Jinko Makes A Case For Its 182 mm Modules

Building on the consensus it has with other leaders like Longi Solar and JA Solar, on going with the 182mm size for future module shipments in 2021, Jinko Solar has been at pains to communicate that the larger modules are not just about higher output, but also overall lowering of the LCOE (Levelised cost of electricity), the iron rule that has been driving innovations in solar for some time now.

The firm claims that through a large number of reliability tests, 182mm modules have been decided on through a proven production process. During process of cost reduction and power promotion, how can 182mm size ensure the module reliability? Leo Yu, Senior Manager of Global Product Management at JinkoSolar CO. Ltd., commented: “The excellent results of 182mm modules under the extended IEC reliability test showed that thanks to 182 modules the entire power plant can maintain a regular operational performance in the period of our warranty, ensuring the PV project profitability.”

JinkoSolar says it is sensitive to the fact that the power plant system has high requirements for module power warranty, which will have a direct impact on the plant revenue. Great module reliability can effectively ensure long-term stable power generation performance and here, the ‘excellent power warranty’ of the 182mm module can meet the requirement of clients. Leo Yu said: “JinkoSolar ensures 2% degradation for the first year and 0.45% from the second to the thirtieth year. With regards to mechanical loading, working temperature and risk of hot spots, the 182mm module is proved to be a product with a long life cycle.”

The significant power generation loss reduction of 182mm module

The tussle between the 182mm and 210mm modules for large-size high-power modules is well known now. Compared to 210mm panels, Jinko claims that the 182mm modules can significantly reduce the power generation loss which is also caused by cable loss and operating temperature. The reverse current control will have a great impact on the hot spot temperature of the module.

Taking Care of the delivery challenge

For the transportation of 182mm modules, the risk of crack and breakage would be increased with a larger module size. The lodging risk would also be increased during the vertical container transshipment. Module manufacturers did the module reliability test and transportation reliability test after unifying the width of 182mm module as around 1130mm, which is determined by the height of the container door, to ensure that there would be no problem during large batch transportations.

Furthermore, the industry data has pointed out that the container utilization ratio of 182mm module is better than 158/166 module’s. For 182mm modules, the loading capacity in each container could be 10-20% more than the average and the relative capacity could be increased by over 15%. With regards to the installation of 182mm panels, the module size and weight unified by panel manufacturers make the whole installation process of 182mm module possible to be handled by only two workers.

Excellent system compatibility of 182mm module

The firm stresses that the compatibility of 182mm modules with key suppliers is an indicator of its acceptance. Many inverter suppliers have already started the volume production of compatible products for 182mm modules. Chris Gan, Solution Technical Director, Smart PV Sales & Services Dept, at Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., is quoted as saying “Huawei Smart PV 196kW inverter, which we launched this year, could be fully adapted to 182mm modules.” Meanwhile, Tiger Zhang, Vice President at Sungrow Renewable Energy SCI.& Tech CO., Ltd. has introduced the group series inverters, centralized inverter and combiner boxes which could match 182mm modules.

Concerning the mounting system, many module mounting suppliers are able to offer products compatible with 182mm modules, claims Jinko. It quotes Eric Kuo, Director of Technical Product Management at Nextracker Inc. “The situation that mainstream mounting products were designed to match 156&158mm modules has already been changed. Since last year, more and more modules have changed size. As a tracer supplier, we always cooperate with the whole PV industry to do products iteration and update. For example, this time we have already developed a product which could match 182mm panels, but we will be ready to promptly provide the best solutions for new products in the future.” 

Reduction in cable loss and working temperature is another area where the 182mm will outshine others, claims the firm. Leo Yu, Senior Manager of Global Product Management at JinkoSolar, mentioned that “182mm modules can reduce the cable loss by 0.21% compared with 210mm modules. This will have a great impact on the entire power plant. A reduction of 0.21% on cable loss will increase the IRR by 0.15% and reduce the LCOE by 0.21% during operation of power plant. The working temperature of the 210mm module is 6 degrees higher than that of the 182mm module. The resulting power generation loss reached nearly 2%, and this 2% needs to be made up by 0.1 yuan/watt from EPC cost.”

The mounting system cost counts 19% of the EPC costs, which means that a change in mounting system cost will have a great impact on the BOS costs. In the term of tracker cost, the longest length designed by mainstream mounting system manufacturers is about 100 meters. The 182mm module can be connected up to 3 strings on each track and the length is about 96 meters, and the 210mm module cannot achieve that length. The cost of tracker control system with the 182mm modules can be reduced by 0.015 yuan/W compared with the 210 modules, since 210mm module cannot achieve the maximum length which can be supported by the tracker.

The firm also claims savings on labour cost, besides the extra total wattage a single container can carry with the 182mm modules.

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