Big modules head for standardisation

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From pv magazine Global. 

According to an announcement from module manufacturer Trina Solar, the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) is poised to announce a set of standard dimensions for large format modules relying on the 210mm wafer launched by Zhonghuan Semiconductor back in 2019.

The standard, according to Trina, will be set out for different cell layouts as in the table below. Having a standard set of dimensions should make thing simpler, and therefore cheaper, for project developers and component suppliers, all of whom have to deal with significant uncertainty over module sizes and electrical characteristics since the switch to larger wafer formats began to play out.

Module standard dimensions (210mm wafer products)
Cell typeModule typeNumber of cellsModule length [mm]Module width [mm]Mounting hole distance in long side [mm]
Half cellSingle-glass, framed/ dual-glass, framed1102384±21096±2400/1400±1
1202172±21303±2400/1400±1
1322384±21303±2400/1400±1
Source: Trina Solar

Toward standardisation

The process began in May, when the CPIA brought together industry experts and representatives from across the supply chain to agree on a set of standards for products incorporating the 210mm wafer. Cell & module manufacturers including Trina Solar, Risen Energy, Canadian Solar and Tongwei – all of which have chosen to work with the 210mm wafer rather than then smaller 182mm product being promoted by Longi and others – took part in the CPIA event and agreed to standardise various technical details of the modules including module dimensions, size & positioning of mounting system attachment holes and other details including cell spacing. Modules will also be designed to meet the latest international standards including IEC 61730, published by the Switzerland-based International Electrotechnical Commission.

“This means 210mm module manufacturers, end users and system solution providers have achieved uniformity in technical issues,” said Trina Solar in a statement. “Standardisation of modules will greatly reduce BOS costs and LCOE, and deliver the convenience and maximum value of ultra-high power modules and solutions to solar applications.”

Trina says it expects the move for standardisation to directly result in cost reductions for balance of systems components, and a more efficient supply chain. On top this, it expects the manufacturing industry to be able to innovate and bring new processes to scale more quickly, and to bring down manufacturing costs as well.

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