Nine major solar PV manufacturers standardize on module size

solar panels in the sun

The size of PV technology is a point of innovation and frustration. PV manufacturers pursue larger cell, wafer and/or frame sizes to pack in more power; balance of system suppliers, EPCs and installers adjust their product offering and system designs accordingly.

Industry-wide standardization across the board isn’t likely, but representatives from nine leading module manufacturers – Canadian Solar, Risen Energy, JA Solar, JinkoSolar, LONGi, TW Solar, Trina Solar, Astronergy and DAS Solar – reached a consensus on a few key specs.

  • Module size: 2382mm*1134mm
  • Module long side vertical hole distance: 400mm/790mm/1400mm

Many manufacturers noted their 2384/2380x1134mm dimensions this year’s SNEC exhibition in Shanghai. Advantages of the standard sizing, according to Trina Solar, include design concepts maximizing container utilization (achieving a rate of 98.5%), increased customer value, manufacturability, and proven safety and reliability.

Module size not wafer size | It is key to note that wafer size is not being standardized here. As frequent Solar Builder contributor Tristan Erion-Lorico, VP of Sales and Marketing at PV Evolution Labs, noted on LinkedIn:

While standard sizing for modules is a great step forward, these modules will be made with either 132 cells of 182 mm x 105 mm (based on a 182 x 210 mm wafer) or 144 cells of 182 mm x 9X mm (based on a 182 x 19X mm wafer). I don’t think agreement has been reached on what “X” should be, as I’ve spoken to module manufacturers who are planning to use wafers that are 182 x 188, 182 x 191, 182 x 191.6, 182 x 192, 182 x 194 and 182 x 199…

And with different cell counts and wafer sizes we’re still going to see modules with varying voltages and currents, despite them all having the same physical footprint. That makes ‘standardized’ modules less electrically fungible than developers and asset managers would like.

Trina Solar took the lead in advocating for the standardization of silicon wafer module dimensions and believes that the latest joint initiative represents an end to the historical variation in module sizes. In April, Trina introduced its medium-format 210R product based on rectangular wafers. In March, Trina Solar unveiled comprehensive 210R product solutions, including module dimensions of 2384x1134mm, mounting hole positions, frame design, material processes, packaging, and logistics parameters.

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