New study asserts 210mm solar modules have ‘prominent edge’ over others in LCOE, BOS costs

Trina's Vertex series of modules, featuring 210mm cells. Image: Trina Solar.

Solar PV modules based on 210mm cells produce the best levelised cost of energy (LCOE) and deliver improved balance of system (BOS) costs, according to an evaluation conducted by independent advisory DNV GL.

The evaluation, conducted under an invite from ‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member Trina Solar, concluded that modules featuring 210mm cells have a “prominent edge” over other products in delivering benefits to project developers.

As part of the study, DNV GL compared the performance of a Trina Solar 545W bifacial dual-glass Vertex module against those in 166mm, 450W and 182mm, 535W classes.

It used two typical solar sites for the assessment, one in Seville, Spain and the other in Texas, the US, with each site given a nominal, fixed capacity of 100MWac, the same DC/AC ratio design and the same system design metrics: single-row, 1P tracker lay-out with string inverters.

For the basis of the study, all trackers and inverters used in the modelling were mainstream products, and all costs associated with the projects were based on localised costs for a “consistent, comprehensive and objective” survey. The ground cover ratio was also fixed in order to ensure consistent shadowing for the bifacial module. The modelling also set out to make objective comparisons between the performance of the modules, highlighting any impact on costs and the LCOE performance of each.

The modelling study found that on the site in Spain, Trina’s Vertex 210mm bifacial dual-glass module produced an initial investment saving of €0.02c per watt, reducing the LCOE of the site by around 3% compared to the 166mm bifacial dual-glass 450W version. Compared to the 182mm 535W module, while the initial investment savings remained similar, the LCOE improvement was reduced to 0.3%.

At the site in the US, compared to the 166mm bifacial dual-glass 450W module, Trina’s 210mm Vertex module produced an initial investment saving of US$0.04c per watt and reduced LCOE by around 3.9%. In comparison to the 182mm bifacial dual-glass 535W, again the savings were reduced, with initial investment falling by about US$0.01c per watt and the LCOE reduced by 0.5%.

“With the further optimisation and extension of the tracker length, the 545W Vertex 210mm-Module will save more in BOS cost and LCOE than the other two modules, giving it more edge,” DNV GL said.

A summary of the respective site and module performances can be seen below.

In addition, Trina Solar, DNV GL and inverter supplier Sungrow last month co-hosted a PV TechTalk webinar on the subject of site performance utilizing the 210mm Vertex series modules, assessing the impact trackers and inverters can deliver higher power per string and deliver better LCOE per project.

That webinar can be streamed on-demand here.

Trina Solar said members of its 600W+ Photovoltaic Open Innovation Ecological Alliance were collaborating on a design mindset that paired low voltage, high string power, modules, trackers and inverters in what is to be a “critical step” for the solar industry reaching more advantageous LCOEs.

Late last month, a consortium of solar module, cell and wafer manufacturers, of which Trina Solar was one, issued a call for further standardisation of wafer, cell and solar module designs, indicating a more uniform approach would deliver the “best possible scale” for the solar industry.

29 November 2022
PV ModuleTech EMEA in Malaga on 29-30 November 2022 will address the factors underpinning the changing PV module landscape, gathering together all the key stakeholders across the value-chain from module production to field testing. Join us for presentations from the leading players in the sector, clearly identifying the opportunities and challenges set to impact module supply to Europe and the Middle-East over the next few years.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
November 15, 2022
The top four solar module manufacturers had shipments totalling more than 114GW during the first three quarters of 2022, as demand slowed in Europe but grew rapidly in China.
PV Tech Premium
November 8, 2022
Solar module companies are more than willing to expand production this year, with new module project announcements from old and new players continuing to emerge.
PV Tech Premium
October 31, 2022
PV Tech Premium provides a round-up of several key policy measures and company announcements China last week, all with big implications for the global solar PV industry.
October 20, 2022
Trina Solar has launched a new n-type module to its Vertex series with an 595W version for commercial and industrial (C&I) and utility-scale projects.
October 13, 2022
Installed solar PV capacity globally will grow 20-fold by 2050, when the technology will represent 38% of all electricity production, according to a new DNV report.
August 30, 2022
PV Tech picks apart the performance of the top six global PV module suppliers, examining their H1 financial and shipment results as well as their upcoming development plans.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
November 29, 2022
Malaga, Spain
Solar Media Events
February 22, 2023
Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge
Solar Media Events
March 14, 2023
Berlin, Germany
Solar Media Events
March 21, 2023
Lisbon, Portugal
Solar Media Events
June 6, 2023
Napa, USA