Trina Solar’s ‘Vertex’ panel series has 550/600W performance classes for PV power plants

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The Vertex 550W and 600W panels include 210mm x 210mm monocrystalline silicon wafers, PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) half-cut technology, multi-busbar ((MBB) technologies and high-density packaging, delivering conversion efficiencies of more than 21%. Bifacial modules are also included in the new Vertex series. Image: Trina Solar

Trina Solar has launched its latest ‘Vertex’ solar panel series, designed with a new platform of technology innovations to provide ultra-high performance for utility-scale PV power plant applications with a path to 600W panels in 2021.

The Vertex 550W and 600W panels include 210mm x 210mm monocrystalline silicon wafers, Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) half-cut technology, multi-busbar (MBB) technologies and high-density packaging, delivering conversion efficiencies of more than 21%. Bifacial modules are also included in the new Vertex series.

Problem

Since the beginning of 2020, the photovoltaic industry has leapfrogged into the era of 500W-plus high-power output. By choosing a monocrystalline wafer size of 210mm x 210mm, Trina Solar has locked in the largest possible wafer size that will be in volume production over the coming years as it is the largest size from 300mm diameter ingots, while other size options face upgrading challenges and higher production costs. Driven by the age of grid parity for PV power plants, large area PV panels need to demonstrate higher voltage and lower current to ensure the highest savings in Balance of System (BOS) costs, increased reliability while providing significant reductions to the LCOE. 

Solution

The Vertex 550W and 600W panels are optimised solutions in terms of product design, manufacturing, transportation and system compatibility for utility-scale and C&I applications. Optical performance power improvements of between 1%~1.5% have been achieved by adopting a circular MBB string ribbon, reducing cell surface shading and creating a light-trapping effect. The MBB current path has been reduced by up to 60%, compared to a 5BB layout, enabling an electrical performance power improvement of 1%~1.5% and an overall module efficiency improvement of 0.4%~0.6%.

High-density cell interconnect technology is deployed to reduce cell to cell gaps from traditional 2mm gaps to 0.5mm gaps, without increasing ribbon stress. This has also enabled layout design changes, significantly limiting size and weight increases expected from adopting 210mm2 wafers. As a result of the Vertex layout options the overall dimensions are almost the same as that of a166mm2 panel and have similar load performance. The Vertex is claimed to be more compatible with downstream installation designs, thus avoiding additional cost increase and glass furnace limitations. The large-area wafer is half-cut using non-destructive cutting and cryogenic laser technology to avoid cell breakage and fissure risks on the basis of thermal expansion and contraction, significantly reducing stresses that can lead to microcrack formation, improving reliability in the field. The Vertex panels also have greater single string power that determines the BOS system costs, reducing foundation, racking steel, cabling, combiner box and the number of panels required per project. 

Applications

Ultra-high performance for utility-scale PV power plants.

Platform

Vertex series is verified and confirmed to be compatible with mainstream inverters and tracking systems. The Vertex series is also designed for TrinaPro Mega turnkey power system using single-axis trackers and includes an adaptive tracking algorithm, which can bring an extra system performance gain of 1-2%. The Vertex 550W panel layout is 5 x 11 cells with dimensions of 2,384mm x 1,096mm, weight 29kg. The 600W version will be a 6 x 10 cell layout with dimensions of 2,172mm x 1,303mm. The dual glass option weight is expected to be around 35.3kg. 

Availability

The Vertex 550W panel is expected to be in volume production in the fourth quarter of 2020, culminating in around 10GW of annual production capacity. The Vertex 600W panel is expected to be in volume production in the first quarter of 2021. Combined, cumulative annual production is expected to reach 21GW in 2021 and 31GW in 2022. 

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