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PV module

Acciona has created a hub in its El Romero Solar plant (Atacama, Chile) to test new photovoltaic technologies that will improve the efficiency and performance of solar energy facilities.
The hub will focus on the mechanical and energy capacity of double-sided crystalline, split-cell and thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) technologies, all of them in the development phase, with the intention of shaping PV energy’s evolution. The solar modules have been produced by JA Solar and First Solar, and a variety of solar trackers will be used, manufactured by STI Nordland and Soltec.

The innovation center, in which two of the three tracker zones have already been installed, will have a power generation facility with a total capacity of 492 kWp (180 kW rated) consisting of 1,280 modules in three series of trackers connected to nine inverters. These will be assisted by other equipment to measure and monitor parameters such as incident and reflected solar radiation, ambient temperature or the production temperature of each kind of module, among others.

Unlike conventional solar modules, which only have photovoltaic cells on one side, the double-sided modules have cells on both sides of the panel to capture reflected solar radiation and increase output per surface unit occupied.

In split-cell modules each cell is divided into two parts. This reduces energy losses and improves the durability of the panel.

Finally, the thin-film modules are made from semi-conductive materials as alternatives to conventional crystalline silicon –such as cadmium telluride- that reduce both manufacturing costs and their carbon footprint during their working life.

Advanced technologies

Advanced technologies in photovoltaic solar are one of the main strategic approaches that guide Acciona’s innovation activities in the field of clean energies. One of the most innovative projects to date is the hybridization of organic photovoltaic panels in a wind turbine tower to power a turbine in the Breña wind farm (Albacete, Spain).

El Romero Solar is one of the biggest photovoltaic plants owned and operated by Acciona, with a capacity of 246 MWp. Located in the Atacama Desert in Chile, an area with some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, it produces energy equivalent to the consumption of around 240,000 Chilean households. Part of its capacity will be used to supply Google’s data center in the country.

Jinko Solar has been one of only four PV module suppliers to receive a “AA” bankability rating from PV-Tech & Solar Media. Jinko Solar is the only PV module supplier to have AA-Ratings for the past 12 consecutive quarters.

In its first ever quarterly PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings, PV Tech set out to create an independent, comprehensive and transparent ranking system to help investors, banks, project developers and EPCs differentiate between the hundreds of PV module suppliers that sell to commercial, industrial, and utility customers around the world.

Mr. Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar, commented, “We are extremely pleased to be recognized by such a reputable and independent organization as PV Tech. 2019 is already shaping up to be one of the top five warmest years on record. As the need for cleaner alternative energy solutions becomes ever more important, and as our industry continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly difficult for customers to distinguish between supplier claims. While we have always been focused on pushing through technological innovations and producing the highest quality modules in the market, we have also deliberately tried to balance profitability and the long-term sustainability of our business.”

Source: Jinko Solar

Silicon wafer accounts for 30%-40% of the cost of a solar module. Larger wafer size increase the area exposed to light, increasing power and reducing cost. So that, since 2H-2018, the industry has continued to develop larger size wafers, leading to various specifications.

LONGi Solar has launched recently a press release stressesing the need for consistency in standards for PV wafers size. As the press release states, according to Professor Shen Wenzhong, Director, Solar Energy Research Institute of Shanghai Jiaotong University: “The 166 mm wafer has reached the allowable limit of production equipment which is difficult to overcome. This would be the upper limit of the standard for a considerable period.”

Li Zhenguo, President of LONGi Group considers that these different wafer sizes will lead to a mismatch in processes and standards in the supply chain, according to. “If manufacturers cannot reach an agreement on a size standard, it will restrict the development of the whole industry.” said.

Shen Wenzhong also said: “Existing crystal drawing and slicing equipment are compatible with 166 mm size silicon wafer. Production equipment for cell and module needs to be modified, though the costs are lower and easier to achieve. Calculated by “flux”, cell and module production line using 166 mm wafer will increase capacity by 13% as compared with the 156 mm size”.

The order books for LONGi’s Hi-MO4 modules using M6 monocrystalline silicon wafers, 166 mm, have exceeded 2 GW, so that large-scale production will commence the third quarter of 2019.

By the end of 2020, LONGi will upgrade its existing cell and module lines and transform them for production with 166 mm wafer. New lines – such as the 5 GW monocrystalline cell line in Yinchuan – will be designed for the 166 mm size from the start.

LONGi announced the price of its M6 monocrystalline silicon wafer in May-2019 at 3.47 RMB/piece, which is only a small 0.4 RMB premium compared to its M2 wafer. According to LONGi, the compatibility of wafer production lines with M6 would ensure large-scale supply in 2019, thereby reducing the price differential to less than 0.2 RMB.

Source: LONGi

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Trina Solar has received a top rating in the latest annual PV module and solar inverter bankability report issued by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). With this report, Trina Solar is now the only module manufacturer to be rated as fully bankable for four consecutive years by 100% of the experts participating in the BNEF survey.

The BNEF report has been a valuable reference for business credit at numerous financial institutions. According to the report, corporate financial health, track record of its modules in the field, and manufacturer warranties are important metrics for financial institutions in their evaluation of PV manufacturers’ bankability. Banks are comfortable providing non-recourse loans to solar projects that use PV modules from a bankable manufacturer.

For its survey, BNEF reached out to banks, funds, EPCs, independent power providers (IPPs), and technical advisors worldwide. It also engaged in in-depth interviews with quality inspectors and technology experts. These experts represent an installed PV capacity of 29GW globally.

Trina Solar Executive Vice President Yin Rongfang said, “We are very proud of the great result Trina Solar has achieved once again in this renowned industry report. The report confirms our solid financial condition, proven product quality and good corporate reputation, as well as recognizes our ongoing commitment to long-term sustainability. Trina Solar is committed to creating long-term and robust return on investment for our global customers with higher-value PV modules and integrated solutions.

The latest BNEF report also quotes the annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard, published this year by PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), where Trina Solar has been named a “Top Performer” for its outstanding module reliability and power generation performance among global module manufacturers for the fifth time in a row. The scorecard provides the most comprehensive comparison of publicly-available PV module reliability test results.

Source: Trina Solar

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Trina Solar has recently been recognized as the “Top Performer” among global PV module manufacturers by PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) and DNV GL. The company is one of only two PV module manufacturers with worldwide reach to garner the prestigious recognition for the fifth consecutive time since the Top Performer award was founded.

The recognition of “Top Performer” is based on the PV Module Reliability Scorecard released by PVEL and DNV GL. The Scorecard is one of the most comprehensive comparisons of PV module reliability test results publicly available on the market today. As an integrated certification program with a focus on module reliability and power generation performance, the test comprises 2-4x IEC thermal cycling, damp heat, dynamic mechanical load, humidity-freeze and PID attenuation tests.

Trina Solar quality director Zhao Mengyu said, “It is encouraging to see that Trina Solar has been recognized as a Top Performer for the fifth time in a row. Rigorous raw materials control and production line management processes ensure the high reliability of our modules. Trina Solar is committed to providing customers with higher-reliability and higher-value PV modules.

Trina Solar carries out several rounds of comprehensive ongoing reliability tests (ORTs) during the materials introduction process. Trina Solar evaluates both materials and modules during its ORT process with more frequent ORTs for key components, such as packaging materials and PV back sheet, with the aim of ensuring comprehensive and strict control over the materials and products in mass production.

In terms of the production line manufacturing process, Trina Solar carries out a process quality control across the value chain. Nearly 100 control points are deployed for the entire silicon wafer and cell production processes, while over 100 control points are configured for the overall module production process.

Source: Trina Solar

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Jinkosolar has announced the launching of its Swan bifacial PV module series, which provides a significant enhancement of its industry-leading solar technology and offers the market a mainstream 430 W solar PV module with power gained from the rear side.

Jinkosolar’s Cheetah technology based on 158.75 x 158.75 mm mono wafer provides one of the industry’s most competitive solutions and set the industry pace for big square shape mono wafer era. By leveraging the new capabilities of Cheetah in generation, Jinkosolar Swan bifacial PV module delivers 5-25% more power over its flagship Cheetah module to reach 420-500 W gained from the rear side.

At the same time, its transparent backsheet option design rules are fully compatible with existing conventional installation methods, allowing approximately 20% reduction of labor cost relatd to module installation and 3% of BOS costs, which is translated into higher IRR and lower LCOE. Transparent backsheet option is particularly ideal for regions where labor cost is relatively high.

Swan PV module provides customers with additional generation benefits from rear side while extending the industry-leading power and performance from the Cheetah 158.75” mono series for a broad array of applications, ranging from large scale utility, agriculture complementary project, floating project, canopy, noise-reduction barriers, etc.

Building upon the broad success of our Cheetah premium mono technology, we’re confident that our customers will be able to quickly extract even higher product value from the new Swan bifacial modules. At the era of post subsidy, compared to other available solutions in the market, JinkoSolar’s Swan series offer customers a highly competitive performance-to-cost advantage as well as fast time-to-market with direct migration based on Cheetah technology“, said Kangping Chen, CEO of Jinkosolar.

Source: JinkoSolar

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Today May 7, LONGi has announced that the front side power of its 72-cell bifacial half cut module exceed 450 W, achieving the world’s highest power in this module type. This new record was tested and verified by renowned certification agency TÜV-SÜD.

This is another validation of LONGi’s strategy of enterprise growth through technological innovations. On April 24 last year, the power of LONGi 60-cell monocrystalline half-cut PERC module exceeded 360 W, setting the world record of the highest power of 60-cell PERC half-cut module.

Dr. Lv Jun, Vice President of LONGi Solar, said: “LONGi monocrystalline half-cell module combines monocrystalline PERC cell technology and bifacial half-cell module construction to effectively reduce package loss and increase average output by 5-10W. Half-cell has obvious advantages in power generation under weak light and shadow conditions and excellent heat spot resistance. This new record in module power is another step in our innovative breakthrough and journey.”

In January this year, the positive conversion efficiency of LONGi monocrystalline PERC cells reached 24.06%, breaking through the industry’s previously theoretical PERC cell efficiency limit of 24%. Continuously refreshing the world record shows LONGi’s continuous technological leadership.

As reported in LONGi’s 2018 financial results, the company invested USD183.58 million in R&D in 2018 and has a team of about 548 staff in R&D. LONGI has registered 526 patents and its products and technology are always in the leading positions in the industry.

The transformation towards clean and low carbon energy is accelerating globally and with it, the growth of photovoltaics is increasing rapidly. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the total global installed capacity of photovoltaic is expected to reach 1,721 GW by 2030, and further increase to 4,670 GW by 2050. Innovations in photovoltaic technology will be at the forefront and high efficiency and high quality photovoltaic products are the “main force” to promote energy change.

Source: LONGi

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EkoRE is setting up Turkey’s first integrated solar panel production facility including ingot, wafer, cell and module production process in Bor Organized Industry Zone of Nigde. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 11, 2019 with the participation of Energy and Natural Resources Minister of Turkey Mr. Fatih Dönmez. In the event, the company also revealed that the project has been awarded “special project” status under the Turkish government’s “Project Based Investment Incentive System,” a US$430 million incentive scheme launched in August 2017.

Eko Clean Energy Inc.’s “100% Domestic PV Panel Production for Energy Independence Project” was approved in accordance with the Project-Based Investment Incentive and the related document was made and presented by President of Turkey Recep Tayyip to CEO of EkoRE H.Serhan Süzer

EkoRE plans to focus and leverage Heterojunction (HJT) technology to reach higher degrees of efficiency at lower cost of production, Diamond wire technology to increase production output significantly and maximizes machine capacity, SmartWire Connection technology (SWCT) for reducing the negative effects of possible micro-cracks to a minimum to manufacture its first and the main products of 335 W 60 cells HTJ panel and 420W bi-facial 60 cells HTJ solar panel.

EkoRE targets launching a new global brand from Turkey by exporting at least 80% of the products produced on this facility and aims to gain a significant place in the international solar energy market. The project, which will contribute significantly to the regional economy, is expected to provide employment opportunities to approximately 1,500 people and aims to make this region as one of the significant technology centers.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the production facility, EkoRE CEO H.Serhan Süzer stated ; “We will provide a capital inflow of 700 million $ with the aim of producing 100% domestic PV modules. The area where we will establish a giant plant with four important processes such as ingot, wafer, cell and module production is enough for 2 GW production. Our project area is 620 acres, corresponding to about 85 football fields. At the beginning we will start with 1 GW capacity and will double the planned capacity if required. We plan to export from Mersin port to the world and we will export 80% of the products that we produce in our long term planning.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister of Turkey Fatih Dönmez said “This outstanding facility will add dynamism to the renewable energy sector in Turkey and it will encourage the rapid growth of similar powerful projects in the region”.

Source: EkoRE

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Driven by the rapid industry transformation, continuous technology evolution and increasingly complex market demands of the solar landscape in recent years, JinkoSolar has utilized its technical leadership to create cutting-edge technologies of tomorrow. Presented for the first time during SNEC 2018 in Shanghai, JinkoSolar Cheetah PV module is the world’s highest-performing, commercially mass-produced monofacial PV module, bringing the industry into the new age of PV 4.0 with mainstream module output of 400 Wp. Cheetah series has created a new benchmark for ultra-high performing modules with its industry leading performance in metrics such as output, limited degradation, shade tolerance, and durability.

Efficacy of the solution

Cheetah modules have been designed to achieve grid parity thanks to its ultra-high module efficiency. Cheetah enters a new paradigm. New wafer size, new cell and module designs will keep pushing power results higher, even above 400Wp. The trend for Cheetah Series is to become mainstream products in the near future and Jinko Customers will benefit of it, significantly saving PV system cost with higher energy generation. 72-Cell Cheetah modules combined with Jinko Half-Cut Cell technology will reach 400 Wp with conversion efficiency up to 19.88%

Sustainability of the solution

Once again Jinko proposes a product based on mature and proven technologies available at Jinko’s GW manufacturing scale; just enlarging the wafer surface without modifying the overall cell and module manufacturing steps, thus relying on the well-established quality protocols implemented on Jinko’s total production.

The maximum benefit of Jinko Cheetah Series is achieved while combining it with the HC technology. In this way not only the performance of the PV module is increased, but also its reliability thanks to the lower solar cell current and related lower heat losses. The combination of Cheetah and HC technologies also has improved the temperature coefficients to -0.37%/°C, consequently boosting the high performance of PV modules even in extreme environmental conditions by almost 2%-3% compared to standard full-cell solutions.

Degree of innovation

Cheetah Series modules are manufactured using larger wafers and Mono PERC cells, thus module peak power is increased by 8 Wp compared to the previous generation of PV modules. Cheetah cells increased in both length and width by 2 mm. Respectively, the Cheetah module length and width increase 23 mm and 10 mm with average 8 Wp power up. Cheetah HC length and width increase 52mm and 10mm with average 15 Wp power up.

Furthermore, by combining the Cheetah technology with the advantageous Half-Cell module configuration, module power can be increased by additional 7 Wp and the entire system can benefit from the higher shading losses mitigation as a positive side effect, resulting in higher yields when the module is partially covered.

Economic impact

The possibility to use modules with higher Wp class can significantly reduce BOS costs and LCOE consequently, fostering the pathway to reach grid parity. Cheetah solution generates significant BOS savings for utility scale PV projects because the number of modules for a given peak power is reduced by 6%, thus labor costs and mounting structure amounts are also decreased proportionally. Moreover, comparing an installation with Jinko Mono PERC and Jinko’s new Cheetah Half-Cell PV Modules, the area needed for the PV array is reduced by approximately 3%, fully utilizing the economic advantage of a rooftop system and maximizing the power output from the roof space. Land occupation and land preparation costs are also reduced consequently.

Source: JinkoSolar

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With the theme of “Conquering the Grid Parity Paramount”, JinkoSolar has showcased six of its blockbuster products, leading the charge towards a new wave of industry innovations and illustrating the strength of the company’s brand. At SNEC, JinkoSolar revealed, for the first time, its JinkoSolar 410W Cheetah PV module that is reinventing the market standard for high performance. In addition, JinkoSolar also showcased its 310 W bifacial module, redefining the application boundaries of solar. Beyond the Cheetah and bifacial series, JinkoSolar also introduced, for the first time, its gold framed module designed to meet the need for elegant luxury in the Chinese residential PV market.

Showcased for the first time in the world at SNEC, JinkoSolar 410 W Cheetah PV module is the world’s highest-performing commercially mass-produced monofacial module, bringing the industry into the new age of PV 4.0 with mainstream module output of over 400 W. The module is designed to meet the needs of the ultra-high performance market segments, such as the likes of China’s “Super Top Runner Program”.

All JinkoSolar Cheetah series modules are produced in the company’s next-gen ultra-smart P5 super factory and represents the most cutting-edge technology in solar module manufacturing. Utilizing an all new wafer and cell design, the Cheetah series has erected a new benchmark for ultra-high performing modules with its industry leading performance in metrics such as, but not limited to, output, limited degradation, shade tolerance, and durability. The module’s 410 Wp and 72 cells performance is over 30 Wp higher than that of comparable products in the industry. The Cheetah series’ range topping conversion efficiency of 20.38% makes it the ideal solution for tender-based large scale PV projects and projects with ultra-high technical requirements such as those in China’s Super Top Runner program.

In regards to the widely discussed N-type and P-type bifacial modules, JinkoSolar is the only tier 1 module manufacturer to offer both types of bifacial modules. JinkoSolar 380 W 72-cell monocrystalline bifacial module has expanded the application boundaries of PV module installation. Traditionally, modules were largely installed in a horizontally flat or near flat manner. However, bifacial modules has opened the possibilities of installing modules in a vertical manner, drastically lowering the amount of space needed in PV projects.

The ability of the bifacial modules to generate power on both sides has increases its practicality, creating new PV applications such as on highway fencing, greenhouses, sunrooms, and other building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Depending on the type of tracker utilized, module installation angles, and the installation environment, one can expect an additional 5-25% power generation from bifacial modules relative to that of monofacial modules. JinkoSolar 385 W N-type bifacial module shares all the unique performance attributes of the P-type bifacial module and has the additional advantage of having lower degradation than that of the P-type bifacial module.

With the residential PV market growing at a breakneck pace, at SNEC, JinkoSolar also introduced its 320 W 60-cell golden framed module for the first time. Studies have shown that residential PV end-users, on average, are financially well off and are early adopters of new lifestyles and products. As such, these end-users have higher requirements for product personalization and quality. Combining a high efficiency of 19.37% and elegantly luxurious design, JinkoSolar golden frame module is the ideal solution for the residential PV market.

Given its frameless and extreme anti-PID characteristics, JinkoSolar 335 W dual glass black silicone polycrystalline module has also garners substantial attention at the SNEC. The dual glass design provides the module, particularly in areas of high temperature and humidity, with great weather protection. The dual glass modules enables stable PV system operations in extreme weather environments.

Source: JinkoSolar

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