Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Low costs for TOPCon photo voltaic panels put stress on PERC – pv journal USA


In May 2024, high-efficiency panels, largely glass-glass modules with tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) cells start to converge in value with mainstream choices, writes Martin Schachinger, in pvXchange. Production volumes for these negatively-doped, “n-type” cells and modules have been ramped up in China whereas more and more restrictive customs circumstances within the United States could have an effect. For the European market, the fixed drop in costs for the newest module expertise would counsel that demand would proceed to rise if not for a number of disruptive components.

In Europe, there are nonetheless extra shares of modules produced in 2023, or earlier with distributors and installers themselves. If they’ve small dimensions which are usually used for roof techniques in Germany, they don’t promote nicely due to the low output energy sorts. Building house owners usually need to see excessive wattage and the newest expertise put in of their techniques, making it harder to promote present stock.

Despite the supposed decline in module manufacturing, and European import volumes, it seems that extra Asian panels nonetheless attain the European market than present demand. This, in flip, triggered a rise in inventories, even of high-performance sorts, which put further stress on module costs, particularly for older modules produced and bought at greater value.

The skill to downsize outdated inventory varies enormously from firm to firm, leading to very totally different costs for modules with passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) cell expertise. The total value distinction between mannequin classes is narrowing.

Shelf heaters

It could be very tough to take away these outdated modules in markets outdoors of Europe with out receiving a big lack of worth. Africa and Southeast Asia are additionally more likely to be oversaturated with modules and merchandise made in China won’t promote simply within the US market. A technique that’s more and more established is to make concessions on delicate enterprise components in commerce. There could also be some wiggle room in cost and delivery phrases. Instead of providing the modules at a lower cost, a line of credit score is offered – usually with out the necessity for collateral – and delivery could be supplied free of charge. That stated, it is uncertain that this tactic will work in the long run. Many small firms are on the point of insolvency and the potential of defaults can’t be dominated out. The stress to promote ought to, due to this fact, not exceed widespread sense and tempt suppliers to take numerous dangers.

Some suppliers additionally attempt to flip to on-line markets the place they hope to promote shortly to worldwide prospects with out the prices of gross sales and advertising and marketing. However, aggressive stress there may be additionally excessive and items are sometimes offered at throwaway costs.

Online enterprise fashions carry extra danger. They hardly ever present strong alternatives to establish potential enterprise companions – salespeople simply take what they’ll get. Misunderstandings can come up in enterprise transactions, particularly throughout nationwide borders and the platform operator just isn’t all the time out there to supply help and recommendation. The effort concerned in an internet transaction can simply be higher than shopping for or promoting inside a longtime enterprise relationship. Everything may go easily however that does not imply it’ll.

Module class €/Wp Trend since April 2024 Trend since January 2024 Description
Crystal modules
High effectivity 0.19 -9.5% -17.4% Crystal panels of 340 Wp and above, with PERC, heterojunction, n-type,
or back-contact cells, or combos thereof
Mainstream 0.13 0.0% -7.1% The modules sometimes have 60 cells, commonplace aluminum frames, white backsheets, and 275 Wp to 335 Wp
Low value 0.08 0.0% -11.1% Factory seconds, insolvency gadgets, used or low output modules, and merchandise with restricted or no guarantee

Note: Only tax-free costs for PV modules are proven, with said costs reflecting common customs-cleared costs within the European market. Source:

Selling the venture

One risk for good use of surplus outdated photo voltaic modules is to put in them in bigger open-space tasks or rooftop techniques. Smaller codecs will not be a foul selection in areas with greater wind or snow hundreds. Although the fabric and set up prices are low, the straightforward dealing with throughout set up makes up for this drawback. There is one other plain benefit right here – that the modules are already in inventory. This availability assure means no delivery issues and due to this fact no delays within the building course of. Add some unsoldered inverters and cable reels and the parts are in place for a working PV system.

When a system is put in and linked to the grid, nobody cares if the photo voltaic modules belong to the newest technology or not. The ensuing asset can then be offered higher than 400 W PERC modules within the present market state of affairs. This will also be carried out by way of an internet brokerage portal, for firms that aren’t but correctly arrange for venture gross sales.

About the creator: Martin Schachinger has a level in electrical engineering and has been lively in PV and different renewables for nearly 30 years. In 2004, he based the web buying and selling platform, which permits wholesalers, installers, and repair firms to purchase photo voltaic panels, commonplace parts, and inverters which are not manufactured however could be urgently bought. which is required to restore faulty PV crops.

The views and opinions expressed on this article are these of the creator, and don’t essentially mirror these held by pv journal.

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