Trina Solar: Bringing more value to solar
Over the past 20 years, Trina solar has grown from a top-class photovoltaic (PV) module supplier to the world’s leading PV and smart energy total solutions provider. With technology as its main driver, the company seems well set on the course to shape the future of PV solar
Emerging technologies and modern manufacturing processes are combining to produce a new era of modules that guarantee quality and better returns. At the heart of this revolution is Trina Solar, a world’s leader in solar technology manufacturing.
The China headquartered company has over the past 20 few years launched a series of new high-efficient technologies as it embarks on a journey to unlock the full potential of the sun to efficiently deliver power at the lowest cost, a move that will boost electricity access around the world and usher in rapid development.
Five months after launching its first 500 W-plus solar module, in July, Trina Solar unveiled a next-generation Vertex series that can generate as much as 600W.
By virtue of low-voltage and high-module string power output, the new Vertex series unlocks huge potential for further reducing balance-of-system costs.
Among the several benefits of the new technology is low voltage and improvement in power output of a single module string by more than 35%; and significant value in greatly reducing balance-of-system costs, according to Trina Solar.
This is certainly a key milestone for the global PV industry and sets new standards for future modules. But above all, it addresses the needs of the end user.
“PV is becoming one of the strongest driving forces for energy transformation. To bring more value to customers and promote sustainable development of the PV industry, open innovation is critical,” says Antonio Jimenez, Managing Director and Vice President of Trina Solar Middle East & Africa.
Founded in 1997, Trina solar has grown from a top-class photovoltaic module supplier to the world’s leading PV and smart energy total solutions provider.
“We currently have over 50GW of module shipments; more than 3GW of accumulative grid connections; revenue of $3.29bn in 2019. Trina Solar is proudly responsible for setting twenty world records for silicon cell efficiency and solar module power output since 2011,” says Jimenez.
With eight manufacturing bases and more than 13,000 employees worldwide, Trina Solar has been able to connect more than 3GW of solar power plants to the grid globally and has several project pipelines in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Middle East and Africa.
To serve its customers better, Trina Solar has developed a dedicated system solution for utility sector known as TrinaPro. TrinaPro is a smart PV solution designed for utility scale ground mount, floating solar projects and commercial applications that can significantly reduce the system LCOE through premium components combination, optimised system integration and smart O&M interconnection.
“TrinaPro covers complex application scenarios such as different terrains, slopes, and wind speeds among others. TrinaPro is systematically integrated by 3 core components: efficient modules, smart tracking system, and smart inverter.” says Jimenez.
“It innovatively provides customers with the hardware integrated design, the software and algorithm integration, the integration service and the smart O&M service.”
Compared to the traditional fixed systems, TrinaPro could increase the power generation by up to 30% and reduce the Levelised Cost of Electricity generation (LCOE) by more than 8-15%. Compared to the traditional tracking systems, TrinaPro could increase the power generation by 3-8%.
“With the equipment optimisation, optimal system design, high standards on-site construction supervision and innovative performance guarantee service, giving the best IRR for projects. In addition, the innovative business process enables more professional and high-quality pre-sale, sales and after-sales service, such as integrated delivery, unified O&M and after-sales service,” says Jimenez.
“Through intelligent control and our innovative SCADA cloud platform, the customer's operation experience is also greatly improved.”
Several major utilities projects have been completed under TrinaPro. These include the 133MW Aguascalientes power plant in Mexico, the 189MW Cobra Solar park in Spain, the 3MW Chile Marchihue project and the 5MW GolmuTop Runner project in China.
In June, Trina Solar announced the global launch of ‘TrinaPro Mega,’ the latest version of its PV utility-scale complete turnkey product solution featuring modules with power output exceeding 500W, notably its ‘Vertex’ ultra-high-power module, launched earlier in 2020.
“TrinaPro Mega has been designed to deliver an optimised solution for the application of Vertex modules, including in bifacial form, in the new era of larger and higher output modules for downstream PV power plant projects,” says Jimenez.
“The rapid upstream transition to large-area wafers (166mm, 180mm and 210mm) means significantly larger module dimensions providing peak-power in the range of 400Wp, 500Wp and soon, 600Wp.”
However, Jimenez adds, integrating larger modules with very high output requires greater focus on system integration and product selection, such as inverters and single-axis trackers to further lower the balance-of-system (BOS) costs and reduce LCOE metrics.
“Based on the TrinaPro solution, TrinaPro Mega upgrades the long-string trackers for 500W-plus power modules. It integrates Vertex modules that will also facilitate the commercialization of new technologies and pave the way for the next module power upgrade to 600W and beyond,” says Jimenez.
Trina Solar's independently developed TCU, smart tracking algorithms and SCADA monitoring systems enable a variety of application scenarios defined by complicated geography, uneven terrain and wind speeds.
With a presence in more than 100 markets globally, Trina Solar is focussed on expanding its footprint in the Middle East where its PV technologies are attracting huge demand due to their efficiency guarantees.
In May, Trina Solar announced that it has signed an agreement with the Yemeni photovoltaic firm Al Raebi for Trading Co. to be its authorized distributor in Yemen as a further commitment of Trina Solar’s expansion plans and towards increasing its footprint in the Middle East & Africa region.
“This partnership is allowing us to provide the most advanced solar technology to address the current and future market demand. Working with Al-Rabei and all our distributor partners across the region has been crucial to grow the business and play a key role in the already large photovoltaic industry in Middle East and Africa.” says Jimenez.
“Our main drivers for this region are innovation, striving to always add value to our customers and benefits to the community.
“We not only focus on delivering innovative, reliable products with the highest quality standards and the backing of Trina as a strong, bankable brand, but reliability and flawless customer service are part of our “Customer-centric” core value – Customers success is our own success,” says Jimenez.
Given the harsh weather conditions in the Middle East, Jimenez says that with the help of TrinaPro, Trina Solar is well placed to provide customised solutions with better terrain adaptive capacity & higher system reliability, which makes its solutions 100% relevant to the market and to the needs of each customer.
“Our modules are designed to withstand harsh conditions such as high temperatures, dusty areas, water installations, etc.,” says Jimenez.
“We have third party testing certificates for all products. All products are tested in extreme conditions to ensure they are suitable and efficient in all type of climates and terrains, at the same time, we have a pool of experts that are strategically based across the region to make sure we deliver the best and most relevant customer support and services.”
Jimenez points out that as company philosophy, Trina Solar works hand in hand with its customers to make sure that their needs are fully met. It is the same innovation-driven and customer-centric philosophy that Trina Solar brings to the Middle East.
“We are bringing all our Research and Development (R&D), innovations, expertise and ultra-high quality products tested and proven all over the world over two decades to this region and we are certain they will be a game changer,” says Jimenez.