A spokeswoman from the Chinese manufacturer of the Swan series of double-sided solar panels says monofacial modules will soon be consigned to residential use as the price gap between them and higher-yielding bifacial products rapidly closes.
August 29, 2019
With Longi Solar having yesterday called for its 166mmÂ˛ M6 wafer to become the industry standard in the new generation of solar modules worldwide, a spokeswoman for Jinko Solar has joined the chorus of voices predicting the demise of single-sided panels for large scale PV projects.
With Jinko in attendance at this yearâ€™s Intersolar South America trade show â€“ which closes today in SĂŁo Paulo, Brazil â€“ Dany Qian, global VP for the manufacturer, told pv magazine in a statement: â€śWe may soon say goodbye to monofacial.â€ť
Qian claimed the increased output from bifacial panels â€“ including her employerâ€™s Swan series modules â€“ already outweighs concern over higher upfront costs and increased panel weight with many solar project developers. And the vice president claimed developers of more than 30% of the global project pipeline planned with monofacial panels are considering switching to bifacial.
â€śSome developers might soon be moving to bifacial completely,â€ť said Qian, adding: â€śThe transition will accelerate when the cost gap is minimized.â€ť
Price gap closing
That price difference is already narrowing and will eventually see bifacial compete on level terms as double-sided products are rolled out at scale, said Qian.
â€śAs bifacial technology establishes itself in the market, costs are likely to fall further to be competitive to monofacial, which will have significant impacts on the financial models,â€ť she said. â€śIt is not a future vision, it is the reality â€¦ Moreover, rather than a revolutionary technology, bifacial generation is an incremental improvement with proved technology, it needs much shorter time to accumulate enough data for modelling validation and bankability metrics.â€ť
The Jinko Solar representative said land availability is another factor driving the swift adoption of bifacial products, which were given a boost in the U.S. recently when they were exempted from the Section 201 trade tariffs imposed on Far Eastern-made solar products by President Trump.
â€śThe solar PV industry is still working to deploy monofacial, particularly in the countries with massive land space,â€ť Qian told pv magazine. â€śBut many are looking beyond mono facial into the [bifacial] future.â€ť
While the technology shift may not consign single-sided panels to history entirely, they will be used in niche applications, chiefly those where the rear side of panels is fully shaded, said Qian.
â€śOver a period of time bifacial will purely serve the utility market while monofacial will continue to be available for residential rooftops,â€ť added the Jinko Solar rep.
Calvin Chong contributed to this article
This article was amended on 29/08/19 at the request of Jinko Solar to indicate Dany Qian as the source of the quotes, rather than Asia-Pacific marketing manager Brandon Gao, as previously stated.