Trina Solar is excited to announce the development of 400 watt-plus (400W+) modules for utility-scale customers. The 400W+ milestone is a major one in the solar industry, representing a significant increase in power density over existing technologies. This added density will help mitigate a common constraint on utility projects, namely the size of their given land areas, by generating more power within a smaller space.
What to look forward to from Trina Solar's 400W+ solution
While development is still ongoing, the final product will be based on half-cut multi-busbar technology, instead of a five-busbar design. The half-cut technology uses a textured 158 mm-squared cell cut in half to help improve performance during low irradiance, leading to a longer day of power generation from a utility installation. It reduces the amount of energy lost to shading between modules, harnesses Light Redirecting Film to capture more power, and works well even at high operating temperatures, thanks to low thermal coefficients.
The module itself is slightly larger has the same approximate overall weight as current technology. Many of the familiar specifications of existing Trina Solar solutions should also carry over to the new 400W+ offering, including its:
- Pascal rating to withstand from severe snow and wind loads.
- Potential induced degradation (aka PID) indicating possible loss from stray currents.
- 72 Mono Perc cells and 3.2mm glass used for lighter weight and easier installations.
- Warranties – 10 years for the product and 25 years for linear power.
Voltage will likely be certified at 1500 volts, keeping the balance of system costs down and deliver superior cost of electricity by source/LCOE. Eventual efficiency for the 400W+ module should approach 20 percent. The 400W+ module's performance represents a 10 to 15 percent improvement over current Trina products with wattage ranges in the mid-to-high 300s.
Trina utility customers will get more than a significant jump in wattage, though. Once the 400W+ module is available, they'll also benefit from enhanced module reliability. Trina will conduct internal tests that go above and beyond the certification authorities' inspections for snow and wind loads along with PID resistance.
What happens next with 400W+ solar technology?
Trina expects that RFPs for utility-scale solar projects will be able to incorporate 400W+ modules sometime in the 2019 to 2022 window, although this timeline is still subject to change pending product development. Expect subsequent updates and announcements clarifying the final technical specifications.
In the meantime, be sure to visit our team at Solar Power International (SPI) 2018. For this year's SPI, we'll be presenting a variety of current and upcoming Trina Solar products, including TrinaPro, TrinaHome, and TrinaBess. We look forward to seeing you at SPI 2018 and to talking more about our 400W+ offerings there and in the future