Leading up to the PV ModuleTech 2017 conference, less than 3 months away (Kuala Lumpur, 7-8 November 2017), this blog series explains why this dedicated two-day industry event has the potential to provide some key answers for EPCs, developers and asset owners, in terms of understanding the key metrics that underpin solar modules going forward, ultimately mitigating risks during site design and build-out, while optimizing overall return-on-investment for more than 20 years in the field. READ PART ONE HERE
The solar industry is set to reach annual demand at the 100GW level much earlier than has been forecast by both third-party observers and the leading component suppliers. During 2018, the solar industry is shaping up to ship more than 100GW of solar modules during the calendar year, while 2017 alone will see the number exceed 90GW comfortably.
The vast number of announcements related to P-type mono PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) production in the last 18 months have primarily related to integrated cell and module producers shifting in-house production to the high-efficiency cells, as conventional multicrystalline Al-BSF (Aluminium-Back Surface Field) solar cells reach efficiency limitations.
Mono c-Si cell production is forecast to account for 49% of all c-Si cell production in 2018, and will become the dominant technology used in the PV industry by 2019, according to new research contained in the latest release of the PV Manufacturing & Technology Quarterly report, from the in-house research unit at PV-Tech’s parent company Solar Media Ltd.
SNEC 11th (2017) International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference & Exhibition (SNEC 2017) in Shanghai, China maybe the largest annual exhibition in the solar industry but its sheer size and number of attendee’s can often mask emerging trends that are better highlighted at other events such as Solar Power International (SPI) in the US.
Dedicated monocrystalline integrated PV module manufacturer SolarWorld believes 2017 is a transitional year for the company after announcing a switch to monocrystalline production at the expense of multicrystalline and a full-migration to PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) technology as ASP declines in the second-half of 2016 forced a major manufacturing rethink.
In defiance of a significant trend by a growing number of leading PV manufacturers to either completely replace P-type multi c-Si cell technology with P-type mono c-Si with PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Contact) technology, or hedge their bets and do PERC on both wafer substrates, Silicon Module Super League member Canadian Solar is placing a potentially risky bet on pushing ahead with the migration to P-type multi c-Si PERC cell technology using diamond wire saw (DWS) and ‘Black Silicon’ texturing under its ‘ONYX’ cell branding.