With nearly 33 GWdc of new solar capacity expected, 2023 should mark the country’s largest year of solar installations. It’s undoubtedly a major milestone, and while the 55% growth indicates a strong positive trajectory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) 2021 Solar Futures Study concluded that new capacity additions will need to reach 60 GW by 2025 to maintain decarbonization targets.


As the utility-scale solar market continues to evolve and mature, developers and EPCs must actively seek innovative ways to expedite project timelines while ensuring reliable system performance and maximum project value. In the quest to achieve this balancing act of timeliness, reliability, and cost-effectiveness, the integration of a smart solar solution has emerged as the answer.


Let’s examine how a comprehensive solar solution that bundles n-type PV modules, solar trackers, and battery energy storage systems (BESS) in a one-stop shop not only lowers levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and delivers unparalleled project value but also accelerates installations by reducing labor hours, ensuring widespread interoperability, and keeping projects on schedule.


The Power of High-Efficiency N-Type Solar Panels

At the core of the smart solar solution is the adoption of high-powered, high-efficiency n-type solar panels. These advanced panels surpass traditional p-type technology, offering superior efficiency and longevity. With heightened conversion rates and reduced degradation, n-type panels generate more electricity per unit area and boast an extended lifespan. This dual advantage enhances energy output and ensures a more robust economic performance over the project's lifetime.


Enhancing Installation Efficiency of Solar Trackers

Solar trackers have become an integral part of utility-scale solar projects, but they’ve also significantly lengthened the overall design and installation process. That’s why Trina Solar has focused on solar tracker innovation.


Compared with the standard 1P Tracker system, the upgraded TrinaTracker Vanguard 1P includes cutting-edge features that greatly increase installation efficiency and shortens timelines. For example, introducing shrink tube technology has effectively halved the time needed for tube connections.


Additionally, integrating a patented spherical bearing can considerably enhance terrain adaptability, making tracker assembly more straightforward and quicker by reducing the extra forces caused by misalignment. This design also allows for simplified foundation requirements, making them more adaptable to uneven terrain. The mounting process is streamlined, benefiting from the flexibility provided by spherical bearings, which enable a wider range of motion for effective sun tracking throughout the day. With fewer moving parts, these trackers offer ease of adjustment during installation and operations and maintenance (O&M), which can lead to cost savings. The bearings' tolerance to land irregularities and ability to accommodate varying topography contribute to a more straightforward installation process. While the specific advantages may vary based on project requirements, the simplicity of design and flexibility make the Vanguard 1P an attractive option for faster utility-scale installations with fewer risks.


Empowering Resilience with Battery Energy Storage Systems

Including battery energy storage systems (BESS) introduces a new dimension of resilience and adaptability to utility-scale solar projects. BESS allows storing excess energy generated during peak sunlight hours, mitigating intermittency and providing a reliable energy source during periods of low sunlight or high demand. Beyond these benefits, energy storage systems enhance grid stability, improve reliability, and participate in ancillary services such as frequency regulation and voltage support, contributing to a more resilient and responsive energy infrastructure.


Speed-Up Installations, Lower LCOE & Increase Project Value

The synergy achieved by combining high-powered n-type solar panels, solar trackers, and BESS can speed up installations, lower LCOE, and enhance project value.


As the only PV module manufacturer also manufacturing a solar tracker solution and an energy storage system, Trina Solar ensures widespread PV component compatibility, optimized system design, and performance for smoother project workflows, timely completion, and minimized challenges. TrinaPro, the one-stop shop solar solution for utility-scale solar, provides project developers and EPCs with streamlined procurement, design assistance, and the expertise that comes with decades of solar industry experience.


First, the advanced technologies in a bundled solution help expedite the construction process, reducing labor hours and potential delays. Then, TrinaTracker’s Vanguard 1P allows for the construction of longer trackers (up to 140 meters) and fewer man-hours per megawatt. Coupled with the low-voltage, high-efficiency n-type Vertex modules, the duo delivers even more savings in both soft and hard costs.


Vertex n-type modules and trackers can reduce balance-of-system (BOS) costs by up to 2.84% compared with 182mm modules. The Vertex N 695W modules offer advantages in ultra-low degradation, optimized bifaciality, and ultra-low operating temperature coefficient to reduce CAPEX and LCOE of power stations. For example, a 100MW ground power station using Vertex n-type modules and trackers rather than conventional 182mm n-type 72-cell modules can cut project CAPEX by 2.44% and LCOE by 2.97%.


The future of utility-scale solar lies in seamlessly integrating a smart solution that combines cutting-edge PV technologies and expertise for maximum efficiency, resilience, accelerated project delivery, and improved return on investment (ROI). As the renewable energy landscape advances, developers and EPCs integrating a comprehensive smart solar solution can position themselves as industry leaders.

Reach out to your local Trina Solar US team today to learn more about TrinaPro, the one-stop shop smart solar solution for utility-scale solar.

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