Increased solar module choice needs investor approval before adoption – PV ModuleTech 2018

The solar industry gets to grips with the bewildering array of new module technologies at the second edition of the PV ModuleTech event in Penang, Malaysia. The conference raised a huge number of questions such as how to evaluate bifacial technology and whether it might rise faster than predicted, how long p-type multicrystalline has left in the running and the perennial issue of quality, to name a few.

Solar PV manufacturing in 2017: factors driving technology change

Having installed more than 75 gigawatts in 2016, the solar industry continues to create opportunities for cell and module manufacturers to expand capacities, while upgrading technologies and improving process flows. Supply remains dominated by p-type crystalline silicon modules, despite ongoing research into n-type variants and the addition of PERC on p-type mono cells. The efficiency increases from p-type mono are now driving p-type multi cell producers to accelerate changes to production lines from both black silicon and PERC. This is now setting new benchmarks for the supply of solar modules in 2017 to utility-scale solar installations.

Canadian Solar placing major bet on next-gen p-type multi cell technology

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.

China and OEM cell production in 2016 delays shift to p-type mono

Solar cells produced using p-type multi c-Si wafers retained their dominant market-share position in 2016, despite significant investments into p-type mono and advanced cell production, such as PERC. The transition to increased mono wafer use is now expected to be seen more clearly during 2017 and 2018, but depends still upon the relative end-market demand from the domestic Chinese market.