Top Solar Modules Listing – August 2022

Monthly TaiyangNews Update on Commercially Available High Efficiency Solar Modules

Cell efficiency matters: For our monthly top module listing we have chosen a benchmark efficiency of 21.5%. The list of 27 commercial products shows that today PERC is not able to support module efficiencies beyond 21.6% – and high efficiency cell architectures are required beyond that level. (Source: TaiyangNews)

  • Product count of Top Solar Modules in August increased from 26 to 27, while a few changes did happened in details
  • EgingPV’s TOPCon module with  22.05% efficiency and 685 W rated power is the new entrant into the list raked at 11th
  • Rest of the products have not undergone any changes except for changed rankings due to new module from Eging PV.

In our latest global monthly ranking of the most efficient commercially available solar panels 27 products are listed, that’s one module more compared to previous month. The table also shows few changes in the ranking. The data for the survey was collected end of August 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. The latest event on Solar Module Innovations took place in Nov. 2021 (presentations see here). However, in the quickly changing solar sector a lot is happening over the course of a year – and to keep our readers updated about the efficiency progress more frequently, TaiyangNews has started this monthly column on commercial TOP SOLAR MODULES at the beginning of 2022.

Methodology

Before going into details, here is some background on the methodology and selection criteria: Since module efficiencies have been improving considerably in recent years, 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. Efficiency is the only criteria for ranking in the list (whenever available in the specs, we have used two digits after the comma for efficiencies, otherwise one). However, as we see more often products with the same efficiency, in this case power determine the order. And when efficiency and even power are the same, we have listed the manufacturers in alphabetical order.

A commercially available module is considered a product for which the complete data sheet is listed on the module producer’s website. The efficiency and power data listed here is takne from the data sheet available on the respective company’s website. This also means we have not included any new product announcements without final technical data published 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 module 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.

 

Results & Changes

Meeting these criteria, according to our research (status end of August 2022), a total of 27 products from 23 companies have made it to the current list; that means while the product count increased by one, the number of companies remained unchanged over our last edition.  That’s because, Eging PV has been in our previous listings as a supplier of PERC modules.

The top efficiency rank is still earned by a 22.8% efficient back-contact module from Maxeon. The top model of the Singapore-headquartered SunPower spin-off is now its Maxeon 6 series that 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.

The second position is taken by the same companies for the last two months – Huasun and Jolywood share 2nd place. Both the products from Huasun and Jolywood are based on the same configuration – G12 wafer size in a 132 half-cell configuration and an efficiency of 22.53%. With 700 W, both these modules also share the list of the most powerful products. Interestingly, their cell technology is different –  while Huasun’s product is based on HJT, Jolywood relies on TOPCon technology.

On 4th position, like last time, are Canadian Solar and Akcome. The HJT modules of both the companies reach the same efficiency of 22.5%. However,  Akcome’s Hi-Chaser module built with 132 bifacial half cells of G12 format has a power rating of 700 W, while the  HiHero from Canadian Solar rated with 440 W is based on 108 half cells with MBB technology, also employing G12 format.

SPIC’s IBC module based on Germany’s solar research institute ISC Konstanz’s Zebra technology, which has a rated power of 440 W and 22.3% efficiency, has remained at the 6th spot. Again, it shares that rank with REC and Qcells. REC’s Alpha Pure-R series HJT product has 22.3% efficiency and 430 W module power, while Qcells Q.TRON module series based on n-type technology comes with the same efficiency of 22.3% but a lower power rating of 400 W. The Korean company has not explicitly mentioned the cell technology on its technical spec, but it very likely seems to be based on TOPCon technology. Qcells’ module features zero gap technology. JinkoSolar  stayed at 9th position with its TOPCon 144 half-cell module with an efficiency of 22.26% and 575 W power. The Astro 5 TOPCon module of Chint Astronergy reaches an efficiency of 22.1%, remained at same spot at 10th rank. Astronergy is employing 144 of M10 half cells to realize an output power of 570 W.

EgingPV’s AuroraPro series module is the only new product of the current listing. This TOPCon based bifacial module has an efficiency of 22.05%, which means the 11th place in our ranking. The module has a rated power of 685 W. As a result of Eging PV’s new module entry, the following modules listed have moved one rank down.

The remaining 16 products listed are below 22%, of which only two are HJT based and the rest are PERC followers. Like last month, Meyer Burger is offering its HJT product with the same efficiency of 21.8% and power rating of 390 W. Jinergy is another HJT technology company, whose product is based on M6 cell format and reaches 21.68% module efficiency.

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. Until recently only LONGi was somewhat of an exception offering a PERC module with a high efficiency rating of 21.7%, which earns the company the 13th position, ahead of Jinergy’s HJT product. Risen Energy also shares 13th rank along with LonGi with 21.7% efficiency.

Of the remaining 12 listed products, all of which are based on PERC (except Jinergy’s HJT module), 5 reach 21.6%, 3 come with 21.5%, and 4 are rated in-between. The PERC products from Astronergy, Qcells,  Jinergy and Eging PV are also listed in addition to their high-efficiency products as these panels still meet our criteria of at least 21.5% efficiency (see Top Solar Modules Listing – July 2022).

Summary

As discussed above, our latest monthly high-efficiency module ranking featuring the summary of our research in August has undergone few changes. In this latest version, we have included EgingPV’s new module, based on TOPCon cell technology. This 685W  product is built with 132 of G12 half cells interconnected with MBB layout. Wit the inclusion of the module from EgingPV on the 11th position, the following modules were ranked one position lower than previous month.

Stay tuned for the next update in October 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 top-modules@taiyangnews.info.

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.

 

About The Author

Shravan Chunduri

Shravan Chunduri is Head of Technology at TaiyangNews. Shravan caught the solar bug vey early in this career, starting 20 years ago in research, followed by solar manufacturing, then writing and consulting. His responsibility spans from writing technology articles and reports.

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