Bifacial as a technology made such a great progress in several aspects reliability, standards and in other areas that almost every latest product from the leading module manufacturers is also available in a bifacial variant. The undeniable advantage of bifacial technology is that it can be combined with most of the advanced module technologies. This is also reflected at the product level. We scoured through the data sheets of more than 300 products from 25 module producers for our late January released Advanced Module Technologies 2021 report. As part of this effort, we have also collected the data for bifacial modules – and 13 module makers confirmed specifications of 77 bifacial products collected. We analysed this information to see that the trend of increasing module power and sizes based on larger wafers is spreading rapidly. Another important and apparent trend is the use of multiple advanced technologies in one module product with bifacial being an important spice of this technology mix.
While it was our practice to segregate the module products based on technologies in the past, this has become obsolete. Because the most important attribute of the module, which is power, is today to a large extent a function of wafer size rather than the technology on which it is built on. Inline with the current developments, we have grouped the bifacial module products from leading companies according to the 4 mainstream wafer sizes – G12, M10, M6 and G1. There are a couple of products that have slightly different sizes, which we have clubbed with the nearest main size and indicated to keep the overview more simple.
G12 bifacial modules:
The largest commercially available wafer size today is 210 mm full square, often referred as G12. So far, only four companies are mainly promoting such module products in the commercial space – Canadian Solar Inc. (CSI), Risen, Trina Solar and Maxeon, a spinoff from US-based SunPower. A total of 7 products are promoted by these companies and all are based on p-type PERC technology. These very large wafer sizes are brand new, introduced less than 2 years ago; it took sometime for other advanced cell architectures to be implemented on these larger wafer formats, however, there was an announcement that Risen Energy’s HJT Solar Modules Exceed 600W Output. The major difference among these products is power, which is a direct function of the number of cells employed in building these modules. CSI is offering the most powerful bifacial module with a rated power of 655 W, which is built with the highest number of G12 cells, which is 66. The next lower cell count is 60, which is the base of module products offered by Risen and CSI that come at power ratings of 600 W and 595 W, respectively. Trina is offering 55 and 50 cell configurations with output power of 550 W and 505 W. Maxeon’s shingled module comes with a labelled power of 545 W, and the technology, which slices the cells into several strips, is self-explanatory for its somewhat atypical cell count of 57.
As for the other module technologies combined with bifacial are half-cell and MBB, both of which are an ideal match for bifacial. Only Trina is employing a 3-cut configuration, meaning the G12 cells are split into 3 pieces instead of two for half cut cells. In line with PERC technology, the bifaciality of these products is said to vary between 65% and 75%, while Maxeon is stating a somewhat lower fixed level of 65%.
The text is an excerpt from the TaiyangNews Bifacial Solar 2021 – Part 1: Cells and Modules report. For more details on bifacial modules in different wafer sizes perspective, please download the report, here.
TaiyangNews’ Bifacial Solar Conference 2021 Videos are available on YouTube; to view the event recordings click here.