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 166mm¬≤ 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 year‚Äôs Intersolar South America trade show ‚Äď which closes today in S√£o Paulo, Brazil ‚Äď Dany Qian, global VP for the manufacturer, told pv magazine in a statement: ‚ÄúWe may soon say goodbye to monofacial.‚ÄĚ
Qian claimed the increased output from bifacial panels ‚Äď including her employer‚Äôs Swan series modules ‚Äď 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.
‚ÄúSome developers might soon be moving to bifacial completely,‚ÄĚ said Qian, adding: ‚ÄúThe transition will accelerate when the cost gap is minimized.‚ÄĚ
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.
‚ÄúAs 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,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúIt is not a future vision, it is the reality ‚Ä¶ 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.‚ÄĚ
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.
‚ÄúThe solar PV industry is still working to deploy monofacial, particularly in the countries with massive land space,‚ÄĚ Qian told pv magazine. ‚ÄúBut many are looking beyond mono facial into the [bifacial] future.‚ÄĚ
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.
‚ÄúOver a period of time bifacial will purely serve the utility market while monofacial will continue to be available for residential rooftops,‚ÄĚ 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.