1. How is the year 2021 progressing for Trina? What have been some major company updates?
COVID-19 has brought very serious challenges to the PV industry as a whole. However, relying on Trina Solar’s global brand influence, global market channels and concentrated effort, the company not only overcame the impact on production and logistics during the pandemic, but also achieved further market share gains in some markets.
By the first quarter of 2021 Trina Solar had shipped more than 70GW+ of modules, which can generate about 90 billion kWh of clean-energy power and reduced CO2 emissions by 94.22 million tons per year, equivalent to planting 5.1 billion trees.
Thanks to the continued acceleration of its globalized layout and constant enhancement of customer value through technological innovation, industrial synergy and channel construction, Trina Solar keeps growing prominently globally. The company’s financial performance, which is an important indicator to evaluate the bankability, also affirms and strengthens Trina Solar’s high bankability across the world. Trina Solar was approved for its bankability in 2020 by BloombergNEF, which is the only module manufacturer to be rated as bankable for five consecutive years.
In June, Trina Solar was awarded for “Overall High Achievement in Manufacturing” in the PV Module Index Report (PVMI) 2021 published by Renewable Energy Test Center, LLC (“RETC”), while Trina Solar won its seventh consecutive “Top Performer” certified by PVEL for its high-reliability modules in May.
In July, Trina Solar formally joined the global Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and signed
the Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge. Every step that Trina Solar takes will be in line with the
1.5°C pledge, and we will do our utmost to create a carbon-free world.
2. Trina modules are the best available in the market today. Could you please give us their major highlights? Are there any new products in the pipeline?
The 210mm ultra-high power modules have gained significant breakthroughs in production capacity, performance and adoption by customers. It sets a new benchmark and further advances the technology of the photovoltaic industry.
Trina Solar’s 210mm modules have eight technological innovations, including low-voltage design, high-density interconnection and auxiliary tools. 210mm modules provide a full reliability guarantee because the products are also fully verified in terms of dynamic mechanical load, hot spot, operating temperature and so on.
By the end of 2021 Trina Solar’s total cell production capacity is expected to reach 35GW (of which 210mm cells will account for more than 70%) and it is expected to accomplish total module production capacity of 50GW, further consolidating its position as the 210mm module leader.
Trina Solar’s State Key Laboratory of Photovoltaic Science and Technology (SKL) announced that its proprietary Vertex high-efficiency p-type monocrystalline silicon module, based on 66 pcs of 210 mm x 210 mm high-efficiency PERC cells, has achieved a record aperture module efficiency of 23.03% for larger-area industrial silicon p-type modules. This is independently confirmed by third-party certification laboratories by both TÜV Rheinland and TÜV Nord with identical efficiency results.
Improving module efficiency is a key to help the customers to save land, labor and cables etc. Trina Solar always focuses on developing leading-edge PV techniques and products to achieve commercial success of customers with our innovations.
3. How is the company focusing on keeping up with the technology trends? What have been some latest technological advancements at Trina?
Traditional modules adopt the layout design of 610 or 6*12, while 210 Vertex modules introduce a various layout design of 5*8, 5*10, 5*11, 6*10, and 6*11, etc., based on the feature of 210mm silicon wafers. On one hand, these designs can match the half-cut or 1/3-cut cell technology to provide different application solutions for customers. On the other hand, these layouts are designed to balance the electrical performances of the modules, to optimize area, weight and other properties, and to improve installation compatibility. This can also eliminate additional costs and avoid the supply limitations of key materials. Under all kinds of application scenarios, Trina Solar’s 210 Vertex modules are 40-90W above the average industry level, creating more value for customers.
The core factor in reducing BOS costs is increasing string power. From cells and modules to strings, arrays and the entire PV power plant, the string is a basic circuit unit of a PV system. String power can be significantly increased based on the design of low voltage and high current.
Under the same volume of installation, the higher the string power, the fewer strings are needed, so BOS costs fall. In conjunction with lower BOS costs, the cost of trackers, pile foundations, cables and labor for the downstream also falls. The string power of Trina Solar’s 600W+ Vertex modules is 41% greater than that of other modules in the industry, and BOS cost savings can be as high as 4 to 6%, thus providing a significant overall advantage for further reducing LCOE.
Since the 210 Vertex modules have been adopted worldwide, logistics costs, safety of transportation and convenience of operation come into play. For 600W+ series products, Trina Solar changed packaging methods to vertical portrait, so that the width of the modules is no longer limited by the height of the container. This packaging method can make maximum use of the internal capacity of the container. Loading power is 12% higher than with more orthodox methods, resulting in an 11% cut in transport costs. Factory packaging is completed by automatic equipment to ensure safety and efficiency, and when the module’s pallets are transported, they are closely arranged inside the container to avoid shaking. Finally, stable and reliable transfer is achieved at the project site to ensure safe delivery to customers.
210 is not merely an innovative product technologically, but also provides greater value because it establishes a highly innovative product technology platform. With this platform, through the synergy of upstream and downstream innovation and R&D, Trina Solar has solved the problems of product reliability, raw material supply guarantee and systematic compatibility and has achieved consistent product optimization and speedy industrialization. The platform provides more feasibility in photovoltaic module design and solutions for customers with great potential.
4. With your diverse professional experience, tell us how it is to be leading Trina? How has your experience been in the company?
At Trina Solar, our team is tackling the world’s energy challenges. Our global community at Trina
works passionately to bring smarter solar energy solutions to the world, ranging from modules to balance of systems to full power plants for our partners. Improving the lives of people around the globe is a critical mission and Trina is equally dedicated to the health, safety and development of our own employees.
After 11 years with Trina Solar to manage a diverse team of people in India and South Asia involved in: sales, marketing, customer and technical support, I see a number of incredible opportunities to develop personally and professionally at Trina in a fast-growing industry like solar. We have also set many records in the Indian solar industry. As of now, we have delivered more than 5GW of solar modules, which is a great accomplishment for me personally and the team.
As always, I am motivated by the company’s mission and continue to work with the team to push the PV industry forward by creating greater grid parity of PV power and popularizing renewable energy in the region.
5. Anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Trina was first mover to large format modules and is unique in the industry in being the only module manufacturer to provide an integrated PV and tracker solution. Accordingly, we had earlier visibility than any other module and tracker manufacturers and understand the complexities and engineering challenges in successfully accommodating these large format modules into a single axis tracker structure in a fashion that is unequivocally structurally sound (with extensive independent verification from world leading wind consultancies RWDI and CPP) yet has been value engineered to optimise costs in the capex sensitive Indian market. With a highly bankable track record approaching 7GW of trackers over the best part of the past decade with some of the planet’s largest IPPs and EPCs, and backing from the public listed Trina parent
company by way of after sales support and warranty, only TrinaTracker unlocks the highest and most assured long term energy outcome for our clients. Please note however that TrinaTracker is also available for projects using modules from manufacturers other than Trina.
Many customers are conveying a real urgency to us for the need to procure, install and monitor the tracker performance in the field to determine if they proceed with trackers for their larger project portfolios so that procurement can conclude in sufficient time ahead of the changes to BCD next year. We expect given the much larger size of the overall utility market in India coupled with the recent change in sentiment there towards trackers to rapidly establish India as our joint largest market in the region. Accordingly, we are rapidly growing the team there to ensure unrivalled customer service at every stage of your project’s lifecycle, from Pre Sale to Execution and on into After Sale/O&M. We are also currently evaluating localised procurement of certain components to overcome any applicable tariffs for non domestic steel. The team is sealing the first tracker deals in India in both commercial and industrial (C&I) and utility segments.