In the past two years, one of the most lively topics in the photovoltaic industry must be the 182 VS 210 solar cells. The hustle and bustle of this process is all for profit. Now, the end has been revealed.


Birth of 182 vs 210


In August 2019, Zhonghuan saw an opportunity from the large scale of silicon wafers in recent years, and tried to change the fate of the millennium-old monocrystalline silicon wafer. The optimal size based on the theoretical cost of silicon wafers and cells. Central clearly has no downstream support, and 210 is like a castle in the sky. Therefore, Trina’s active participation has allowed 210 to form a top-down industrial chain integration and vertical strategic alliance.


At this time, most companies in the industry are still thinking about how to follow the 166 products launched by LONGi three months ago. The release of 210 caused a thousand waves. This problem is posed to the industry, more precisely, to the silicon wafer leader LONGi and other Photovoltaic leaders Jinko and JA Solar.


After 6 months, Longjingjing formed a group and jointly launched 182, claiming that this is a silicon wafer size based on the optimal size of the components. So far, 182 and 210 officially kicked off the battle.


The battle for size escalates: silicon size evolves to solar panel size


In the second stage of 210 development, the leader is Trina, not Zhonghuan. Zhonghuan is a silicon wafer company, and the three downstream players all need 182. For commercial reasons, Zhonghuan began to produce 182 for customers early. The capital market needs a unique label. At this time, Trina successfully landed on the Science and Technology Innovation Board. The value of 210 to Tianhe is obviously greater. However, Trina who has been deeply involved in modules for 20 years, quickly realized that the 210-generation module version is not competitive compared to the 182. The reason is very simple. The 182 is based on the value of the module. It is the 210 generation, and Tianhe must have felt like a “nearly-necked” at that time.


At this time, Trina decided to go all out and launch the second-generation 210 product, with rapid iteration, and the 600+ concept came into being. This is based on 210 silicon wafers to maximize the size of the solar panel, which is a risky move, because Trina pushes the product first, and then does the verification. Regarding industrial chain support or product reliability, TRW only started to promote it after the product was released.


At this time, LONGi, which has always been known for being low-key and gentle, was the first to stand up against it. LONGi’s logic is very simple. The thinner and thinner the glass is, the more limited the benefits of blindly expanding solar panel, the unlimited magnification of reliability risks, and the fact that products are subject to natural disasters. It will be very vulnerable in front of you. This kind of risky approach is tantamount to smashing the jobs of all photovoltaic people.


At this point in the story, the battle between 182 and 210 has evolved into a battle over solar panel size. Ultra-large solar panel mean marginal benefits from the initial investment brought by ultra-high power, at the expense of full-life-cycle reliability. This is a trade-off. At this point, LONGi began to take a clear-cut stand against “oversized” solar panel, not against 210.


Endgame: 182 has become the mainstream, 210 will be a long-term effective supplement


After more than a year of harassment, let’s take a look at the current situation of the market. The 182 camp Long Jingjing still sticks to 182, but some companies see the short-term benefits of high-power modules and are trying to use 182 to make super large modules. The 210 camp Trina Sunrise Solar, Sunrise and Canadian Solar have officially announced 182 products to the public. Some time ago, it was also reported that Trina could accept 182 orders. However, the 600+ products created by TRW 210 did not disappear. TRW worked together to promote the synergy of some industry chains, and super large modules were therefore favored by some EPC customers.


So far, the end has come, this photovoltaic industry is not a high-level competition for size, and there is no absolute winner.


182 has become the mainstream size of silicon wafers in the industry. The next generation of high-efficiency solar cells claimed by Jinko, LONGi, Aixu, etc. are also based on 182. In 210, the main modules of the camp will be forced by the market and customers Pressure is gradually increasing 182 product supply.


However, “super-large” modules designed on the basis of 210 will become the choice of EPC customers in low-risk areas, which will also support 210 silicon wafers to become an effective part of the market. “Extra large” solar module will not be completely rejected, and have their unique economic value in certain scenarios.


A carbon-neutral future: value creation returns to first principles


The power gain by increasing the light-receiving area is not high. Throughout the glorious history of China’s photovoltaic industry in the past 20 years, it is all written by photoelectric conversion efficiency. Efficiency has brought about an increase in energy density, and efficiency has brought about a continuous decrease in the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour. In the past, the industry chain has done calculations, and the efficiency has increased by 1%, while the cost per kilowatt hour has dropped by 9%. Under the leadership of Chinese photovoltaics, the commercialized photoelectric conversion efficiency has increased from about 14% in 2005 to the current 23%. In 2021, LONGi officially announced several times to break the world record of photovoltaic conversion efficiency, and Jinko and TRW also announced high efficiency records on different technical routes.


After the world has reached a high degree of consensus on carbon neutrality, mankind is ushering in an unprecedented energy revolution. In addition, Chinese photovoltaic people also return innovation to the first principles of photovoltaic energy, and continue to set new records in the uninhabited area of ​​photoelectric conversion efficiency to improve human beings’ ability to effectively utilize the sun’s energy. The future can be expected. This revolution, which is enough to change the history of human civilization, is led by China this time.