ITRPV roadmap: »Bigger wafers, bigger modules«
Post date: 03/05/2021 - 09:00
Every doubling of photovoltaic capacity installed worldwide is accompanied by a 23.8 percent reduction in price. This trend will continue in the coming years as a result of optimized technologies and products for wafers, cells and modules, expects the industry association of German machinery and equipment manufacturers for the photovoltaic sector VDMA Photovoltaic Production Equipment in its twelfth edition of the »International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic« (ITRPV), which has just been published.
»A strong trend toward larger wafers and also larger modules is visible,« says the study. The smaller wafer formats of 156.75 square millimeters and 158.75 square millimeters will disappear in favor of larger formats within the next four years. Currently, the focus is on formats of 166.0 square millimeters (M6), 182.0 square millimeters (M10) and 210.0 square millimeters (M12). VDMA forecasts that the market share of the current mainstream format M6 will drop from 34 percent in 2021 to five percent in 2031, while M10 and M12 will lead the way with 42 percent each. »These significantly larger wafer formats will also lead to larger modules overall, both in rooftop applications and in ground-mounted applications.« In ground-mounted applications, 25 percent of modules are currently larger than 2.2 square meters, with that share expected to rise to more than 90 percent in 2031. Sixteen percent of modules would then be larger than three square meters.
The market share of monocrystalline silicon wafers (mono-Si) will be nearly 80 percent in 2021 and is expected to continue to grow, the report said. The share of higher-quality n-type material will increase from ten percent to about 50 percent in ten years.
In terms of cell technologies, PERC cell technology with its high-efficiency variants was the dominant technology in 2020, with an 80 percent market share. According to the Roadmap, PERC would still dominate the market in 2031 with a share of 70 percent. Silicon heterojunction technology (HJT) is expected to achieve a market share of 17 percent, while other ultra-high efficiency technologies, such as integrated back contacts and tandem technology, will follow with five percent each, the association predicts.
The »International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic« is updated annually by the VDMA with contributions from international manufacturers of crystalline silicon, wafer suppliers, cell and module manufacturers, PV machine builders, material producers as well as research institutes and consultants. The goal is to provide information on expected technology trends in the crystalline silicon (c-Si) based photovoltaic industry and to stimulate discussion on needed improvements and standards. The 12th ITRPV issue is available free of charge as a PDF (88 pages) at »https://itrpv.vdma.org«.