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Solar project design and the age of the large-format module

In 2019, an interesting trend started to appear in the PV market, in which the increase in module peak power was not being driven by significantly improved cell efficiencies, but instead by simply making the PV modules bigger. Over the course of 2019 and 2020 modules of over 400W started to appear, with some astonishing powers being announced by module manufacturers, including a module of over 800W making its debut at the 2020 SNEC trade fair in Shanghai.

But while in the past we were seeing incremental increases in power within the same size of module as the quality and technology of the cells improved, now we have been seeing very dramatic increases in power being brought about simply by having larger module sizes. The 800W high power module, for example, has a surface area of almost 4m2, while up until the current trend began, the standard 72 cell modules were about 2m2 and were pushing close to 400W in peak power.

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