- Products count of Top Solar Modules in June remained at 25
- Maxeon still tops with 22.8%, while China’s Huasun has introduced a 22.53% efficient HJT product, lifting it to second rank on the list
- SPIC has improved by 0.2% points the efficiency of its 132-cell IBC module
In this 7th version of our monthly ranking of commercially available solar panel products from most of the global leading module suppliers 25 products are listed, that’s the same number as in the previous month but with few changes. The data for the survey was collected end of June 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 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.
Before going into the 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. 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. 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 June 2022), a total of 25 products from 22 companies have made it to the current list, that is same number as in the last edition. However this version features one new and one updated product compared to the previous listing.
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.
But we see a change already for the second rank of our listing. Unlike last month, when Jolywood was alone enjoying the second best position, it now has to share the rank with Huasun’s latest product. Both the products from Huasun and Jolwyood 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 Huansun’s product is based on HJT, Jolywood relies on TOPCon technology.
Canadian Solar dropped one spot, and now takes the 4th position with its HJT module series called HiHero, which comes with 25.5% efficiency and 440 W power rating. SPIC is now at 5th place, 3 positions up, as a result of 0.2% points higher efficiency for its IBC module based on Germany’s solar research institute ISC Konstanz’s Zebra technology. The module also has a slightly higher rated power of 440 W, compared to 435 W in the previous edition.
SPIC’s IBC module shares the 5th rank with REC’s Alpha Pure-R series product that has 22.3% efficiency and 430 W module power. The next on the list is Qcells, which is also ranked 5th. Its 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. While the Korean company has not explicitly mentioned the cell technology on its technical spec, it very likely seems to be based on TOPCon technology. Qcells’ module features zero gap technology. JinkoSolar moved down to 8th 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%, which translates into rank 9th on the list. Astronergy is employing 144 of M10 half cells to realize an output power of 570 W.
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. LONGi is somewhat an exception for a PERC module with its high efficiency rating of 21.7%, which earns the company the 11th position, ahead of Jinergy’s HJT product.
Of the remaining 13 listed products, all of which are based on PERC, 6 reach 21.6%, 4 come with 21.5%, and 3 are rated in-between. PERC products from Astronergy, Qcells and Jinergy are also listed on top of their high-efficiency modules as these different technology panels of the companies still meet our criteria of at least 21.5% efficiency (see: Top Solar Modules Listing – May 2022).
As mentioned above, the current monthly high-efficiency module ranking featuring the summary of our research in June has undergone few changes. China’s Huasun came up its new the Himalaya G12, an HJT product which has the second highest efficiency and is now ranked #2 on the list. The module is built with 132 bifacial half cells and MBB interconnection design resulting in a rated power of 700 W, the highest level in our list, which it shares with Jolywood’s TOPCon model. The other change comes from SPIC, whose product has a higher module product efficiency of 0.2%. This IBC module with 132 cell configuration has a rated power of 440 W.
Stay tuned for the next update in August 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.