At the side event "Next Generation Solutions of Solar, Renewables and Energy Storage" during Intersolar Europe in Munich on 21 June 2018, representatives of manufacturers, research institutions and financiers discussed the possibilities of increasing the performance of PV modules.
The manufacturer LONGi Solar from Xi'an, China, presented a new monocrystalline PERC cell with an efficiency of 23.6 percent in the run-up to the fair. This increase in efficiency opens up new possibilities for the use of solar modules in emerging countries and in projects that combine high efficiency and low power generation costs.
In the panel discussion of the conference, Winfried Wahl, Head of Product Management & Chief Engineer at LONGi Solar, emphasized that it pays to focus on quality and service life with the current running times of solar projects. "Most solar parks today are designed for 30 years or more. This requires a high module quality in order to avoid failures".
Dr. Fang Hongbin, Director of Product Marketing at LONGi Solar, presented the advantages of mono modules, whose further development the Chinese company is committed to. "In many projects, module costs are no longer decisive on their own, but rather the running costs," says Fang. Therefore, the focus is increasingly on improving the LCOE, the electricity generation costs.
With mono modules, a better material ensures higher performance. The price difference, which a few years ago was very high in favour of poly modules, has now fallen by around 10 to 15 cents per module and the "poly parity" is within reach. Dr Fang therefore speaks of a "big market shift from multi to mono" that has already begun and will continue in the coming years. After all, the same output requires around 10 percent fewer modules, infrastructure costs are saved and efficiency decreases more slowly over time than with comparable poly modules.