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Five Trends of Photovoltaic Modules

Five Trends of Photovoltaic Modules

Jun 01, 2023

Last week, the market enthusiasm accumulated for two years finally broke out at the world's largest photovoltaic exhibition SNEC as scheduled. The expansion of the exhibition hall, the queue of exhibitors, the skyrocketing prices of hotels, the overwhelming audience, and the paralysis of signals...all these tell the current photovoltaic, The explosive state of the energy storage track.


The absolute protagonist of the exhibition—nearly 3,000 exhibitors, strived for design, strength, and creativity. It can be said that they did their best to fully display the state of the enterprise and attract the audience to stay. Among them, the most eye-catching ones are component companies. Standing at another crossroads of technological iteration, price competition, and industry involution, by sorting out the key information of module exhibitors, it also revealed the development format and trend of the current module market.



1. The N-type era is coming


Compared with the sporadic exhibitions at the SNEC exhibition in 2021, this year's component exhibition area is dominated by n-type products, and all component companies exhibited n-type component products. TOPCon and TOPCon upgrade technologies occupy the mainstream, and HJT and XBC technologies also have many fans. From the perspective of module efficiency data, TOPCon modules all stand above 22%.


According to the forecast of leading companies, the market share of n-type products may reach 30% this year, and 60% next year is expected. It is not difficult to see from the above statistical information that among n-type technologies, TOPCon has become the preferred technology for more enterprise technology iterations due to its ecological compatibility. According to statistics, the nominal production capacity of TOPCon is expected to reach 477GW by the end of 2023, directly catching up with PERC.


However, there are also feedbacks from enterprises that this year's n-type advancement is not as fast as expected, and the market supply will be tested, but 2024 will be the year of n-type product blowout.


2. The size dispute is not over


Following the core demand of the photovoltaic industry to reduce costs and increase efficiency, photovoltaic companies continue to study feasible solutions. Compared with the more difficult battery technology leap, size is also one of the solutions. Starting from the second half of 2019, the reform of large-size silicon wafers kicked off. In just three years, 182mm and 210mm have become the mainstream sizes in the market. But the size war is clearly far from over.


In order to maximize module power, module efficiency and utilize container space, breaking the conventional square silicon wafer, rectangular silicon wafer solutions are coming. At this SENC exhibition, JA Solar, Tongwei, Chint New Energy, Canadian Solar, etc. exhibited module products based on rectangular silicon wafers. 186.8mm, 182*191mm, 182*199mm, 182*210mm, etc. According to a leading component company, compared with square silicon wafers, the power of rectangular silicon wafer components can be increased by more than 30W.


However, the "variety" of rectangular silicon wafers will obviously bring great challenges to the coordination of upstream and downstream industrial chains and the stability of production line equipment. It is reported that some leading companies want to jointly launch new-size silicon wafers in order to guide the size to unify.



3. Next-generation technologies gaining momentum


Solar cell efficiency has been hailed as a beacon of innovation in photovoltaic technology. Outperforming the competition in the industry and quickly pursuing "next-generation technology" has also become the key to battery component companies. At the SNEC exhibition, TRW, Risen Energy, Tongwei and many other companies exhibited HJT and IBC products in addition to TOPCon products.


Longi and Yidao took the lead in disclosing the progress of next-generation battery technology to the industry. At the end of last year, LONGi announced that the conversion efficiency of its self-developed silicon heterojunction solar cells reached 26.81%, which is currently the highest efficiency record for silicon solar cells in the world. At the SNEC exhibition half a year later, LONGi unveiled the 2681 concept product, which is one step closer to mass production. At the same time, LONGi announced that the conversion efficiency of its perovskite tandem cells exceeded 31.8%. One has released a full series of technical routes, TOPCon3.0, TBC, SCPC, TSiX, SFOS, and the efficiency of solar cells will exceed 35%.


4. Advance into energy storage


To make up for the shortcomings of photovoltaic power, the integration of photovoltaics and storage is necessary and inevitable, which has also spawned a new battlefield for photovoltaic companies. After the army of photovoltaic inverters has entered the energy storage market in an all-round way, component companies have also entered the energy storage market one after another.

In this exhibition, a group of component companies such as JinkoSolar, Trina, JA Solar, Canadian Solar, Risen Energy, and Hitech New Energy exhibited energy storage products, from the power supply side, grid side to user side, from energy storage It covers everything from battery to energy storage system integration.



5. There is an endless stream of new forces


"New competitors appear every day." This is a true portrayal of the current component market.


At this year's SNEC exhibition, some new powers of modules also made their appearance together.


As far as the technical route is concerned, the new forces do not have the burden of old production lines, and mostly start with n-type technology, TOPCon or HJT (see the product statistics table for details). From the perspective of established companies in the industry, the opportunity for new forces lies in differentiation. If you are only a follower, opportunities will be hard to find.

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