210mm series: a wide-range of solutions
Over the last year, we have seen an increase in the size of silicon wafers, arriving at modules that deploy the 210mm silicon wafers (210 series ultra-high power module). As the size of silicon wafers has increased over the last year, we’ve seen a correolation in power. The diagram below shows this growth with wafers increasing in size from 156mm to 210mm while power in the 72-cell module is 540W for the same layout.
So, does a 210mm wafer deliver 720W? Yes but power is not the only consideration. The structure would need to be 2.6m long and 1.3m wide and weigh up to 37kg. This kind of size does not necessarily work well in the field and feedback is that components should not be made bigger just to boost power.
It’s worth noting that 210mm module is just the size of the silicon wafer and components using them can come in variety of cell designs. Last week, the 600W+ Photovoltaic Open Innovation Ecological Alliance companies announced a compact 210mm module delivering 400W. The unit is virtually the same size as the smaller 166mm 60-cell module but delivers 30W more power. Moreover, 400W would normally require the much larger 72-cell, 158mm unit. The cutting-edge technology in 210mm silicon wafers not only boosts power but also allows more opportunity to optimize designs.
This is evidenced in the five 210mm modules already announced with power ranging from 400W to 660W, with applications for a variety of design scenarios. This paper discusses the advantage of using the 210mm module through the analysis of the pain points in different market segments, as well as how different product lines impact customer value.
Comparing distributed models in the market
According to some market predictions, about half of all photovoltaic projects will run a distributed model. In terms of product selection, these projects will significantly differ from large-scale power stations.
If a 72-cell module is applied in a rooftop design as shown in the diagram below, only two rows of modules can be arranged. 60-cell modules fit better given to the size restraints. This is precisely why smaller modules dominate the market. Fully covering the rooftop is an essential factor in choosing products for household set-ups.
In this case, the capacity of a compact 210mm module of 400W will be 12% higher than that of the 158mm module, and a 10% increase compared to the 166mm module. The higher power module will deliver better returns for this kind of project.
There are similar requirements for distributed rooftop commercial designs. The number of modules dictates the use of trackers, cables, connectors, and so on. Therefore, high-power modules have their advantages. Meanwhile, the layout of the roof also requires a flexible design for greater capacity.