Yingli unveils new 1,500 V utility-scale solar panel

Chinese solar module producer Yingli Solar today launched its first 1,500 V solar panel at the Intersolar North America exhibition in San Francisco, U.S.

The new higher voltage module has been specially developed for use in utility-scale PV applications, the company said, and has been designed to improve system performance and reduce balance-of-system costs for plant developers because fewer modules are required to achieve the same power output.

Yingli adds that the aluminum framed 1,500 V solar panel is also compatible with most tracking and mounting systems, and also comes with an additional protective coating over the cells that "ensures high resistance to Potential Induced Degradation (PID)".

Yingli Green Energy CEO and Chairman Liansheng Miao added: "This new utility-scale panel was developed in direct response to our partners’ requests for 1,500 V solar PV solutions, which we expect will soon become industry-standard."

Miao’s comments echo the thoughts of IHS solar analyst Cormac Gilligan, who has recently mused exactly when leading solar module makers would begin developing 1,500 V panels at volumes required to unblock the bottleneck caused by inverter manufacturers bringing their 1,500 V systems to market.

Earlier this year fellow Chinese solar panel giant JA Solar added a 1,500 V solar module to its product range in a move that the company said was designed to tap into "an inevitable trend on a global scale".

For Yingli, the module not only readies the company for this next evolution in solar technology, but also serves as something of a counterclaim to recent reports that Yingli may have halted module production.

Yingli has also this week spun off a new engineering service in the U.S. called Amplify Energy, which will help solar project owners, buyers and developers appraise PV project value and optimize their production.

"We started Amplify Energy to address the gap between expected and actual performance," said former VP of technology at Yingli Americas and CEO of Amplify Energy, Brian Grenko. "As the installed fleet of MW-scale PV systems in the U.S. has grown to over 13 GW, so has our understanding of how these systems perform. The reality is that, over time, installed systems have typically performed differently than originally modeled."