HomeRegional NewsAfricaCalculating the impact of a 25% weight decrease on a solar panel

Calculating the impact of a 25% weight decrease on a solar panel

A 25% weight decrease on your solar panels has a remarkable impact on your project’s lifetime costs.

Compared with dual glass bifacial, JinkoSolar’s Swan reduces the weight of solar panels by 25%. What does this mean for investors, developers, EPCs and O&M?

Would it make much of a difference, or would the savings be significant enough to motivate a 100% shift to it? Will weight increase of glass-glass bifacial diminish its returns or offset the benefits of additional power generated from rear-side?

There is an easy way to get a rough idea of what magnitude the savings are: saving 25% of weight per panel would reduce the cost of BOS by 3%, mounting structure by 15%, labour by 20% and finally O&M by 5%.

Mounting structure heights should be raised to allow the rear surface to capture additional diffuse albedo light. Height between 1.0 and 1.5m is recommended as an optimum. If using a fixed-tilt mounting structure, a more aggressive tilt angle is common.

This aggressive tilt angle aims to increase rear side exposure and promote diffuse albedo light; however, this will also increase the load experienced under high wind conditions. Thus the mounting structure and foundation require new, specific and costlier designs to be solid enough to secure the heavier modules and greater wind loads expected.

The greatest performance benefits for bifacial technology are seen when it is deployed in tracking systems. For single-axis tracking systems, 25% weight loss has been shown to provide superior alleviation over the tracking system, as this does not require special design or strengthened material.

That is not the same case when speaking about the typical installation site. But if we consider harsh environments where the solar plants are typically located, such as mountain regions, offshore water bodies, salt-affected land, contaminated land, abandoned land, high building rooftop, carports, agricultural situations allowing crop growth underneath – basically remote areas which are difficult to access and that generally involve extremely high cost of labour and logistic, etc., the saving can easily be twice as much.

Future trends for bifacial include longer warranties (30 years) and reduced degradation rates, a very likely fall in price as well as weight.

To find out more on this topic, contact us today: www.jinkosolar.com | africa@jinkosolar.com

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