Day 1: Intersolar Munich Review Conference

TaiyangNews Conference: Hot On Trail Of Utility Scale Solar At Intersolar Europe 2022

Day 1: Intersolar Munich Review Conference

TaiyangNews’ Michael Schmela and greentech’s Fabian Wany engaged in a lively fire chat on day 1 of our Intersolar Munich Review Conference. (Photo Credit: TaiyangNews)

  • TaiyangNews’ Intersolar Munich Review Conference day 1 focused on product innovations from leading module makers for larger scale PV
  • LONGi Solar, JA Solar, Huasun and Risen Energy presented salient features of their products and their technology roadmaps on PERC, TOPCon, HJT
  • In a fire chat session, greentech’s Fabian Wany said barring high steel and aluminum prices that are stabilizing now, currently the European solar industry is quite charged up for the future

One and a half weeks after Intersolar Europe (part of the Smarter E) in Munich ended, counting around 65,000 visitors, 33% more than the last pre-Coronavirus event in 2019, TaiyangNews has held the first day of its Intersolar Review Virtual Conference.

As SNEC in Shanghai is not taking place as planned this May due to the recent Lockdown in the city, Intersolar has turned into the world’s largest and most international solar show.  The meeting came at a strategic time when the solar industry faces unprecedented challenges due to high prices, raw material shortages but also huge opportunities in the face of the global climate crisis and geostrategic issues.

Nonetheless, Intersolar Europe 2022 was a perfect platform for various companies to launch their newest and updated products. TaiyangNews was at the show and picked up a few interesting threads. We have brought together some of the leading companies to talk about their products and share learnings from the event during a 2-day event on Intersolar Munich Conference on May 24-25, 2022.

Day 1 on May 24, 2022 was dedicated to product innovations from leading module makers for larger scale PV.

TaiyangNews Head of Technology Shravan Chunduri presented a brief overview on what was hot at Intersolar Munich 2022, starting with winners of various awards at the event – including REC Solar for its heavy metal free solar module, Gamesa for a high-efficiency central inverter with a sophisticated cooling system, and M10 for an cell connection device that enables production of shingle module technology. While there is an exciting buzz about local manufacturing within Europe, Chunduri also provided examples of the growing trend towards larger cell and module sizes. High efficiency cell architecture-based modules are also increasingly being introduced using heterojunction (HJT), TOPCon and IBC technologies. Companies presented their products with  high aesthetics designs such as black backsheets, black ribbon for all black modules, white reflective ribbons, and the like.

Almost all companies were seen promoting all black modules for residential applications. There were also many building integrated PV (BIPV) based new solutions from several manufacturers including HJT based solar roof tiles from Meyer Burger and curtain walls from LONGi. New products were also launched by many inverter and tracker makers, with the later showing designs with less material use, for example.

Chunduri said TaiyangNews plans to publish a report in late June on What’s Hot At Intersolar covering solutions and products introduced at the event – and who’s presented interesting new products should get in touch.

LONGi Solar’s Senior Product Marketing Manager Jason Yan presented the value proposition of 182mm/M10 technology based on bifacial PERC modules in larger solar applications during the conference. At Intersolar Europe, the company presented its Hi-MO 5m 54c in standard and all black variants, along with a LONGi Roof product.

Terming 182 as optimal size for utility scale solar power plants for solar modules, Yan said the focus now should be on efficiency improvement, while saying that leading companies including JA and JinkoSolar agreed on the same module dimension for their 182 products to create standardized sizes that make it easier for installers.

Yan also shared that LONGi’s 182 PERC cell has reached a benchmark factory efficiency of 23.8% with ultra-low silver consumption and high yield and by the end of 2022, the company aims to increase it to 24%. Additionally, in H2/2022, main power of Hi-MO5 bifacial modules based on standard size will be 550W, with an efficiency of 21.3%.

Talking about n-type being the future solar PV technology for the company, JA Solar’s Senior Product Strategy Manager Lida Guo presented the company’s newly launched n-type DeepBlue 4.0X modules with advanced Bycium+ cell technology which marks its entrance into the n-type club (see JA Solar Joins N-Type Solar Module Club).

The company expects P-type PERC module to remain mainstream module for the next 3-5 years, but after 5 years sees n-type module to become one of the leading products after mono PERC, taking up 50% of the market share.

With further improvement of technology and production processes, JA Solar expects the cost difference between n-type and P-type modules to drop down 55% from now in 2023. In 2024, the cost difference will decrease by 90% bringing their costs bringing both at par, according to Guo.

Currently, JA has a Bycium+ solar cell manufacturing capacity of 50 MW in a pilot line. By September 2022, it targets to start DeepBlue 4.0X mass production capacity at  1.3 GW capacity and further to 6.5 GW by December 2022. By 2023, the overarching target is to increase n-type module capacity to 15 GW.

Discussing HJT G12 cells and modules for utility scale PV parks and C&I sectors, Huasun’s Director of International Sales Criss Jin shared the company’s technology roadmap. Huasun is targeting to produce 800W solar modules using HJT and perovskite solar cell technologies based on 210mm wafer size by 2025. Jin also discussed its Himalaya G12 series whose module efficiency has reached 22.5% with power output of 700W.

Pointing at the growing interest in HJT technology, Jin said his company is contracted by Inercom to supply its HJT modules for the ‘biggest’ HJT module utility project in the world at present with 350 MW capacity. It is coming up in Pazardzhik region of Bulgaria. Huasun has already supplied 86 MW capacity and continues to supply more (see China PV News Snippets).

Risen Energy’s Global Marketing Director Leon Zhuang focused on strengthening high efficiency HJT modules with robust frame design during his presentation. At Intersolar, Risen Energy presented its RSM130-8-xxxM module under Titan Series in silver and black frame calling it the King of Rooftop as it delivers an output of 435W to 445W, the ‘highest’ among mainstream products in overseas residential rooftop market currently.

The Chinese company uses what it terms high strength alloy steel (HSAS) frame for its modules touting lower carbon footprint, stable supply and higher tear resistance vis-à-vis compared to aluminum frame. For these there are no additional installation costs since structure designs are based on aluminum frames and same grounding method is used. It is already shipping HSAS frame products in bulk, Zhuang shared.

Having introduced its 1st Heterojunction solar cell based on G12 wafer size in May 2022 for Hyper-ion HJT modules, Risen Energy now aims to scale up mass shipment of the Hyper-ion solar modules to over 5 GW by Q3/2023 (see Risen Energy Produces G12 HJT Solar Cell).

Fire chat

At the end of day 1 conference, TaiyangNews Managing Director Michael Schmela engaged Director EPC Sales of Greentech, Fabian Wany in a fire chat that revolved around the buzz at Intersolar Europe 2022.

Wany was upbeat about the mood at Intersolar with all the serious talk and action for local solar PV manufacturing. When prodded by Schmela about the supply chain concerns with ongoing COVID-19 related restrictions in China, Wany said there doesn’t seem to be any major problem with module supply from the Asian giant. He talked about continued shipments from the country with no trade issues or political restrictions being imposed on the supply chain leading to a positive sentiment about high installations in Europe this year.

However, he pointed at the high steel and aluminum prices that seem to be impacting solar installers significantly at present.

With the European Commission (EC) announcing REPowerEU, Wany believes permitting should be faster for renewable energy projects soon on but believes it is availability of grid connection that should be eased across Europe for renewable energy to contribute much more to the energy transition.

As a solar EPC company, developer and technical advisor to developers, Wany said despite all the hype around large format modules and personally being excited about n-type, his company does not yet see any overwhelming demand for these in Germany though with proper integration and technological support, the market should eventually lead there.

Sharing his wishlist for next year’s Intersolar Europe, Wany said a transition towards 2 really standardized module formats would be a great step, along with products that have a lower CO2 footprint.

Day 2 of the conference will take place on May 25, 2022 to discuss the latest modules for rooftop solar segment with advanced cell architectures. Look forward to presentations from Trina Solar, JinkoSolar, Chint Astronergy, Jolywood and SPIC, preceded by an opening speech from Co-Chair ITRPV, Dr, Markus Fischer, and followed by a fire chat with Solyco Solar CEO Lars Podlowski. Register free for day 2 here.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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