Hundreds of company from the PV sector were invited to attend this exclusive event, including inverter enterprises, bracket manufacturers, EPC enterprises, and third-party certification institutes to express their point of view and comprehensively analyze the design, production cost, compatibility, system applications, and product certification of 182mm modules.
According to LONGi's expectations, the production capacity of monocrystalline silicon modules should reach 30GW by the end of 2021. LONGi Global Marketing Senior Vice President She Haifeng said: “it is expected that the production capacity of LONGi's 166 and 182 will be divided by half next year.”
Dany Qian, Vice President of JinkoSolar, said that the company's production capacity layout in 2021 is: 60% of the capacity will be ready for 182mm modules of the Tiger Pro series.
Huang Xinming, senior vice president of JA Technology, forecasted that the annual output of the company will exceed 20GW in 2021. According to market calculations, the overall production capacity of the three companies next year may be about 54GW (Jinko and JA are 20GW respectively, and LONGi's 13.5GW in the first quarter). Since the production capacity that LONGi shared was as of the first three months of next year, the actual 182mm wafer production capacity of the three companies may be even higher than 54GW.
Safety and reliability are the basic demands of photovoltaic companies for all products, so how to find products with the lowest electricity cost within the bottom line. In fact, the cost reduction brought by large-size modules has been recognized by the industry.
Leo Yu, Senior Product Manager at JinkoSolar said, “Improving power generation by reducing cable losses and internal losses is one of the ways to reduce costs. Compared with the 55P version of 210mm module, the 182mm modules cable losses can be reduced by 0.21%, and internal losses by 2%, and this part of the cost may need more than 0.1 yuan / watt EPC cost to make up.
In terms of BOS costs, compared to 210mm modules, 182mm panels can bring about 2.6 cents/watt of savings. Through different dimensions of contrast on LCOE, BOS cost and IRR, 182mm products are the best choice.
“Similarly, a large size is not the best option. Compared with 210mm modules, it is necessary to design a higher level of protection device, which will increase the cost, and The cable temperature of 210mm modules is also higher because of the higher current it has. Hence 182mm is a better choice for large panel sizes.
Li Shaotang, senior product manager of LONGi said: “In 2018 the industry began to try to raise power by increasing the size of modules, but size and power of solar panels doesn’t have to be as big as possible. It is necessary to comprehensively consider various boundary conditions, such as manufacturing, modules transportation, reliability and manual installation. The fundamental principle in the design of ultra-high power modules is to reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour, rather than just increase power.
The 182-72c module has an optimal design that integrates the system cost and modules reliability. Under the push of the industry's top 3 companies, it will become a standardized product for large-scale power plants, creating value for customers.
If the means to enhance the power industry through auxiliary materials and module technologies has been fully utilized, the industry will consider to reduce the BOS costs and improve the power plant by increasing the cell area, with the conclusion that the increasing on the single string power is due to the increasing on current.
What is the maximized size for silicon wafer in the future? Longi said “182mm modules perfectly matched the existing industry chain specifications and electrical systems. At the same time, in terms of LCOE, the 182mm modules is better than other modules due to its lower BOS cost with better power generation capacity and reliability. 182mm modules are the best choice for utility project.”
In addition, in terms of manufacturing, thanks to the maturity of 182mm modules, the products gradually entered the mass production stage. Although the yield rate of the 182mm silicon wafer is slightly lower, it will soon reach the same state as that of the 158 silicon wafer. The cell efficiency can be improved to 23.1 through the optimization process. At present, the mass production efficiency of modules has reached more than 21%. Compared with 158/166 products in transportation, each container can hold about 10%-20% more watts.” Said by Mengsong Wang, Assistant Senior Vice President of JA Solar and Senior Product Technical Expert.
There was a discussion about whether the working temperature of large-size batteries would rise. Mengsong Wang also gave a specific analysis. He emphasized that the working temperature of high-current modules is related to the size of cell. The temperature will increase significantly because of the increase of internal resistance loss. By using half-cell technology, the current is reduced by half, and the internal resistance is also halved. Considering the formula of I2R, the overall internal resistance loss is greatly reduced. This is why the power of the half-cell modules can be increased by 5W~7W and the working temperature can be reduced significantly.
On the topic of compatibility with inverters, the leading inverter companies: Huawei and Sungrow both stated that their related inverters can fully match 182 modules.
Yanhu Zhang, Vice President at Sungrow, said “The raise of module current will increase the diameter of low-voltage DC cables, thereby pushing up cable costs. At the same time, excessive changes in module current will also affect the applicability of string inverters and combiner boxes. The centralized inverter can be flexibly adapted to various types of modules. Yanhu Zhang, as a representative of the power plant integrator, called for the uniform size for the PV module industry so as to improve the compatibility of the system. The next step will be to focus on improving the efficiency of cells and modules to enter the era of PV grid parity.”
In terms of mounting system, Zhikai Guo, Senior Product Director at NEXTtacker, shared: “Tracking mounting system have met challenges one after another with the iteration of modules. For today’s 182mm modules, 1P/NX Horizon and 2P/NX Gemini Products are fully compatible with 72-pieces modules. By optimizing 78-pieces modules, the cost can be further reduced.
The coordinated operations of the various industrial chains of the PV industry will greatly increase the development speed on 182mm module applications, but how to give full play to its ability to reduce costs and increase efficiency requires guidance from professional plan from the design institute.
In the last session of the forum, representatives of participating companies shared their views on 182mm modules. Xianli Zhang, Vice President of Energy Storage at Sungrow commented: “The difficulty of inverter realization is not as complicated as glass. The cost impact of the inverter itself is basically low.
Xiliang Cao, General Manager of International Marketing at Arctech Solar said: “We will have mature products adaptable to182mm modules in the first and second quarters of next year.”
It is predictable that thanks to the strong cooperation of JinkoSolar, JA Solar and Longi, and thanks to the gradual improvement on production, the 182mm modules will achieve good results in PV market in 2021.