Trina Solar Chairman Gao Jifan: Better solar, better world

With the launch of its 670W+ ultra-high-power modules in March 2021, Trina Solar led the industry into the 600W+ era and unleashed the full value of 210mm technology, bringing with it a sharp boost in PV efficiency and a decrease in LCOE. Cumulative global shipments of Trina Solar’s 210mm modules now exceed 16GW.

So how do we improve upon this already impressive PV performance and make it better? Speaking at the start of 2022, Trina Solar Chairman Jifan Gao revealed his original ideas behind the development of 210mm module technology, as well as its future direction.


The following are selected excerpts from his conference speech.


Great achievements: 210mm advanced technology is the future, 600W+ era is here

More than two years in the making, and with the joint engagement and efforts of companies throughout the industry and our global customers, 210mm technology has become the benchmark for large-size products, which represents a major opportunity for the whole industry. It is thanks to the hard work and huge contributions made at every section in the solar industry that we have been able to achieve this level.

Trina Solar’s 210mm module is now our most mainstream product, with cumulative shipments exceeding 16GW, and it unquestionably ranks first among all the large-size module brands. This is not only a milestone for Trina Solar, but also a major achievement on the part of all members of the 600W+ Photovoltaic Open Innovation Ecological Alliance.

We are now seeing the smooth-flowing supply of raw materials, the 210mm module taking the lead in achieving standardization of modules, the comprehensive adaptation of inverters and trackers throughout the 600W+ supply chain, vast improvements in the safety and efficiency of power station systems, and significant reduction in LCOE. Further, production capacity in the supply chain continues to expand upon 210mm technology and membership of 600W+ Alliance has now rocketed to 95 companies, all motivated by their acceptance of and confidence in the technology. Two years on, 210mm modules are now the confirmed, clear-cut direction forward for the PV industry.


Gratitude: A fertile ecosystem gave rise to 210mm technology

New breakthrough solutions and major advances in 210mm modules and technology have launched the 600W+ high-power era. This owes to the huge contributions made at every stage in the supply chain as well as joint, industry-wide efforts to break new ground. Thanks are due to the 600W+ Alliance for their tireless explorations. From semiconductors to cells, modules, inverters, trackers and glass, different parts of the supply chain have combined to effect vast change in the PV industry. That 210mm technology has been able to lead the way in making large-size modules the industry standard.

Trina Solar itself has also scored successive wins in specific areas such as load performance, container shipment, storage, transportation, and installation. Take the wind load resistance of 210mm modules, for example. Results from a study by a leading global wind-tunnel company showed that the 210mm module, with its lean structural design, not only compares favorably with any other product, it actually outperforms them.

This point demonstrates the importance of having an open approach in company innovation and industry progress. Now, as we enter the 600W+ era, 210mm technology and products are ready to grow significantly and unleash even more power.


Benefiting others: The motive behind the 210mm module

In this world, there is only one business model that can bring true success: benefiting others. This motive drives every decision and every step that Trina Solar takes. Driven by a desire to benefit others, there were two fundamental reasons why Trina Solar opted for 210mm technology:


1. To slow down depreciation and embrace the future

From 125mm to 156mm and from 158.75mm to 166mm cells and modules, each time the industry surges forward, it also brought in a raft of new equipment depreciation. But, the industry wants grid parity and reduced production costs. So how can we minimize the need for successive new product line iterations in the future, and maximize the value of new industry production capacity over a given period? This problem is one that I and Trina Solar have long pondered.

When we produced the 210mm module, we were not aiming to replace any particular product but rather to think about which size would be the future direction of the PV industry. We wanted to see the present from the vantage point of the future, to identify the size that ultimately would prevail over a given timeframe. The 210mm module was conceived by embracing the future direction of growth and then formulating a “platform” technology based on its inherent properties and various contributing factors. This would help all companies to achieve sustained growth, and therefore make for a better industry.

After nearly two years of hard work, it is clear that 210mm technology has earned the confidence of the industry. According to estimates by PVinfoLink, over 50% of production capacity is now compatible with the 210mm size. The decision by cell and module manufacturers to use 210mm technology as the base on which to expand production capacity prevents their production capacity from soon becoming obsolete. This means longer production lifecycles across the board.


2. To drive industrial development through technological innovation

The PV industry boasts impressive innovative capabilities. When the 600W+ was founded, everyone responded positively to the proposal and was keen to be involved despite the magnitude of the challenge. A new atmosphere developed between up- and downstream players. They built a culture of joint innovation, shared benefits and growth together. Through the combined efforts of the whole industry, the speed at which the 210mm technology developed far outstripped our original expectations.

All companies strive for better growth. But Trina Solar has recognized that when you benefit others, you benefit yourself. We will continue to grow only if we benefit our customers and the wider industry ecosystem.


The future: Follow the right track with innovation and sustainability

From the foundations already laid, we must stick to the right way while always seeking  new horizons. Trina Solar holds fast to its core values while constantly pushing the boundaries of its product solutions. The future is just the beginning; the technology has many roads yet to travel and there are many tasks yet to accomplish. Trina Solar will continue to uphold its mission of “Solar energy for all.” We hope to work with you all, steadily but surely, to make PV even better yet.

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