Trina Solar will eventually start selling TOPCon and heterogeneous products, even though it built its first large-scale TOPCon project four years ago. The company says it is now making progress with TOPCon unit production, despite supply chain issues.
Chinese module manufacturer Trina Solar plans to launch new solar modules based on inert tunnel oxide contactors (TOPCon).
“TOPCon is nothing new to Trina, we have built our first pilot project in four years – a 400MW solar power plant under China’s Top Runner program,” said Helena Lee, president of the company’s Global Cells and Modules Company. Photoelectric magazine In a short interview at the recent Smarter E event in Munich, Germany. “We used our n-type TOPCon technology on this project, but when we built that customers weren’t willing to buy these, as the prices were too high, even though we had a production line of a certain size. However, we built on these experiment for our current approach.”
The company is still not sure when it will launch its new TOPCon n-type products.
“This time it depends on the lack of ingredients and materials,” he told me. “We don’t want a new product that we may not eventually be able to provide.”
She said the entire n-type transition has now been postponed. The company plans to increase its capacity for new n-type products from 500MW to 20GW by the end of 2023.
“We’re also looking at cross-back connection (IBC) and heterogeneous connections, but first we want to expand our business at TOPCon,” Lee said.
In March, Trina Solar said the 210mm x 210mm TOPCon cell achieved 25.5% efficiency.
“Our 210 plus n type technology is undergoing rapid progress and capacity is expected to increase by another 3% to 5%, further reducing (the flat cost of electricity). Certainly in the near future, but limited by supply chain pressure,” Lee said. Our shipments have already grown 40% year-on-year, and maintained a high market share, despite all the odds. Trina Solar will continue to rapidly develop TOPCon technology and plans to increase its capacity for new n-type products from the current 500MW to 20GW by the end of year 2023.”
She noted that the supply chain problems persisted longer than the company initially expected.
“First the Covid virus and then all these logistical issues. Then there was the Suez Canal problem, and now there is the war in Ukraine and inflation. Moreover, there is a new Covid crisis in China. “You can see what we had to go through,” he told me.
However, the current situation informs the company about its customers.
It teaches our industry how to adapt to new and unknown conditions. For example, we never suspected before that charging costs for solar modules could range between $0.04 and $0.05 per watt. That’s 15% or 20% of our total unit costs, and we never expected that to come true. “Despite the current restrictions, we are very optimistic about the European markets. Trina Solar is playing a leading role in Europe and the world, with more than 22 GW shipped to European markets so far, ranking first in the region.”
The company has launched a number of joint ventures or partnerships to diversify sourcing of polysilicon, ingots and wafers over the past year, particularly in Southeast Asia.
“We realized that the supply chain cannot be centralized in one place and that customers also want independence. Our mid-term strategy is to have a clear segmentation of products and markets, as well as geographic diversification of our supply chain. Different markets require supply chains,” Lee said. different”.
Trina Solar is now studying more solar plants through new partnerships.
“We look at the United States like everyone else and have already done some feasibility studies. We are looking at the United States like everyone else,” Lee said, without providing further details.
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