Trina Solar acquires a controlling interest in tracker company Nclave

NClave solar tracker

NClave solar tracker in Panama

Trina Solar, a Chinese supplier of global solutions for the solar sector, has reached an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in Nclave. This agreement consolidates the strategic one signed this March between both companies, which was an engagement to jointly develop, commercialize and install integral solutions for the photovoltaic sector with Nclave’s advanced photovoltaic tracker.

This corporate transaction reinforces Nclave’s position in the photovoltaic tracker market; and boosts the company’s growth plans established in its strategic plan, increasing its already wide client portfolio and improving its global positioning.

Trina Solar Limited, founded in 1997, is one of the leading companies in the solar sector worldwide. Nowadays, the company is immersed in an ambitious transformation process with the aim of becoming one of the main suppliers of global solutions in the solar sector. The company´s leading position in the industry is based on innovation excellence, high quality products, vertically integrated capacities and an environmentally efficient responsible management.

RELATED: Trina Solar hits 25.04 percent efficiency for large-area IBC mono-crystalline silicon solar cell

This March and, on the year of the company’s twentieth anniversary, Trina Solar launched TrinaPro solution, offering an optimized integration of modules-trackers-inverter, with the objective of reducing the LCOE for photovoltaic installations. Nclave will design and integrate trackers and solar structures within TrinaPro intelligent solutions.

About Nclave

Nclave was founded by the Clavijo Family and integrated the company MFV in 2017 together with the participation of the fund Q-Growth. Nclave has over 12 years of experience in renewable energy sources, having provided more than 2.5 GW worldwide. It currently has its headquarters in Madrid (Spain), commercial offices in five continents and manufacturing facilities in Navarra (Spain).

Nclave is a leading company in the development, design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of fixed structures and photovoltaic solar trackers, including dimensioning and implementing of all foundation solutions. Nclave offers the widest range of products in the market (fixed structures and single and multi row trackers with any configuration), being adaptable to all kinds of project through solutions with minimum investment cost; as well as operation and maintenance.

— Solar Builder magazine

Trina Solar debuts utility-scale solution with Huawei, Sungrow, Nclave

Trinasolar

Trina Solar Limited launched a new smart PV solution, TrinaPro, at its global headquarters in Changzhou, China, designed for utility-scale ground mounted PV systems. It is the result of Trina Solar’s full cooperation agreement with Huawei Technologies Co., LTD, Sungrow Power Supply Co., LTD, as well as its strategic cooperation agreement with Nclave Renewable S.L., respectively.

TrinaPro is the first smart PV solution with an optimized combination of Trina Solar’s solar modules, state-of-the-art solar tracker systems or floating systems, and world-class inverters. As a new value-added product, TrinaPro is characterized by premium components, optimized system integration and smart O&M interconnection.

RELATED: Module Evolution: What big-time PV improvements will boost panel efficiency?

TrinaPro includes both ground-mounted solutions and floating solutions. The ground-mounted solution features a state-of-the-art solar tracker system, which will help improve energy gain by 10%-30%. The floating solution will cover several application scenarios such as reservoirs, lakes, beaches, etc. With the optimized matching among components and “Edge Computing” algorithm integration, TrinaPro can improve system stability with higher power generation and lower BOS cost in order to reduce system LCOE.

Furthermore, with the interconnection between the “Edge Computing” algorithm and a smart O&M system on a cloud platform, TrinaPro is empowered to analyze and process data from the cloud, to optimize the system’s operational model and ensure the system runs smoothly and efficiently.

— Solar Builder magazine

Trina Solar hits 25.04 percent efficiency for large-area IBC mono-crystalline silicon solar cell

Trinasolar

Trina Solar says its State Key Laboratory (SKL) of PV Science and Technology (PVST) has achieved 25.04% total-area efficiency for a large-area (243.18 cm2) n-type mono-crystalline silicon (c-Si) Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cell, with open-circuit voltage up to 715.6 mV. The result was independently certified by Japan Electric Safety and Environmental Technology Laboratory (JET) and is now the leader in that efficiency category.

IBC solar cell explained

The IBC solar cell is the most complicated but with the highest cell efficiency for mass production c-Si solar cell today. The record-breaking n-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a large-sized industrial phosphorous-doped Cz Silicon substrate with a low-cost industrial IBC process, featuring conventional tube doping technologies and fully screen-printed metallization.

The 6-inch solar cell reached a total-area efficiency of 25.04% as independently measured by JET in Japan. The IBC solar cell has a total measured area of 243.18cm2 and was measured without any aperture. The champion cell presents the following characteristics: an open-circuit voltage Vocof 715.6 mV, a short-circuit current density Jsc of 42.27 mA/cm2 and a fill factor FF of 82.81%. It has been demonstrated to be the first single-junction c-Si solar cell developed in China to attain an efficiency above 25%, and also has been demonstrated to be the highest efficiency c-Si single junction solar cell based on a 6-inch large-area c-Si substrate.

The LONGi-term play: Get familiar with this record-breaking Chinese manufacturer

— Solar Builder magazine

Modules and integration: Four reasons why AC, smart modules are on the rise

The LG NeON 2 ACe

The LG NeON 2 ACe debuts at Intersolar 2017.

At Intersolar 2017, the industry’s newest power couple made its engagement announcement: LG and Enphase have teamed up on an AC module. Known as LG’s NeON 2 ACe, the new product combines LG’s NeON 2 technology with Enphase’s IQ6+ microinverter.

“This changes the basic architecture of an install — the goal is to see the inverter go away and to go plug-and-play,” LG noted at the press event. “This also makes warehousing easier by reducing part count.”

But wait, there is more. Also around Intersolar, Boviet Solar Technology finalized an agreement with SolarEdge Technologies to include SolarEdge power optimizers with its 60-cell mono smart solar modules. Boviet is just one example in a growing list of manufacturers to setup such an arrangement with SolarEdge.

“This new arrangement with SolarEdge gives our customers a single source for both solar panels and power optimizers, which means less equipment to stock and transport to the jobsite,” says John Bereckis, president of the Boviet Solar USA Module Division.

These are just the two most public announcements of MLPE and module marriages — putting faces on a trend that’s been evolving the last few years, whether it is a power optimizer-embedded smart module, a microinverter-embedded AC module, or maybe just a souped-up junction box. Here are some reasons to consider an integrated module, MLPE solution:

1. Streamline purchasing and installation

LG PresentationSolar installers commonly source their solar modules from one vendor and match solar power optimizers supplied by another. By bundling the power optimizer with the module, installers only have to work with a single supplier, which results in savings in both product sourcing and installation. In addition, purchasing solar modules with MLPE pre-installed ensures turnkey functionality and shortens installation time.

“By incorporating MLPE in the module, we eliminate the need to install separate boxes on modules, reducing labor costs,” says Gautam Ghose, senior product marketing manager at Trina Solar. “This enables efficient design and also reduces shipping, inventory tracking and storage costs.”

Trina Solar is currently working with Maxim and Tigo, but says it is pursuing other partnerships as we speak. The integrations are available in the company’s Trinasmart, Trinaswitch and Trinapeak models.

System owners receive the same type of design and efficiency benefits with smart modules that have embedded power optimizers as with the add-on power optimizers. The power optimizers offer MPPT per module, which allows for flexible installation design with multiple orientations, tilts and module types in the same string.

2. Safety

No fretting about meeting any Rapid Shutdown requirements. A smart or AC module is ready to comply right off the bat.

Module Evolution: What big-time PV improvements will boost panel efficiency?

3. More monitoring, less mismatch

Incorporating MLPE into the module at the outset ensures module-level monitoring in each system to help pinpoint system performance issues, resolve those issues and minimize downtime over the life of the system.

“Using smart modules offers a variety of benefits, such as faster installation for labor savings, simplified purchasing and inventory, and easier site logistics,” says Lior Handelsman, VP of marketing and product strategy at SolarEdge.

“With the optimization in Trinasmart and Trinapeak, you increase the energy produced by your PV system by minimizing mismatch losses caused by partial system shading or the varying degradation rates of individual modules,” says Parjanya Rijal, product marketing manager at Trina.

If problems are discovered, each manufacturer notes the simpler serviceability for field replacement in addition to the more granular degree of optimization. The strategy here is to maximize the energy produced from each cell in a module and increase durability by eliminating hotspots.

For example, the NeON ACe provides an integrated web-based solution. Monitor power generation through the internet, anywhere and anytime and utilize an automatic problem diagnosis function. With the LG AC Module mobile app, it’s possible to set up all monitoring configuration steps.

4. Install flexibility

Tigo seems to work with every company on both the module and inverter side to ensure smooth integration of its Flex MLPE TS4 Platform. Tigo emphasizes the importance of selective deployment with its Flex MLPE TS4 platform because different functionalities can be used together in the same system by using different TS4 covers.

“Diodes, monitoring and safety (TS4-D, TS4-M and TS4-S) can be selectively deployed on any size system,” the company notes. “Predictive IV is a feature of the TS4-O and TS4-L, which uses analytical data about the module itself to predict optimal performance conditions. This data is used in conjunction with Tigo’s impedance matching technology, allowing for selective placement only on shaded modules.”

Optimization also enables wiring flexibility: Longer strings, uneven string lengths, layouts and orientations, shade mitigation and so on.

“For example, a residential customer might combine strings of modules of different lengths or tilts. Customers can also have modules at different orientations on the same string,” Rijal says.

In addition to fitting more modules into tight spaces, one can easily add additional panels in the future as power needs increase. These features boost the aesthetic and technical advantages of rooftop solar.

When working with SolarEdge inverters, SolarEdge power optimizers automatically maintain a fixed string voltage, allowing installers even greater flexibility with longer strings and strings of different lengths in order to design optimal PV systems. This means more modules can be installed on the roof for increased system size and longer strings for decreased BoS costs.

This article appeared in the Sept./Oct. issue of Solar Builder magazine. Not a subscriber? It’s free! Get on the list today.

— Solar Builder magazine

Trina Solar hits 24.13 percent efficiency with IBC solar cell

Trina Solar sent word that its State Key Laboratory (SKL) of PV Science and Technology (PVST) has set a new record of 24.13% total-area efficiency for a large-area (156 x 156mm2) n-type mono-crystalline silicon (c-Si) Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cell.

Trina solar cell

Testing details

The record-breaking n-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a large-sized phosphorous-doped Cz Silicon substrate with a low-cost industrial IBC process, featuring conventional tube doping technologies and fully screen-printed metallization. The 156×156 mm2 solar cell reached a total-area efficiency of 24.13% as independently measured by the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET). The IBC solar cell has a total measured area of 243.3cm2 and was measured without any aperture. The champion cell presents the following characteristics: an open-circuit voltage Voc of 702.7mV, a short-circuit current density Jsc of 42.1 mA/cm2 and a fill factor FF of 81.47%.

In February 2014, Trina Solar and the Australian National University (ANU) jointly announced a world record aperture efficiency of 24.37% for a laboratory-scale 4cm2 IBC solar cell, fabricated on a Float Zone (FZ) n-type substrate and using photolithography patterning.

In December 2014, Trina Solar announced a 22.94% total-area efficiency for an industrial version, large size (156x 156mm2, 6″ substrate), IBC solar cell. In April 2016, Trina Solar announced an improved industrial low-cost IBC solar cell with a total-area efficiency of 23.5%. The new record of 24.13% total-area efficiency is just 0.24% absolute below the small-area laboratory cell record aperture-efficiency jointly established by the Company and ANU. Total-area efficiencies are always lower than aperture-efficiencies, due to efficiency losses related to the edges of the cells and electrical contact areas.

— Solar Builder magazine