This chapter introduces The development of photovoltaic module technology
1.1 Development History of Photovoltaic Industry
After the world oil crisis in 1973, photovoltaic power generation technology quickly attracted the attention of developed countries in the world. In 1974, Solarex, the first company in the United States to target ground-based power generation applications, was established, which mainly produces crystalline silicon cells and photovoltaic modules. Later, Siemens in Germany, BP in the UK, Shell in the Netherlands, Sharp in Japan, Kyocera and other companies have successively entered the crystalline silicon solar cell and module industry.
Since the 1980s in China, five companies including Kaifeng Semiconductor, Qinhuangdao Huamei, Ningbo Solar, Yunnan Semiconductor and Shenzhen Daming began to engage in the production of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules, and two companies in Harbin Corolla and Shenzhen Yukang began production successively. Amorphous silicon photovoltaic modules, but due to many technical and market reasons, most of these companies have not developed.
Beginning in 2001, China’s photovoltaic industry began to rise rapidly, and a number of photovoltaic companies such as Suntech, Yingli, Trina, Jinko, JA, Canadian Solar have emerged. After the 2008 financial crisis, many photovoltaic companies in Europe and the United States closed down one after another, and the world photovoltaic industry was reshuffled. In 2011, Europe and the United States began to implement dual anti-dumping policies (anti-dumping, anti-subsidy) against China’s exported photovoltaic module products. The Chinese government reviewed the current situation and actively guided the domestic photovoltaic application market. Through the development of distributed photovoltaic power station demonstration areas, the implementation of photovoltaic power station development plans, etc. A series of measures have helped Chinese photovoltaic companies overcome difficulties and develop steadily. At present, China’s photovoltaic industry has a strong international competitiveness, from relying solely on the introduction of foreign technology development to being able to independently master key materials, core processes and key equipment, and from relying solely on exports of products to both domestic and foreign markets. At the end of 2015, China has become the country with the largest scale of photovoltaic power station construction, which is a milestone in the history of the development of China’s photovoltaic industry. At present, China’s photovoltaic industry has firmly occupied the world’s leading position.
1.2 The development status of photovoltaic module technology
Photovoltaic modules were initially dominated by monocrystalline silicon technology. Later, as technology upgrades and cost changes, polycrystalline silicon technology gradually developed and became the mainstream of the market. In recent years, with the emergence of various high-efficiency cells and components based on monocrystalline silicon technology, monocrystalline silicon technology has once again been developed and improved.
Thanks to the development and technological advancement of the semiconductor industry, the development of solar cells and photovoltaic module technologies has accelerated, and the production and manufacturing processes have become more mature and perfect, and large-scale production has been achieved. At present, a photovoltaic module production line can achieve an average annual production capacity of 200MW, and the module production capacity of the world’s largest photovoltaic companies has reached the GW level. In 2017, the world’s photovoltaic module production capacity exceeded 80GW, of which crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules accounted for more than 90%.
Compared with amorphous silicon thin-film photovoltaic modules, crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules are more efficient, and because silicon wafers have a diamond crystal structure and stable performance, the service life of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules is longer. A number of engineering practices have shown that crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules that have been used for more than 25 years can still be used normally. As far as the current packaging technology is concerned, it is completely achievable for the service life of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules to exceed 30 years.