First order for 500 W solar modules announced

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Chinese panel maker Risen Energy has announced what it dubbed “the world’s first order for 500 W modules”.

The company issued a press release which said it will supply Malaysian company Tokai Engineering with 20 MW of its 500 Wp+ PV modules. The product, which Risen unveiled in December, features 210mm M12 wafers.

“The modules can reduce balance-of-system cost [of projects] by 9.6% and levelized cost of energy by 6% while increasing single-line output by 30%,” said the manufacturer.

Risen did not reveal when the modules would be shipped nor the value of the deal. Tokai Engineering said it expected delivery as soon as possible but did not reveal what sort of project the modules would be used in.

In December, Risen anticipated its new 5 GW module production base in Yiwu, in Zhejiang province, would be ready to start cranking out M12 panels from early this year. The company said it expected gigawatt-level shipment volumes this year.

Both Risen and Tokai see this announcement as part of a greater movement, marking the announcement as the first step in “the era of PV 5.0.” Risen is not alone in ushering in PV 5.0, as Trina Solar has also launched two 500 W cells, both of which are monocrystalline bifacial: the Duomax V, which features a glass-glass structure and the Tallmax V, which features a glass-backsheet frame.

Both Risen and Trina’s panels use 210 mm silicon wafers, with the difference between the two companies being that Trina’s are tri-cut. The panels also offer similar efficiency, with the two Trina Panels clocking in at 21% and the Risen module close behind, somewhere just over 20%.

As of publication Trina has not yet publicized any shipments of its Duomax V or Tallmax V 500 W modules.