In December 2020, during a 4-day Virtual Conference on High Efficiency Solar Technologies organized by TaiyangNews, industry stakeholders expressed their belief in the potential of N-type technology, including Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contacts (TOPCon) solar cell technology, saying it is a worthy contender to take over from PERC (see Day 3: TaiyangNews High Efficiency Solar Event).
Now 6 months down the line, N-type technology is coming alive in the production facilities of several top module makers, including the ones that are already invested into the technology as Jolywood and Risen Energy.
At the early June, concluded SNEC 2021 event, Jolywood, that has been developing N-type TOPCon technology for past 6 years, introduced its new generation of N-type J-TOPCon 2.0 Niwa Max claiming an output of up to 700W. Based on 210 cell size, the Niwa Max module is to enter mass production in Q2/2022.
Risen Energy too brought out its 700W high efficiency panel for which it claims to have combined TOPCon and heterojunction (HJT) technologies (see 700W Solar Power Module From Risen Energy).
LONGi Solar released its 1st TOPCon module Hi-MO N at SNEC 2021 as a bifacial panel. It has a 72-cell configuration with of course is based on 182mm sized wafers. The conversion efficiency is up to 22.3% and it can reach power output of up to 570W in mass production (see China PV News Snippets: Tongwei, LDK, Yingli, LONGi, GoodWe).
LONGi is aiming the new module to become a flagship product, targeting utility scale PV power plants as it claims Hi-MO N is most suited in applications on surfaces with high reflections, high temperature, limited land and high labor costs.
Another tier I cell and module supplier JinkoSolar also unveiled its N-type solar panel based on 182mm wafer sized cell at SNEC 2021 with a power output of up to 625W and module efficiency of 22.86%. It recently reported achieving a 25.25% power conversion efficiency for its large area N-type monocrystalline silicon solar cells, claiming it a world record for large size TOPCon solar cells (see JinkoSolar: ‘Record’ 25.25% Efficiency For TOPCon Cell).
In a statement released, JinkoSolar shared, “JinkoSolar’s PERC capacity could reach 37 GW by the end of this year, plus or minus 1 GW depending on TOPCon which is an upgrade of this existing capacity to the next efficiency level of up to 24.5%.”
Solar cell manufacturer Aiko Solar has also decided to add N-type production capacity to its portfolio with a total of 8.5 GW capacity, as it announced during SNEC 2021. It will add 6.5 GW in Zhuhai location and another 2.0 GW at its Zhengjiang site. The company has already achieved its target of 36 GW PERC solar cell technology as announced in August 2020 (see Aiko Solar Developing 36 GW PV Cell Capacity). Addition of 8.5 GW N-type capacity will take its total installed solar cell production capacity to 44.5 GW (36 GW PERC+8.5 GW N-type) by 2022. However, Aiko would not say if this is TOPCon or HJT.
In May 2021, South Korean solar module company Hanwha Q Cells said it plans to launch a new N-type Q.Tron solar module in 2021 (see Hanwha To Launch New N-Type Solar Module In 2021).
With all the new N-type TOPCON commercial products set to enter the global markets, this is only a first step – PERC will remain by far the cell technology of choice for the majority due to its proven and cost-efficient technology for the next few years. This is also true if you add N-type cell technologies HJT and IBC. Chinese solar blogging site PV-Men expects demand for N-type modules to account for 8 GW of global PV module demand in 2021, out of the forecasted 135 GW, which will be only a slight increase from 6 GW in 2020 (see China PV News Snippets: LONGi, Topray, Zhanghuan, N-type).
JinkoSolar and Jolywood have presented details on their n-type modules at the recent TaiyangNews Very High-Power Solar Modules & SNEC PREVIEW Virtual Conference in May 2021; the presentation recordings can be viewed on our Youtube Channel.
Our Very High Power Solar Modules Report is for free download here.