Q CELLS earns Top Performer recognition in PVEL’s 2019 PV Module Reliability Scorecard

QCELLS award

We reported on the eyebrow raising solar module reliability issues PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) uncovered in its latest PV Module Reliability Scorecard, but we didn’t spotlight which company graded out as the Top Performer. This year’s PVEL PV Module Reliability Scorecard Top Performer was Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd. one of the largest solar cell and module manufacturers in the world — the fourth year in a row that Q CELLS has been selected for this accolade.

Q CELLS earned the Top Performer recognition with its Q.PEAK DUO series of high-performance monocrystalline half-cell modules. The Q.PEAK DUO series of modules are manufactured using the Company’s patent-protected, unique passivation technology, which is a key ingredient in Q.ANTUM Technology. For better product quality and reliability, Q.ANTUM Technology includes additional cutting-edge technological and security features like excellent Anti-LID (light induced degradation) and Anti-PID (potential induced degradation) performance, as well as Hot-Spot Protect and traceable quality with Tra.QTM, which is Q CELLS’ unique laser identification to protect against counterfeiting.

Don’t miss our Solar Power International preview issue in September — subscribe to Solar Builder magazine (print or digital) for FREE today

Hee Cheul (Charles) Kim, CEO of Q CELLS, said: “We are pleased to announce that we have once again been recognized as a Top Performer by the leading testing lab PVEL. The very DNA of Q CELLS is rooted in German R&D excellence and a desire to consistently deliver top-quality renewable energy products and services. To contribute to the higher customer value and the growth of the global solar industry, Q CELLS will continue to strive towards even greater excellence in product quality and reliability with all our might.”

PVEL is one of the world’s leading reliability and performance testing laboratories in the solar industry. As an independent laboratory, PVEL tests PV modules from leading solar manufacturers annually, and publishes the PV Module Reliability Scorecard based on these test results every year. The PV Module Reliability Scorecard is recognized as one of the most comprehensive publicly available PV module reliability test results comparisons, and the title of Top Performer – that is granted to high-ranked companies – is accepted throughout the industry as a reliable mark of high product quality and reliability.

— Solar Builder magazine

German solar company says its thin-film CdTe modules now as efficient as crystalline

Calyxo thin film

German solar company Calyxo TS Solar GmbH reports that new testing shows its thin-film solar module has reached the same degree of efficiency as crystalline modules. The European market leader from Bitterfeld-Wolfen now produces thin film modules with an efficiency level of 16.5 percent, which exceeds the average of 13 percent. The manufacturer thus managed to increase the output per module by around 25 percent from an average of 90 watts to over 118 watts since the takeover of Calyxo by TS Group GmbH just under a year ago.

Together with its parent company TS Group, Calyxo worked intensively on the further optimization of the highly efficient cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin film solar modules and, after only five months, achieved a new peak: Due to their spectral response, low angle dependence and enormous temperature resistance, the thin film modules’ new record efficiency of 16.5 percent is comparable with the 19.8 percent efficiency of crystalline solar modules. The efficiency of the new modules was confirmed by an independent study carried out by the University of Coburg. Calyxo had already reported an efficiency of 15.5 percent in January.

All efficiency rates stated here are stabilized efficiency rates after an accelerated ageing test on production modules.

More to come?

“The further increase in efficiency shows that thin film solar modules have long ceased to be a niche technology in the photovoltaic industry,” Dr. Stephan Köhne, CEO of the TS Group, emphasized. “We are not only already in a position to compete with standard crystalline modules available on the market. We are also convinced that the potential of CdTe modules is far from exhausted.”

The company believes they have another leap in efficiency coming by the end of the year. Its research indicates that the relatively new thin film technology can achieve efficiencies of up to 30 percent.

Calyxo TS Solar GmbH is currently looking for investors to build new factories for the production of large-format photovoltaic modules.

“Our technology has reached a level of maturity that not only makes thin film modules more efficient,” adds Köhne. “We can also produce our modules at significantly lower costs compared to the crystalline photovoltaic modules commonly available on the market.”

In addition to building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and conventional roof-top systems, Calyxo TS Solar GmbH also perceives floating PV systems as an emerging market. Glass/glass modules are particularly suitable for this form of energy generation as they are better able to withstand the high level of humidity in the air – which is a problem for glass/backsheet modules.

More on CdTe technology

CdTe thin film modules are more resilient and resistant than crystalline modules. The glass/glass modules have a significantly longer service life than conventional glass/backsheet modules. In addition, the thin film solar cells can easily cope with shading and achieve higher yields in poor light conditions than crystalline modules. In electricity generation, this can lead to an overall advantage of up to 20 percent per year compared to standard crystalline solar modules.

Because of Calyxo’s patented technologies and production processes, the company is on its way to becoming the global technology leader in the manufacture of cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin film solar modules.

— Solar Builder magazine

Bifacial solar panels among several solar exclusions from the Trump tariffs just announced

Trump Trade Tariffs

The Solar Energy Industries Association reported some positive outcomes from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in regard to tariff exclusions for some imported PV cells and modules (these were originally applied for in April 2018). These exclusions include:

• Bifacial solar panels that absorb light and generate electricity on each side of the panel and that consist of only bifacial solar cells that absorb light and generate electricity on each side of the cells;
• Flexible fiberglass solar panels without glass components other than fiberglass, such panels having power outputs ranging from 250 to 900 watts; and
• Solar panels consisting of solar cells arranged in rows that are laminated in the panel and that are separated by more than 10 mm, with an optical film spanning the gaps between all rows that is designed to direct sunlight onto the solar cells, and not including panels that lack said optical film or only have a white or other backing layer that absorbs or scatters sunlight.

All other exclusion requests were denied.

“Over the past year, we have relentlessly lobbied the Administration to grant additional exemptions, with a particular focus on bifacial modules,” stated Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of SEIA. “Today’s decision is a significant win for SEIA’s trade advocacy efforts. We thank the Administration for its decision to moderate the adverse impact of the Section 201 tariffs, as well as Senator Thom Tillis and Congressman Patrick McHenry for their support. This would not have happened without engagement from several SEIA members.”

— Solar Builder magazine

EDF Renewables places large bifacial solar module supply order with Canadian Solar

canadian-solar-logo

Canadian Solar Inc. has signed one of the largest, multi-year bifacial solar module supply agreements on record with EDF Renewables North America. The deal will deliver 1,800 MW of high efficiency poly solar modules for projects in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Utilizing unique multi-year contractual terms, Canadian Solar will supply its bifacial enhanced wafer BiHiKu (CS3W-PB) and enhanced wafer HiKu (CS3W-P) modules to EDF Renewables’ multiple solar projects.

This module supply agreement is the largest single module supply agreement signed in Canadian Solar’s 18-year history, and is an anchor of the company’s 3+ GW of forward-committed contracts in the North American market through 2023.

“EDF Renewables North America is pleased to announce this substantial module supply agreement with Canadian Solar Inc. The agreement demonstrates our confidence in the bifacial module technology to support our robust pipeline of contracted projects over the next 5 years,” said Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewables North America.

Don’t miss our Solar + Storage issue in July — subscribe to Solar Builder magazine (print or digital) for FREE today

“We are excited to partner with EDF Renewables to help them bring a stable supply of clean, reliable solar energy to the North American market,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. “As the US market recovers from the uncertainties brought by Section 201 tariffs and rushes to meet the step-down of the Investment Tax Credit deadline, we are seeing a significant rebound of demand in the US solar market which impacts module supply across the entire region. This contract continues to strengthen the global partnership between EDF Renewables and Canadian Solar.”

— Solar Builder magazine

EDF Renewables places large bifacial solar module supply order with Canadian Solar

canadian-solar-logo

Canadian Solar Inc. has signed one of the largest, multi-year bifacial solar module supply agreements on record with EDF Renewables North America. The deal will deliver 1,800 MW of high efficiency poly solar modules for projects in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Utilizing unique multi-year contractual terms, Canadian Solar will supply its bifacial enhanced wafer BiHiKu (CS3W-PB) and enhanced wafer HiKu (CS3W-P) modules to EDF Renewables’ multiple solar projects.

This module supply agreement is the largest single module supply agreement signed in Canadian Solar’s 18-year history, and is an anchor of the company’s 3+ GW of forward-committed contracts in the North American market through 2023.

“EDF Renewables North America is pleased to announce this substantial module supply agreement with Canadian Solar Inc. The agreement demonstrates our confidence in the bifacial module technology to support our robust pipeline of contracted projects over the next 5 years,” said Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewables North America.

Don’t miss our Solar + Storage issue in July — subscribe to Solar Builder magazine (print or digital) for FREE today

“We are excited to partner with EDF Renewables to help them bring a stable supply of clean, reliable solar energy to the North American market,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. “As the US market recovers from the uncertainties brought by Section 201 tariffs and rushes to meet the step-down of the Investment Tax Credit deadline, we are seeing a significant rebound of demand in the US solar market which impacts module supply across the entire region. This contract continues to strengthen the global partnership between EDF Renewables and Canadian Solar.”

— Solar Builder magazine