Trina Solar has developed a new module product line fully based on upgraded metallurgical grade (UMG) silicon material. The Chinese company said that the UMG product launch is part of its strategy to extend its portfolio to meet the demand for lower-cost photovoltaic module systems.
UMG is a variety of solar-grade polysilicon feedstock capable of delivering conversion rates comparable to higher grade polysilicon, but at a significantly lower cost. Trina claims it is one of the first vertically integrated PV manufacturers to offer a UMG-based module product.
“We are happy to announce our achievement of critical development milestones in the design, engineering evaluation, and reliability testing of this new product, from efforts which initiated in mid-2007,” said Jifan Gao, Trina’s chairman/CEO (pictured at left). “This advancement, which reflects significant proprietary processes, was aided by our integrated manufacturing capabilities, which offer efficiencies in both technology and quality feedback control from our single-campus, ingot-to-module development path.
“Our UMG-based product is currently meeting our targeted conversion efficiency levels of approximately 14% and offers advantage via its competitively lower silicon cost component,” he continued. “Customer benefits include a significantly lower module system investment cost compared to our standard high-efficiency module lines.”
“Our product development path has involved various stages of trial production, performance testing and evaluation in both real-time field applications and accelerated test environments before commercial production,” Gao concluded.
Trina also said that the UMG module products will be manufactured using existing production lines, will be marketed and sold under a separate brand, and will be backed by a 20-year warranty. Initial sales are expected in the current fourth quarter, with increasing production planned throughout 2009.
The company will issue its third-quarter 2008 financial results on Wednesday, Nov. 19.