Trina Solar partners with IES-UPM on solar technology research

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Trina Solar and IES-UPM will establish a training centre under this agreement at Image: Trina Solar.

Chinese module manufacturer Trina Solar has signed a collaboration agreement with the Institute of Solar Energy at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (IES-UPM) to drive innovation in the solar industry.

The collaboration aims to innovate in multiple areas such as solar panel efficiency, the resilience and robustness of solar trackers and the improvement of solar energy management. Trina Solar said research and development (R&D) are “critical to the industry’s progress”. Last year, the company allocated US$768 million to its R&D work, 19.7% more than in 2022.

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“This partnership will enable our R&D team to work closely with European academic talent, maintain our core competence, and provide more localised energy solutions to the European market,” said Helena Li, executive president of Trina Solar.

Alongside this R&D work, Trina Solar will establish a training centre at IES-UPM. The centre will be equipped with solar modules, trackers and possibly battery energy storage systems (BESS) to “support solar energy development in the region”.

IES-UPM was established in 1979 and has been conducting research into the practical application of solar PV. Looking ahead, the university’s research will focus on multiple areas, such as finding cheaper ways of purifying silicon, developing new solar PV materials and original structures for highly efficient tandem cells, developing more efficient strategies for demand management and assessing the use of batteries to ease the integration of technology into the electricity grid.

As one of China’s leading solar manufacturers, Trina Solar was ranked second in Wood Mackenzie’s latest module manufacturer rankings behind JA Solar. Last year, the company shipped more than 65GW of modules, up from 43.1GW in 2022, representing a 51.3% year-on-year growth. As of the end of the first quarter of 2024, Trina Solar had shipped over 205GW of modules.

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