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Sat, Nov

Trina Solar is excited to announce the development of 400 watt-plus (400W+) modules for utility-scale customers. The 400W+ milestone is a major one in the solar industry, representing a significant increase in power density over existing technologies. This added density will help mitigate a common constraint on utility projects, namely the size of their given land areas, by generating more power within a smaller space.

What to look forward to from Trina Solar's 400W+ solution

While development is still ongoing, the final product will be based on half-cut multi-busbar technology, instead of a five-busbar design. The half-cut technology uses a textured 158 mm-squared cell cut in half to help improve performance during low irradiance, leading to a longer day of power generation from a utility installation. It reduces the amount of energy lost to shading between modules, harnesses Light Redirecting Film to capture more power, and works well even at high operating temperatures, thanks to low thermal coefficients.

The module itself is slightly larger has the same approximate overall weight as current technology. Many of the familiar specifications of existing Trina Solar solutions should also carry over to the new 400W+ offering, including its:

  • Pascal rating to withstand from severe snow and wind loads.
  • Potential induced degradation (aka PID) indicating possible loss from stray currents.
  • 72 Mono Perc cells and 3.2mm glass used for lighter weight and easier installations.
  • Warranties – 10 years for the product and 25 years for linear power. 

Voltage will likely be certified at 1500 volts, keeping the balance of system costs down and deliver superior cost of electricity by source/LCOE. Eventual efficiency for the 400W+ module should approach 20 percent. The 400W+ module's performance represents a 10 to 15 percent improvement over current Trina products with wattage ranges in the mid-to-high 300s.

Trina utility customers will get more than a significant jump in wattage, though. Once the 400W+ module is available, they'll also benefit from enhanced module reliability. Trina will conduct internal tests that go above and beyond the certification authorities' inspections for snow and wind loads along with PID resistance.

What happens next with 400W+ solar technology?

Trina expects that RFPs for utility-scale solar projects will be able to incorporate 400W+ modules sometime in the 2019 to 2022 window, although this timeline is still subject to change pending product development. Expect subsequent updates and announcements clarifying the final technical specifications.  

In the meantime, be sure to visit our team at Solar Power International (SPI) 2018. For this year's SPI, we'll be presenting a variety of current and upcoming Trina Solar products, including TrinaPro, TrinaHome, and TrinaBess. We look forward to seeing you at SPI 2018 and to talking more about our 400W+ offerings there and in the future

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the selection of 10 projects as part of a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program, Duration Addition to electricitY Storage.


Awardees will develop energy storage systems to provide reliable, affordable power to the electric grid for up to 100 hours, enhancing grid resilience and performance. Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar announced the DAYS awardees today at the Innovation XLab Energy Storage Summit at SLAC National Laboratory.

“The Department of Energy is committed to researching innovative energy technologies and discovering opportunities to make America’s energy infrastructure more competitive and more secure,” said Under Secretary Dabbar. “The DAYS awardees will take a good look at what tomorrow’s grid-scale storage could be, and work to develop the technologies that get us there.”

Most energy storage systems deliver power over a limited time to alleviate congestion, stabilize grid frequency and voltage, or provide intraday shifting services. DAYS projects’ extended discharge times will enable a new set of applications for grid storage, including long-lasting backup power and greater integration of intermittent, renewable energy resources.

DAYS projects will explore a new design space in electricity storage, exploiting opportunities for smart tradeoffs that keep costs low in electrochemical, thermal, and mechanical systems.

DAYS project teams will work to combine the long-term power output of technologies like pumped storage hydroelectric (PSH) systems with the flexibility of battery systems that can be deployed in multiple environments. PSH power provides more than 95% of stationary electricity storage capacity on the U.S. grid today, but there have been few new installations due to geographical and financial challenges. Lithium ion batteries, meanwhile, have experienced a rapid growth in deployment on the grid, but high cost limits viability in long-duration applications.

A selection of DAYS projects are below.

PROJECT 1

Brayton Energy, LLC – Hampton, NH

Improved Laughlin-Brayton Cycle Energy Storage – $1,994,005

The Brayton Energy team will develop an energy storage system that combines thermal storage and a gas turbine to generate power. When the system is charging, an electrically driven heat pump will accumulate thermal energy in a molten salt solution, which can then be discharged later by heating gas and sending it through the generation turbine. Brayton Energy’s innovation lies in their reversible turbine design, in which each turbine acts as the compression stage for the other, whether during charging or discharging. This approach simplifies the system and increases durability.

PROJECT 2

Echogen Power Systems (DE), Inc. – Akron, OH

Low-cost, Long-duration Electrical Energy Storage Using a CO2-based Pumped Thermal Energy Storage System – $3,000,000

The Echogen Power Systems team will develop an energy storage system that uses a carbon dioxide heat pump cycle to convert electrical energy to thermal energy by heating a “reservoir” of low cost materials such as sand or concrete. The reservoir will retain heat that will be converted back into electricity on demand. To generate power, liquid CO2 will be pumped through the high-temperature reservoir to a supercritical state, after which it will expand through a turbine to generate electricity from the stored heat.

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