentionally done to adapt to demands of different application scenarios as residential, C&I, and utility.
JA Solar targets to increase bycium+n-type cell efficiency, that it uses for DeepBlue 4.0 panels, to 25.6% by H2/2023, which is when it also plans to venture into tandem-perovskite & silicon cell technology starting with 27.0% efficiency, reaching 29% by 2025, according to its cell efficiency roadmap.
Tongwei Solar’s Overseas Technical Service Director for PV Business Division, Jack Xu presented the company’s latest n-type module products. Having entered the module business not too long back with ambitious expansion plans, Tongwei launched 2 new products at Intersolar 2023 based on 2 different technologies — TOPCon and HJT.
TNC is the company’s TOPCon module with up to 625 W output and 23.2% efficiency, using 2,382 mm x 1,134 mm size, while the HJT module THC goes up to 730W and up to 23.5% efficiency based on 2,384 mm x 1,303 mm size. It also uses, as Xu explained, the industry’s ‘1st’ self-developed PECVD technology.
According to its TNC capacity roadmap, Tongwei aims to grow its TOPCon cell capacity by 16 GW to 25 GW in Q3/2023, up from 9 GW now, and further with another 25 GW addition to an eventual 50 GW by Q1/2024.
Xu said the company has been researching the THC technology since 2018, building its 1st GW-level THC production line in China in 2021. The champion efficiency of the THC reached 26.18% in March 2023 using bifacial nc-Si.
In terms of its production capacity roadmap, Tongwei said at the end of 2022 its annual polysilicon, monocrystalline wafer, solar cell and module capacity was 260 kilotons, 15 GW, 70 GW and 14 GW, respectively.
By the end of 2023, it targets to scale these up to 380 kilotons for polysilicon, 100 GW for solar cells and 80 GW for modules. Cell capacity will remain the same, however the technology share of TOPCon and n-type will increase.
Risen Energy’s Product Manager Jiajun Ye presented very large 700W+ HJT modules for utility applications at the conference. These modules use 90μm thin wafers, have a low silver usage of 10 mg/W, and use half wafer processing with a customized encapsulation, all of which Ye said helps improve performance and reducing costs.
Claiming HJT to be the fastest growing among all n-type technologies, Ye said Risen is devoted to the n-type route of HJT to build its products for various applications.
He presented the company’s Hyper-ion modules that use low silver content but are high on reliability. For the utility scale segment, Risen’s 700W+ Hyper-ion modules provide up to 23.9% efficiency with a 66-cell configuration. Mass production for these modules is scheduled to begin in June 2023.
For both C&I and utility scale segments, Risen offers the Hyper-ion module with 55 cells having 585 W and 22.4% efficiency.
Risen Energy plans to grow its HJT Production capacity from 5 GW in H1/2023 to 15 GW in H2/2023, said Ye. And the manufacturer believes its Hyper-ion products will lead scale up and low-cost industrialization of HJT technology.
DAS Solar’s Technical Director Leo Chang shared new developments for the n-type product range of the Chinese manufacturer that’s a relatively young company, having incorporated in 2018. Yet, it has already reached TOPCon 3.0 and is now aims to roll out 4.0 version targeting 26% efficiency in 2024-2025.
In cooperation with the UNSW team led by Prof Martin Green, it is also developing SFOS (Singlet Fission on silicon solar cell) solar cell technology, aiming for 35% efficiency by 2026.
Pointing at the company’s DAON series, Chang said during SNEC and Intersolar DAS Solar introduced n-type double glass modules for rooftop in an all-black avatar. This n-type module is 3.7 kg lighter than normal double glass panels and 0.7 kg lighter than single glass module, claimed Chang. It uses blue light-free coating design for the product with 22.0% highest efficiency and 430W output.
Another interesting DAON offering from DAS Solar is an n-type high efficiency lightweight module having up to 500W output that’s flexible with a bending radius of 880 mm. Targeted for buildings, it can help lower warehousing and transportation costs, Chang added.
Jolywood Product Manager Frank Wang presented the Chinese manufacturer’s new transparent backsheet bifacial module at the conference. Equipped with its proprietary Hauberk transparent backsheet technology, Jolywood claims mass production efficiency of over 25.2% for the new modules with degradation by 1% in the 1st year.
The transparent backsheet is made up of 3 layers, namely transparent organic-inorganic nano-hybrid material layer of 20μm on the air side, transparent PET substrate of 275μm in the middle, and transparent organic-inorganic nano-hybrid material layer of 15μm. It then undergoes a microwave curing process to form a dense alloy protective layer, acting as a transparent ‘armor’ layer of the backsheet.
It makes the module 17% light weight, comes with a self-cleaning ability which increases transmittance, therefore reliability leading to system reduction cost that means more income, stated Wang. Jolywood is also offering 30-year warranty on these modules.
DMEGC Solar’s Head of Product Marketing Europe, René Schüler presented the company’s innovative n-type c-Si solar modules. He stressed on production traceability, low carbon footprint and assured warranty with extensive external testing as priorities for the company.
In 2023, its n-type cell production capacity is 14 GW and module capacity 12 GW. By 2025, the target is to have 28 GW cell and 25 GW module capacity in production.
While it offers a monofacial glass/foil series, DMEGC’s bifacial dual glass product portfolio also comprises modules from 415 W to 625 W power output with various configuration. Among these is a full black variant generating 425 W output and 21.76% efficiency.
The manufacturer is also exploring applications beyond residential, C&I and utility for its products. Schüler said DMEGC has a Green House series as well catering to the agrivoltaic segment.
The conference summary of Day 1 of Global PV System Technology Trends H1/2023 saw manufacturers targeting massive capacity expansions based on their technology roadmap (see Review: Day 1—Global PV System Technology Trends H1/2023).
Save the date. TaiyangNews will be holding a Virtual Conference on H1 Market Overview—Supply, Demand & Prices on July 25, 2023, and a Virtual Conference on Solar Power Plant Developments on August 31, 2023. Registrations for both events are free.