The significance of PV-Tech’s forthcoming conference in Kuala Lumpur – PV ModuleTech 2017 – has just moved to a new level, with the key company executives from all members of the Silicon Module Super League (SMSL) giving presentations on stage about the quality, reliability, and performance of their solar modules.
In the past the value proposition of solar modules has been primarily about the lowest price ($/Watt) via the lowest manufacturing costs of conventional multi-Si modules. In the last few years, PV system cost has decreased significantly. In the meantime, PV module costs had dropped at a faster pace than Balance of System (BOS) costs, resulting in PV modules accounting for a smaller and smaller percentage of overall PV system costs.
Updated: With the solar industry transitioning to high-performance products backed with innovation, Solar Power International 2017 in Las Vegas is showcasing an ever increasing portfolio of solar modules exceeding 300 watts in the standard 60-cell format. However, 72-cell modules exceeding 360 watts are also entering the mainstream and 400 watts is just around the corner.
Driving the high-performance wave is PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell), bifacial and the migration to 5 busbars and beyond, whether with multicrystalline or monocrystalline wafers. The growing use of half-cut and multi-cut cells that reduce cell to module losses, boosting overall performance are also becoming mainstream as well as heterojunction (HJ) modules.
The use of third-party cell and module sourcing has seen a massive uptick in the solar industry, during the past 2-3 years.
The appetite of leading global module suppliers to rely on outsourced cells and modules has been clear to see in the past 12-18 months, but tends to go through almost quarterly tactical adjustments, often driven by factors that are potentially creating risk for long-term downstream asset holders of utility-scale sites.
‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member LONGi Green Energy Technology and the leading fully-integrated high-efficiency monocrystalline module manufacturer, reported first half 2017 revenue slightly down from the prior year period as a result of average selling price (ASP) declines, partially offset by product shipment growth.
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.
Leading mono-crystalline solar cell and module manufacturer LONGi Solar has reported that its 60-cell ‘Hi-MO1’ module has achieved a power output of 325.6W under standard testing conditions (STC) with a conversion efficiency of 19.91%, verified by TUV Rheinland Shanghai Lab.
The leading mono-crystalline solar cell and module manufacturer LONGi Solar has introduced its first high-performance mono-PERC (Pasivated Emitter Rear Cell) bifacial module series that comes in both 60-cell and 72-cell configurations. LONGi Solar's 365W Hi-MO2 module has reached mass production.