SNEC 2021 product spotlight: N-type steals the show as distributed solar products and BIPV continue to grow

By Carrie Xiao
LONGi launched its first n-type product at SNEC earlier this month and was one of a number of manufacturers to push n-type modules at the show. Image: PV Tech.

While the industry may have evolved considerably over the course of the past year, and indeed the exhibition look different compared to previous iterations given the travel restrictions preventing visitors from overseas, SNEC 2021 was just as lively as ever before, crowded with manufacturers showcasing their latest products.

Module power outputs continued to climb from the 500W+ norm of last year, with 600W+ now almost the industry standard and 700W+ the new ambition.

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Different technologies applied is one factor contributing to this surge in module power. Half-cut or triple-cut cells, multi-busbar and bifacial modules are becoming standardised, while n-type technologies such as TOPCon and heterojunction (HJ) are gathering strength. The ever-increasing module size is another contributing factor. As could be seen from the exhibits this year, 182mm and 210mm wafers have become mainstream and the number of cells has also increased from 60 to 72, or even to 78 pieces.

PV Tech has compiled a product list of exhibitors at SNEC 2021, which can be found below:

CompanyProductOutput (W)Conversion efficiencyTechnology routeCell sizeNotes
LONGiHi-MO N57022.3%TOPCon182mm
HPC cell technology, 72-cell
JA SolarDeepBlue 3.0 Pro60521.7%Zero spacing, 11BB, half-cut cell182mmSingle glass, 78-cell, gallium doped
JA SolarHJT58022.4%HJ, half-cut cell, multi-busbar182mm72-cell, bifacial ratios above 85%
JA SolarN-type62022.1%N-type, half-cut cell, multi-busbar182mm78-cell
JinkoSolarTiger Pro n-type 78TR-TV62522.86%N-type, half-cut cell, multi-busbar182mmTransparent backsheet
JinkoSolarTiger Pro 54HC-V41521.25%Multi-busbar, half-cut cell182mm54-cell, suitable for residential projects
Trina SolarHJT71022.55%HJT, half-cut cell, multi-busbar, small spacing210mmNon-destructive cutting
Trina SolarN-type i-TOPCon70022.3%N-type, i-TOPCon, multiple pieces, multi-busbar210mm
Trina SolarVertex67021.6%Half-cut cell, multi-busbar210mmHigh-density encapsulation
JolywoodNiwa Max JW-HD13270022.53%N-TOPCon, half-cut cell, 12 busbar210mmBifacial glass-glass, mass production expected in Q2 2022
GCLM12 bifacial glass-glass67021.6%Half-cut cell, multi-busbar, non-destructive cutting210mm
SeraphimS-V series bifacial half-cut67021.57%Multi-busbar, half-cut cell, bifacial210mm
SeraphimS-IV series bifacial half-cut55021.57%Multi-busbar, half-cut cell, bifacial182mmHigh-density encapsulation, 72-cell (54-cell format is 410W)
SeraphimS-III half-cut module46021.16%Multi-busbar, half-cut cell166mm72-cell
Sunport PowerC10 Pro MWT+HJT70022.8%Metal wrap through technology, HJT, half-cut cellSuitable for super-thin wafers
Sunport PowerM7 bifacial glass-glass46021.1%Metal wrap through, PERC, half-cut cell166mmBifacial glass-glass, 182mm and 210mm cells to be used in the future
TongweiShingled glass-glass HJT705Shingled module, HJT210mmglass-glass
TongweiShingled glass-glass TOPCon695Shingled module, TOPCon210mmglass-glass
SuntechUltra V55021.3%Multi-busbar, half-cut cell210mm72-cell
SuntechUltra X Plus65021.2%Half-cut cell, 12 busbar210mm66-cell
Canadian SolarHiKu 7670W21.6%Multi-busbar, half-cut cell, small-spacing, irregular welding strip210mm
Canadian SolarBiHiKu 760021.2%Half-cut cell, 12 busbar210mmBifacial, glass-glass
Canadian SolarHiHero43022%HJT, multi-busbar, half-cut cell182mm
JinergyJNHM156-50510HJT, half-cut cell, multi-busbar166mmBifacial ration over 85%
RisenNewT@N70022.5%N-type, multi-busbar, half-cut cell, non-destructive cutting210mmhigh density packaging
ChintASTRO 6 Semi67021.57%Multi-busbar, half-cut cell, small spacing weld, non-destructive cutting210mmSingle side, single glass, 66-cell, gallium doped wafer
ChintASTRO 6 Twins66021.57%Multi-busbar, half-cut cell, small spacing weld, non-destructive cutting210mmbifacial glass-glass, 66-cell, gallium doped wafer
YingliAerospace PRO Series540Multi-busbar, half-cut cell, triangle welding stripSingle glass
DzssolarHigh-efficiency shingled module 3.067021.8%Shingled module210mmBifacial glass-glass, mass production efficiency above 21%
HaitaiHTM470~490DMh3-7249022.54%HJT, half-cut cell, multi-busbar166mmBifacial glass-glass
HaitaiHTM650~670MH8-6667021.57%half-cut cell, multi-busbar210mm
Solargiga EnergyJMPV-BXV2/60-600-61061021.55%Half-cut cell, multi-busbar210mmBifacial glass-glass
Eging PhotovoltaicEG-680M66-HU/BF-DG68021.89%Half-cut cell, multi-busbar210mmBifacial glass-glass, 66-cell
TalesunBIPRO TD8G66M67521.4%Half-cut cell, multi-busbar, non-destructive cutting210mmBifacial glass-glass, 66-cell
AkcomeHJT70022.53%HJT, 9 busbar, half-cut cell
HT-SAAEHT78-18X60021.5%Half-cut cell, 10 busbar182mm78-cell, single glass transparent bifacial module, 1500V
CECEP Solar65021%Half-cut cell, multi-busbar, small spacing weld210mm66-cell
Znshine60021.41%Half-cut cell, 10 busbar182mm78-cell, bifacial
GS-SolarThe 2nd generation glass-glass module50523.3%HBC (back-contact HJT)Glass-glass

Notes: In case of any omissions or errors in the product list above, your comments are welcome.

It is worth mentioning that the number of n-type modules on display this year, which were dominated by TOPCon and HJ technologies, had increased significantly. More on TOPCon’s dominance at SNEC 2021 will be published on PV Tech later this week.

LONGi introduced its Hi-MO N, the manufacturer’s maiden n-type module released to the market. Based on LONGi’s HPC cell technology, which features an n-type TOPCon structure, the Hi-MO N can deliver conversion efficiency of 22.3% and a power output of 570W.

JinkoSolar also demonstrated its Tiger Pro n-type module at this year’s SNEC. It integrates multi-busbar and the manufacturer’s tiling ribbon technology to deliver a maximum power output of 625W.

Meanwhile, JA Solar’s n-type module boasts half-cut and multi-busbar technology to deliver a power output of 620W. Tongwei has also adopted TOPCon and tiling ribbon technology for its module, which boasts a higher output than the previous modules mentioned at 695W. The TOPCon modules produced with 210mm cells, as showcased by Jolywood and Trina Solar, turned out to be among the best by achieving outputs of around 700W.

570W of LONGi, 620W of JA Solar, 625W of Jinko
N-type modules
700W of Trina Solar, 700W of Jolywood, 695W of Tongwei
TOPCon modules

While TOPCon technologies were almost ever-present at SNEC 2021, heterojunction was also a mainstay of this year’s event. JA Solar, Trina Solar, Tongwei, Canadian Solar, Jinergy, Risen, Haitai Solar, Akcome and GS-Solar all launched their HJ modules at SNEC, with the average efficiency standing just above 22%. The shingled glass-glass HJ module from Tongwei can reach 705W, and Sunport Power added its unique MWT technology to HJ cells to achieve an output of 700W. GS-Solar showcased its first-of-a-kind back contact HBC module, which has an efficiency as high as 23.3%.

700W of Akcome, 705W of Tongwei, 505W of GS-Solar
HJT modules

Nevertheless, the mainstream products on display were still the 182mm and 210mm modules, although some 166mm modules remained on display. Outside of the top tier manufacturers, most second- and third-tier module manufacturers have yet to start mass production of large-format modules, and it is expected that it will still be some time before that changes.

It should also be noted that, by increasing the cell size and encapsulating a larger number of cells, the module output can be boosted quickly. At the same time, power increases will also be subject to restrictions in terms of glass, auxiliary materials, transportation and installation.

Interestingly, JinkoSolar took an alternative route to most by unveiling the brand new 415W Tiger Pro efficiency PV module. Seemingly not following the 600W+ and 700W+ trends, the 415W Tiger Pro can be carried and operated by a single person as it is only 1.1m(W)*1.72m(L) and weighs just 22kg. It’s a product very much aimed at the distributed and residential solar markets which are forecast for considerable growth this year and beyond.

Jinko’s 415W module.

The 410W+ and 510W+ Vertex module series released by Trina Solar have much in common with Jinko’s product strategy. According to the statistics available, Trina’s decentralised module purchase orders have exceeded 2GW. A large number of 410W+ Vertex modules have already been shipped to Europe, North America and other continents to be installed in thousands of projects there.

Trina Solar’s 410W+ module

In addition to these conventional technology routes and modules, there were some more customised and tailored products on display this year. Among them were the shining full screen module from DAH Solar,the curved glass-glass module from Almaden, the PVT-integrated PV thermal module from GCL, Maxeon’s frameless module, in which Zhonghuan Semiconductor holds a stake, and the all black half-cut module from Seraphim.

Full screen module of DAH Solar, curved glass-glass module of Almaden
The all-black module of Seraphim, PVT integrated PV thermal module of GCL, the frameless module of Maxeon

Many PV module companies also brought BIPV products to the show this year. Jinko released its BIPV coloured curtain for exterior glass walls and a BIPV coloured steel tile for new industry building rooftops and refurbished building rooftops.

JinkoSolar’s BIPV coloured steel tile module.

Meanwhile, Trina Solar also targeted the BIPV market by exhibiting its Trina Blue Sky Tile system.

Trina’s Blue Sky Tile product on display

Following its previous black brick, black tile and glazed glass series, Gain Solar under Yingli introduced the highlighted 12th generation of green PV building materials, which are comprised of glazed glass, crystal blue glazed glass and integrated exterior wall insulation to produce energy saving PV panels.

The green PV building products of Gain Solar under Yingli
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