Trina Solar wins its first order for bifacial modules

‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member Trina Solar has secured the second largest order for bifacial modules, according to PV Tech’s analysis. The shipment occurred in April 2017 and is Trina Solar's first order for its bifacial modules.

SNEC 2017: The next big solar module trend on display

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.

SNEC 2017: World’s first full-size IBC bifacial module to be displayed

The Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed the world’s first full-sized Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) bifacial solar module using International Solar Energy Research Center (ISC) Konstanz, ‘ZEBRA’ solar cells.

Quo vadis bifacial PV?

This paper presents a summary of the status of bifacial PV in respect of the technology in mass production, the installed PV systems, and the costs relating both to module production (cost of ownership – COO) and to electricity (levelized cost of energy – LCOE). Since the first bifacial workshop, organized by ISC Konstanz and the University of Konstanz, in 2012, many things have changed. Bifacial cells and modules have become cost effective, with installed systems now adding up to more than 120MWp and the technology becoming bankable. Large electricity providers have recognized the beauty of bifacial installations, as the lowest costs per kWh are attainable with these systems. The authors are sure that by the end of 2017, bifacial PV systems amounting to around 500MWp will have been installed, and that by 2025 this type of system will become the major technology in large ground-mounted installations.

Progress in co-plating contacts for bifacial cells designed for multi-wire interconnection

For many applications, bifacial modules offer a cost-effective way of increasing energy yields, which explains why the interest in bifacial cells in the PV industry is steadily growing and is expected to continue. However, the metallization of bifacial cells creates new challenges, as the same materials and techniques developed for n surfaces are generally not directly, or simultaneously, applicable to p surfaces; this necessitates sequential metallization of each side, resulting in added cost and/or complexity. This paper introduces a simple co-plating approach with the objective of simplifying the metallization of bifacial cells in a cost-effective way, and which is designed for multi-wire module integration. The metallization route is described, and high cell efficiencies of up to 22.4% are demonstrated using this co-plating approach with bifacial nPERT+ cells (where ‘+’ signifies the bifacial nature of these cells). Initial thermal-cycling reliability data of test structures and 1-cell laminates is presented. Finally, cost-of-ownership (COO) estimates are given, which predict the co-plating approach to be ~40% cheaper than bifacial screen-printed metallization. It is shown that the combination of the high efficiency potential of nPERT+ cells and the reduced costs of co-plating has the potential to deliver module-level costs of ~$0.25/Wpe (glass–glass configuration).

Streamlined: Japan’s PV market future

Over and over again, at last week’s PV Expo trade show in Tokyo, PV Tech heard that those that will survive in Japan’s PV market will be the ones in it for the long haul. Andy Colthorpe spoke to industry observers and participants to get an inside look.

Amtech highlights solar technology buy cycle under way

Specialist PV manufacturing equipment supplier Amtech Systems highlighted the confidence it had in a series of major new orders for high-efficiency n-type PERC and n-type bi-facial cell equipment including the first of a multi-phase 1GW turnkey project order during the reporting of its first 2017 fiscal quarter.

Fraunhofer ISE resurrects agrophotovoltaics

Fraunhofer ISE said it was spearheading the largest research project (APV-Resola) in Germany to establish whether the dual use of land for the production of electricity using photovoltaic (PV) modules can be commercially viable with a range of crops grown on the same land.