- Products count in TaiyangNews Top Solar Modules April list remains at 22
- Huasun has improved its HJT module efficiency by 0.1% absolute to 22.2% with a new module series based on G12 wafer format
This is our monthly Top Solar Modules overview that refers to commercially available module products from most of the global leading module suppliers. The data for the survey was collected end of April 2022.
Efficiency and output power are the 2 key characteristics of a solar module. While there are several means to improve module power such as employing larger cell sizes or integrating more cells into a module, it’s the efficiency that truly speaks about the ability of the solar device to convert sunlight per area into power. That’s why this list includes only the highest efficient solar modules.
TaiyangNews has been covering the efficiency progress of solar modules through its annual reports on Advanced Module Technologies starting from 2017 and its annual conference as of 2020. However, in the quickly changing solar sector a lot is happening over the course of year – and to keep our readers updated about the efficiency progress more frequently, TaiyangNews has started this monthly column on commercial TOP SOLAR MODULES since the beginning of this year.
Before going into the details, here is some background on the methodology and selection criteria: Since module efficiencies have been improving considerably, more than 0.5% average per year, to make the list rewarding for technically advanced products we put the minimum efficiency to be included at 21.5%. We have listed only commercially available top modules from each cell technology stream of one module maker. For example, if a company is offering 2 different product streams based on PERC technology that have more than 21.5% efficiency, then only the product with the higher efficiency is considered for this list. But if a module maker is offering, for example, products based on PERC and TOPCon that have efficiencies of 21.5% or above, then both the products are listed here.
A commercially available module is considered a product for which the complete data sheet is listed on the module producer’s website. This also means we have not included any new product announcements as their modules specs often differ considerably from the products that are finally available for purchase, and some products presented at trade fairs are not even seeing the commercial light at all. Finally, we are only listing modules based on in-house produced cells of a respective manufacturer, which means modules using externally sourced cells are not featured in this TOP MODULES list. If module specs listed on websites seem to have ‘conspicuously’ high efficiencies, we ask for certificates from third-party test institutes among other information before we include a product in the list.
Meeting these criteria, according to our research (status end of April 2022), a total of 22 products from 21 companies have made it to the current list. This is the same number of products and companies as previous month. The top efficiency rank is taken by a 22.8% efficient back-contact module from Maxeon, which had improved its efficiency recently by 0.1% absolute. The top model of the Singapore-headquartered SunPower spin-off is now its Maxeon 6 series, which is based on larger wafer size. While the company has not specified the size, the core remains the same – SunPower/Maxeon’s proprietary IBC technology.
Jolywood again takes the second place; its TOPCon technology implements G12 wafer size in a 132-half-cell configuration and attains an efficiency of 22.53%. With 700 W, it is also the most powerful product on the list. And 3rd rank again goes to JinkoSolar for its 22.26% efficiency TOPCon module with 575 W power rating that is based on 144 half-cell configuration.
The only change in this month’s column is that the new HJT module from Huasun has 0.1% absolute higher efficiency over its predecessor as the result of employing larger G12 wafer format. As a result, Huasun’s module product improved one rank to the 4th postion, now sharing with REC, which is also offering a HJT module with 22.2% efficiency. This also has changed the ranking for SPIC, now placed 6th. The IBC module of the Chinese ompany based on German solar research institute ISC Konstanz’s Zebra technology is still rated with 21.1% efficiency. The remaining 16 products listed are below 22%.
There are several module series with efficiencies around 21% available today as high efficiency cell architectures are not a must to reach that level, but in order to design products beyond 21.5% the cell technology is key. As shown in the graph, PERC in general is no longer be able to support efficiencies above 21.6% today. Most of the modules with efficiencies above 21.6% are employing cells based on high-efficiency cell architectures such as IBC, TOPCon or HJT. However, in the current listing, only Meyer Burger and Jinergy (apart from above mentioned Huasun and REC) are promoting HJT module with respective efficiencies of 21.8% and 21.6%. Then, the Hi-MO 5m series from LONGi is somewhat exception with its rated high efficiency of 21.7% for a PERC module. Of the remaining 13 listed products, all of which are most likely PERC, 6 reach 21.6%, 4 come with 21.5%, and 3 are rated in-between, including the first-time featured product from Seraphim with 21.56%.
Changes in this edition
As discussed, the current list featuring the summary of our April market research on commercial module efficiencies shows that the number of the products above our 21.5% threshold of as well as their suppliers has remained the same compared to last month.. However, Huasun came out with a new module product, HS-210-B110, which is part of the same Himlaya series as its earlier listed product. While the previously listed module was based on M6 format, the company for the first time came out with a commercial HJT module base don G12 wafer format. The module is built with 110 half cells featuring MBB interconnection design with a rated power of 580 W. It also includes bifacial technology, unlike the earlier product, thus reaping the complete benefit of HJT.
Stay tuned for the next update in June 2022.
PS: If you have spotted somewhere a solar module that meets our criteria and might be missing in this list, please send us the link of the website with the product specs to email@example.com.
Disclaimer: While TaiyangNews is carefully conducting its research for the module data shown in this article and graphs, we assume no liability for its accuracy, completeness, or timeliness.