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German Research Institute Study Shows, Trina Solar Vertex Modules Have 7.4% Lower LCOE


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German research institute, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE), has outlined its detailed assessment of the CAPEX and levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of the new generation, ultra-high-power modules from Trina Solar – that use 210mm-diametre (G12) solar cells – as compared to other modules, including those from another manufacturer that use 182mm-diametre (M10) solar cells.


Founded in 1981, Fraunhofer ISE is the largest solar research institute in Europe.
The study results show that the new generation of 210mm (G12) and 182mm (M10)
modules perform better than the conventional 166mm (M6) modules in both CAPEX
and LCOE, while the M10 540W mono-facial modules are superior to the M10 585W
mono-facial modules.

It is also found that among the G12 modules represented by Trina Solar’s Vertex series,
the 550W, 600W and 670W modules are superior to the M10 modules in both CAPEX
and LCOE. The CAPEX of the Vertex G12 670W is 4.2% lower than that of the M10
540W modules, and the LCOE is 4.1% lower than the latter. The LCOE of the Vertex
G12 670W is 4.5% lower than that of the M10 585W modules, and is up to 7.4% lower
than that of the M6 455W modules.

In the era of grid parity, the advanced Vertex 210mm series of modules have a
prominent edge in LCOE.

Assessment site: Germany
Module types: M6 mono-facial 455W module, M10 mono-facial 540W module, 590W
module as well as G12 mono-facial 550W, 600W and 670W module
Method of installation: Fixed-tilts (landscape)

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Inverter: string inverter

The assessment took place in a typical photovoltaic site in Germany for design input.

Figure I: Assessment parameters

Results: The new generation of high-power modules performs better than the M6
modules in both CAPEX and LCOE; G12 performs better than M10, and M10 performs
better than M6. In particular, the costs of trackers and electrical systems of M10 and
G12 are significantly lower than other modules.

  1. The Vertex G12 modules have the best CAPEX and LCOE. Compared to the M10
    modules, the G12 600W and 670W modules perform particularly well, reducing
    CAPEX by up to 1.5-2 €cWp and LCOE by up to 3-4.5%. Compared to the M6
    modules, the LCOE could be reduced by 6.5%-7.4%.
Figure II: Calculation results of CAPEX
Figure III: Calculation results of LCOE
  1. The superior performance of the G12 600W and 670W modules is largely due to
    savings of the costs of trackers, which are up to around 0.5~1€c/Wp or 11%
    compared to the M10 series.
  2. Thanks to the innovative design concept of low-voltage and high-string power of
    the G12 modules, the 210mm 550W, 600W and 670W modules have excellent
    performance in savings of the costs of electrical systems, which are up to
    approximately 14.1~21.4% compared to the M6 series.
  3. Another reason for the superior performance of the G12 600W and 670W modules
    lies in their lower transportation costs. Within the same 40-foot container, the
    power of loadable G12 600W and 670W modules can be increased by about 12%.
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Figure IV: Comparison of items of CAPEX research results

The comparisons show that the G12 series of ultra-high power modules represented
by Trina Solar’s Vertex can significantly reduce CAPEX, LCOE in particular, thanks to
their low-voltage, high string power design and superbly efficient power generation
capacity. Compared to conventional modules, the single string power is significantly
boosted by 36%. In turn, it can save the material and labor costs of DC terminals, and
thus lowering the initial investment, significantly save the system’s BOS cost and LCOE.

Always driven by innovative, reliable quality and customer value, Trina Solar’s high-
power, high-efficiency modules are getting inevitably popular in the era of grid parity.

Click on the link below to download Fraunhofer ISE’s PPTs on the tests of the Vertex

This assessment followed three rounds of assessment of Trina Solar’s Vertex series by
DNV GL, a leading international third-party organization.

The Way to Best LCOE (I)

The Way to Best LCOE (II)

The Way to Best LCOE (III)

For more information about the assessment report on Trina Solar’s Vertex modules,
please contact Trina Solar’s local sales representatives. And please follow “The Way
to Best LCOE” series. Mailto:

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About Trina Solar
Founded in 1997, Trina Solar is the world leading PV and smart energy total solutions
provider. The company engages in PV products R&D, manufacture and sales; PV
projects development, EPC, O&M; smart micro-grid and multi-energy complementary
systems development and sales, as well as energy cloud-platform operation. In 2018,
Trina Solar launched its Energy IoT brand, established the Trina Energy IoT Industrial
Development Alliance together with leading enterprises and research institutes in
China and around the world, and founded the New Energy IoT Industrial Innovation
Center. With these actions, Trina Solar is committed to working with its partners to
build the energy IoT ecosystem and develop an innovation platform to explore New
Energy IoT, as it strives to be a leader in global intelligent energy. In June 2020, Trina
Solar listed on the STAR Market of Shanghai Stock Exchange.

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