The Way to Best LCOE (V)

Fraunhofer ISE study  : Vertex 210 modules + Trina Trackers leads to 6.0% of reduction in LCOE

Following the calculation of 210mm modules with fixed tilts in Fraunhofer ISE study I, Fraunhofer ISE, the world leading solar energy research institute, has also evaluated and studied the LCOE of ground power plants, with the combination of the new generation of ultra-high power Module and 1P tracker. The combination of single-axis 1P tracking system and bifacial modules delivers more power generation, thereby significantly reducing the LCOE and improving the return on investment.

The research results show that, the new generation of 210mm (G12) and 182mm (M10) bifacial modules + 1P tracker perform better than the conventional 166mm (M6) modules in both CAPEX and LCOE.

It is also found that among the G12 bifacial modules represented by Trina Solar’s Vertex series, the 545W, 600W and 660W modules are superior to the M10 bifacial modules in both CAPEX and LCOE. The CAPEX of the Vertex G12 660W bifacial modules is 1.9% lower than that of the M10 535W bifacial modules, and the LCOE is 1.9% lower than the latter.

The LCOE of the Vertex G12 660W bifacial modules is 2.6% lower than that of the M10 585W bifacial modules and 6.0% lower than that of the M6 450W bifacial modules. Compared to M6, for a 50 MW single-axis system plant with an initial investment CAPEX of about €25.5 million, the bifacial G12 Vertex 660W system saves nearly 1.5 million Euros. The advanced Vertex 210mm series of modules have a prominent edge in Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).

(Click to check Fraunhofer ISE study I: )


Assessment site: Spain

Module types: M6 bifacial 450W modules; M10 bifacial 535W modules and 585W modules; G12 bifacial 545W, 600W and 660W modules

Method of installation: TrinaTracker 1P trackers

Inverter: Central inverter

The assessment took place in a typical photovoltaic site in Spain for design input.

* For the calculations, 4mm2 cables are used for M6 and M10, and 6mm2 cables are used for G12 modules

Figure I: Assessment parameters

Figure II: System PR and yield production


1.   The Vertex G12 modules have the best CAPEX and LCOE. Compared to the M10 modules, the G12 660W and 545W reduce CAPEX by up to 0.81-1.21 €cWp and LCOE by up to 1.8-2.6%. Compared to the 450W M6 modules, the CAPEX can be reduced by 2.39-2.79 €cWp and the LCOE 5.3%-6.0%.

Figure III: Calculation results of CAPEX

Figure IV: Calculation results of LCOE

2.   The 210mm 545W, 600W and 660W modules have excellent performance in savings of the costs of electrical systems, which are up to approximately 22.4~28.9% compared to the M6 series.

3.   Compared with the M6 modules, the cost of trackers for the G12 and M10 modules is reduced by around 13%~15%. Compared with the M10 series, the cost of trackers for the G12 545W and 660W modules is reduced by around 3% or about 0.2-0.3 €c/Wp.

4.   The Vertex G12 modules still maintain the optimal LCOE and ROI even 6mm2 cables are used.

5.   Whether 4mm2 or 6mm2 cables are used, the G12 series of modules can achieve higher savings in electrical costs and significantly reduce the LCOE. Power plant investors can flexibly select cable cross-sections based on the site’s layout, irradiation level and the feed-in price as well as the budget so as to work out the optimal plan.

Figure V: Comparison of items of CAPEX research results

The comparisons show that the G12 series of ultra-high power modules represented by Trina Solar’s Vertex can significantly reduce CAPEX, LCOE in particular. It sets a new cost-saving standard, ultimately ensure the project’s earnings and maximize customer value, making PV solar energy more cost competitive.

Firstly, the G12 modules can reduce the numbers of modules in the setup, reduce installations, and accelerate construction progress.

Secondly, thanks to the iconic low-voltage design of the Vertex G12 module, it is possible to string up more modules with the 1,500V voltage. Compared to the conventional M10 modules, the single string power is significantly boosted by 36%. In turn, it can save the material and labor costs of DC terminals, and thus reduce initial investment.

Figure XI: Comparison of the savings in DC cable usage between the new generation of high-power modules and conventional modules

Click to download Fraunhofer ISE’s PPTs on the tests of the Vertex modules:

Click on the link below to learn about the three rounds of assessment of Trina Solar’s Vertex series by DNV GL, a leading international third-party organization, and the cost advantages of the Vertex series in the scenario of landscape-fixed tilts:

The Way to Best LCOE (I)

The Way to Best LCOE (II)

The Way to Best LCOE (III)

For more information, please contact Trina Solar’s local sales representatives,or Mailto:

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