Why Ought to PV Installers Care about Solar Cell Efficiency?

By Hongbin Fang June 10, 2022

Many solar installers take with no consideration that the modules they purchase for his or her residential and industrial initiatives will proceed to extend in power score and embrace new design improvements, corresponding to glass-glass development and module-level power electronics. The solar {industry} has excelled at innovation, particularly over the previous few years with the introduction of monocystalline PERC and bifacial PERC cell applied sciences, large-format modules for the utility-scale sector, multibusbar and split-cell architectures, and the opposite enhancements.

But what number of installers actually dig deeper into why their panels preserve getting higher, and why ought to they care?

Installers who’ve been in enterprise for a decade or so bear in mind after they have been putting in 250-watt modules on the roof after which 320s a number of years later. These similar installers now profit from modules within the 400-450 watt class—that’s a 60%-plus enhance in lower than 10 years. To put it design phrases: it takes 10 or fewer modules to outfit that “simple” 4-kW rooftop system that wanted 16 modules a decade in the past. The advantages embrace extra bang for the buck, extra power density, decrease racking or different stability of techniques prices—and faster set up occasions.

How does this relentless power score progress come about? Certainly, the module-level innovation talked about beforehand has performed a job, however the single most necessary figuring out issue to the upper wattages and decrease levelized value of energy (LCOE) is solar cell conversion effectivity.

Over the previous couple of years, large-format modules utilizing M6 (166mm) and M10 (182mm) wafers have been an efficient method to bettering module power and decreasing stability of techniques (BOS) value. However, additional rising module dimensions with increased power brings little BOS financial savings, whereas reliability dangers soar up considerably. In the following few years, we have to refocus on cell and module effectivity enchancment to comprehend decrease and decrease LCOE.

Solar cell effectivity is the place the rubber meets the street. Making cells is arguably crucial a part of the solar manufacturing chain, a sophisticated semiconductor course of involving a sequence of microprocessing steps executed on manufacturing traces in spectacular, automated factories turning out tens of hundreds of cells per hour. By optimizing processes corresponding to deposition, passivation and doping and innovating new cell supplies and designs, technologists can squeeze increasingly effectivity out of the cells—which ends up in increased wattage modules.

At a latest convention, I mentioned a number of points of expertise management for the terawatt period, with a heavy deal with R&D and cell innovation. LONGi spends extra on R&D than another solar firm; in truth, we invested about $1.9 billion between 2012 and 2021, considerably greater than any of our friends—together with $689 million in fiscal 2021 alone. What these investments imply is that we will develop, manufacture and provide high-performance merchandise at a decrease value all whereas sustaining our industry-leading monetary bankability and manufacturing capability.

These R&D investments have allowed us to persistently be among the many solar cell effectivity innovators. LONGi broke the world report for cell conversion effectivity seven occasions throughout numerous cell sorts and architectures in 2021. We are one of many leaders in growing new high-efficiency cell applied sciences, together with TOPCon and heterojunction (HJT) cells.

Again, why ought to installers care about all this cell effectivity innovation within the pipeline? Because in a number of years, in the present day’s 400-watt-plus modules shall be a fond reminiscence because the much more environment friendly 500- and 600-watt modules of the long run get hoisted as much as the rooftop for set up—saving money and time whereas harvesting and producing never-before seen quantities of energy per unit space.

By Hongbin Fang, LONGi Director of Product Marketing

Have you checked out our YouTube web page?

We have a ton video interviews and extra content material on our YouTube web page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! — a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to debate increased stage {industry} subjects in addition to greatest practices / tendencies for working a solar enterprise in the present day.

Our longer working aspect venture is The Pitch — wherein now we have awkward discussions with solar producers and suppliers about their new expertise and concepts in order that you do not have to. We’ve discusses all the things from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage worth stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.

We additionally submit our Project of the Year bulletins there! Interviews with this yr’s winners shall be up beginning the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe in the present day to remain on prime of all this further stuff.

Tags: LONGi Solar

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