While the industry may have evolved considerably over the course of the past year, and indeed the exhibition look different compared to previous iterations given the travel restrictions preventing visitors from overseas, SNEC 2021 was just as lively as ever before, crowded with manufacturers showcasing their latest products.
Module power outputs continued to climb from the 500W+ norm of last year, with 600W+ now almost the industry standard and 700W+ the new ambition.
Different technologies applied is one factor contributing to this surge in module power. Half-cut or triple-cut cells, multi-busbar and bifacial modules are becoming standardised, while n-type technologies such as TOPCon and heterojunction (HJ) are gathering strength. The ever-increasing module size is another contributing factor. As could be seen from the exhibits this year, 182mm and 210mm wafers have become mainstream and the number of cells has also increased from 60 to 72, or even to 78 pieces.570W of LONGi, 620W of JA Solar, 625W of Jinko N-type modules
700W of Trina Solar, 700W of Jolywood, 695W of Tongwei TOPCon modules
While TOPCon technologies were almost ever-present at SNEC 2021, heterojunction was also a mainstay of this year’s event. JA Solar, Trina Solar, Tongwei, Canadian Solar, Jinergy, Risen, Haitai Solar, Akcome and GS-Solar all launched their HJ modules at SNEC, with the average efficiency standing just above 22%. The shingled glass-glass HJ module from Tongwei can reach 705W, and Sunport Power added its unique MWT technology to HJ cells to achieve an output of 700W. GS-Solar showcased its first-of-a-kind back contact HBC module, which has an efficiency as high as 23.3%.
700W of Akcome, 705W of Tongwei, 505W of GS-Solar HJT modules
Nevertheless, the mainstream products on display were still the 182mm and 210mm modules, although some 166mm modules remained on display. Outside of the top tier manufacturers, most second- and third-tier module manufacturers have yet to start mass production of large-format modules, and it is expected that it will still be some time before that changes.
It should also be noted that, by increasing the cell size and encapsulating a larger number of cells, the module output can be boosted quickly. At the same time, power increases will also be subject to restrictions in terms of glass, auxiliary materials, transportation and installation.
Interestingly, JinkoSolar took an alternative route to most by unveiling the brand new 415W Tiger Pro efficiency PV module. Seemingly not following the 600W+ and 700W+ trends, the 415W Tiger Pro can be carried and operated by a single person as it is only 1.1m(W)*1.72m(L) and weighs just 22kg. It’s a product very much aimed at the distributed and residential solar markets which are forecast for considerable growth this year and beyond.
The 410W+ and 510W+ Vertex module series released by Trina Solar have much in common with Jinko’s product strategy. According to the statistics available, Trina’s decentralised module purchase orders have exceeded 2GW. A large number of 410W+ Vertex modules have alrrth America and other continents to be installed in thousands of projects there.
Many PV module companies also brought BIPV products to the show this year. Jinko released its BIPV coloured curtain for exterior glass walls and a BIPV coloured steel tile for new industry building rooftops and refurbished building rooftops. Meanwhile, Trina Solar also targeted the BIPV market by exhibiting its Trina Blue Sky Tile system.