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.
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.
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.
The most exciting talk title at PV CellTech 2017 in Penang, Malaysia, on 14-15 March 2017, could be the presentation from Canadian Solar titled: Black silicon & diamond wire sawing of wafers - the future for multi c-Si technology. Here, Finlay Colville talks to Guaqiang Xing of Canadian Solar.
Yesterday on PV-Tech, we explained what to expect from p-type multi c-Si modules during 2017 and 2018, across various p-multi cell configurations. Today, we show a similar analysis, but for 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.
Leading cell technologists from all of the big-six Silicon Module Super League (SMSL) suppliers (Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q-Cells, JA Solar, JinkoSolar, Trina Solar and Yingli Green) have now been confirmed as speakers at PV Tech’s inaugural solar cell conference, PVCellTech, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 16-17 March 2016.