21st April 2022
China solar giant Trina has tapped Australia as the first country for the global launch of its latest residential rooftop PV panel, the up to 425W Vertex S+.
The company said on Thursday that the innovative “double-glass” panel, designed for greater efficiency and durability – particularly in hot and humid environments, would begin shipping in April and likely arrive on Australian shores later that same month, or in early May.
The double or dual glass design allows Trina to dispense with the usual backsheet, the last layer at the bottom of solar panels that is typically made of a combination of polymers and that can be susceptible to premature degradation – again, particularly in hot and humid environments.
“The Vertex S+ module we are launching today is ideally suited to Australia,” said Trina Solar Asia Pacific president Todd Li in a statement at the product launch.
“It is the very first 425W module in Australia that comes with double-glass, rather than back-sheet.
“We chose Australia for the launch of Vertex S+ to reinforce our position as Australia’s number one solar module brand and to capitalise on the tremendous growth in the commercial, industrial and residential solar market here,” he added.
The Vertex S+ is the latest addition to Trina’s 210 module family, a technology platform that combines innovative technologies including Trina’s N-type PACO Cell technology, 210mm diameter wafers, multi-busbar (MBB), non-destructive cutting and high-density packing.
According to Trina, 210 modules have fast become the global industry standard partly because of their higher efficiency than modules that use smaller size wafers.
Vertex S+ modules weigh 21.5kg and, Trina says, allow for easy-to-handle installation, due to that light weight and their compatibility with existing mainstream mounting systems, optimisers and inverters for residential and C&I applications.
The module’s increased durability, thanks largely to the double-glass design, has also allowed Trina to extend the product warranty period to 25 years, and the power warranty period to 30 years.
“Vertex S+ excels in key areas such as: power, efficiency, size, weight, appearance, ease of installation, load, reliability and safety,” said Li
“We anticipate that following today’s launch, we will further increase our lead in Australia as the country’s number one brand of solar module.”
Trina’s welcome show of confidence in the Australian residential and commercial PV markets follows a bounce-back in the rooftop solar system installation rate over the month of February, after a worryingly slow start to 2022.
Adding to a marked decrease in the rooftop solar market growth rate over the past few months have been industry-wide headwinds, including supply-chain disruptions, Covid disruptions, and transport and component price increases.
For some industry players – both big and small – the cumulative effect of these headwinds has proven too much. Late last month, South Korea tech giant LG made a shock exit from solar panel manufacturing, citing the “intensification of price competition.”
And earlier in the same month, leading Australian solar installer and electricity retailer, Infinite Energy, bowed out of the rooftop PV and battery business, citing changing sector dynamics and fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
But speaking ahead of the Trina launch as part of an industry briefing webinar hosted by the Smart Energy Council on Thursday morning, Sunwiz managing director Warwick Johnston said predictions of a contracting rooftop solar market in Australia could be “taken with a pinch of salt.”
Johnston noted that a number of market analysts were still predicting at least some year-on-year growth on the record installation numbers notched up in 2021, suggesting that the market still had room to move in 2022.
“So if this is the case, what we’re seeing right now is actually just a momentary pause in what will be some growth; it may not be 30% annual growth rates, but at least it’s going to be a growing market,” he said.
“So that’s nice to know, it kind of says to me, if you’re in business, don’t walk away from the solar industry. There’s opportunities ahead.”