DNV is testing different module formats – pv magazine international


Energy consultancy firm DNV has been commissioned by module manufacturing giant Longi Solar to compare the cost balance of systems between modules using 182mm and 210mm wafers, based on a draft 3.7 MW in three different configurations. The results reveal a small cost benefit for the smaller of the two, based on both fixed tilt and tracking systems.

The introduction of new wafer formats has led to a rapid increase in the size and power rating of modules, and significant variations between products in the market have created challenges for component designers and left system designers to themselves. scratch their heads to find out what is the best format module for their project.

Although standards are emerging to simplify this process, there are still two wafer formats on the market – 182mm and 210mm – and significant differences between PV modules based on the two. These two formats have divided manufacturing, both enjoying the support of major players. And while there is likely room in the market for both formats at the moment, better understand how each one performs in the field and the additional optimizations that might be needed to get the most out of this new generation of mods. taller.

Longi Solar Technology, currently the world’s largest module manufacturer in terms of production capacity, and a major backer of the smaller 182mm wafer format, hired energy consulting firm DNV to perform a cost comparison for balancing system components in three different configurations, and testing 72 cellular modules based on the 182mm wafer versus 55 and 60 cellular modules built with the larger 210mm format.

All modules in the comparison used a half-cell, multi-busbar interconnect. The following table shows the ratings, dimensions and other characteristics of the modules in the comparison.

Type of module Wattage (W) Efficiency Technology VOC (V) Isc (A) Size (mm) Area (m2) weight (kg)
182-72c 540 21.13% Half cut


49.5 13.85 2256 × 1133 × 35 2.56 32.3
210-55c 545 20.86% 37.7 6.30 p.m. 2384 × 1096 × 35 2.61 32.6
210-60c 595 21.02% 41.5 18.36 2172 × 1303 × 35 2.83 35.3

Cost comparison

Modules were tested on single axis trackers, two portrait and four landscape fixed tilt shelving systems. DNV has produced cost calculations for each based on their own experience as well as quotes from equipment suppliers, industry research and “typical cost” estimates for specific parameters provided by the company. Wood Mackenzie market research.

For each scenario, DNV performed calculations based on a 3.7 MW system located on flat, rectangular land in Texas. Central inverters were used for the comparison and the number of modules per string calculated based on the maximum voltage of the modules and the inverter.

In all three scenarios, the 182mm modulus was plotted at a system balance that cost slightly less than the 210mm modulus. Cost calculations are provided in the table below.

Scenario 1P tracker Fixed inclination 2P Fixed tilt 4L
Type of module 182mm 72 cell 210mm 55 cell 210mm 60 cells 182mm 72 cell 210mm 60 cells 182mm 72 cell 210mm 55 cell
Total cost of BOS (US cents per watt) 29.13 29.91 30.32 23.42 23.58 24.35 24.69

Ditto in the end

DNV minimized the cost differences between each scenario. “There is little variation in the overall prices in each scenario, which means that the choice of module has little effect, but it can be seen that certain rack configurations lead to different overall prices,” the company said. , noting that the variation between two-channel and three-channel trackers produced a noticeable cost difference.

Longi, for his part, made a point of noting the positive results of the 182 mm products “… under fair and practical limiting conditions of module power, capacity ratio, rack length, selection of electrical equipment and manual installation costs, “a statement from the company reviewing the results read. of the comparison, “Adopting oversized modules with ultra-high current does not have an advantage in terms of BOS cost savings over 182-72c modules, as the efficiency of the modules remains the critical factor of BOS costs ”.

Longi went on to state that the comparison of DNV only takes into account the costs of the BOS on the DC; and that there may be further savings possible in the AC system and grid connection lines. “In reality, in the case of large power plants, land resources will generally be fully utilized to maximize installation capacity, which means that 182 modules will represent a larger capacity (about 2 ~ 3%) with module efficiency. higher, ”concludes Longi’s statement. “[this means] potential savings on the project development cost per watt and the costs associated with booster stations and outgoing utility lines on the AC side, further reinforcing the potential superiority of module 182 in terms of overall value.

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