The photovoltaic ribbon is small and beautiful, and the market concentration is expected to increase.
Introduction to Photovoltaic ribbon
The raw material cost becomes the main cost for photovoltaic ribbons. The photovoltaic ribbon is an important raw material for the soldering process of PV modules. And we can also call it Tinned copper tape or Tin coated copper tape. As we all know, we can divide it into interconnection tape and convergence tape. Interconnection tape is used to connect PV cells. And we usually use sink tape to connect PV cell strings and junction boxes. We usually mainly use copper base material, tin alloy coating, and flux through processing to make photovoltaic ribbons. But the cost of raw materials accounts for more than 90% of the production cost. And the production of photovoltaic ribbon starts with the release of copper base material for calendering. Then followed by annealing, fluxing, and finally tin dipping to obtain the finished product.
We usually use various types of photovoltaic ribbons, and MBB tapes are more common. According to the performance and application areas, we can divide PV ribbons into various types. Interconnection tapes mainly include conventional interconnection tapes, MBB tapes, low-temperature tapes, low resistance tapes, etc.; sink tapes mainly include conventional sink tapes, perforated tapes, black tapes, bending tapes, etc. At present, the mainstream photovoltaic welding tape products in the market are MBB welding tapes. They are suitable for multi-gate modules. Because it is thinner than conventional welding tape, which helps to reduce the shading of the cell and utilize the sunlight more effectively. At the same time, increasing the number of main grids helps to shorten the lateral current collection path in the cell. Reduce the series resistance, and reduce the cell power loss.
Continued growth in demand and changes in component technology bring about changes in the pattern of different welding ribbons
The market is fully competitive and demand continues to grow. But the PV ribbon industry has a high degree of marketization and a fragmented competition pattern. From the demand side, with the downstream installed capacity. We expect that the demand for PV ribbons will continue to grow.
Changes in module technology have led to changes in the upstream weld pattern. Multi-grid technology can reduce the shading area of the photovoltaic ribbon. And at the same time can effectively shorten the lateral current collection path in the cell, reduce series resistance, reduce cell power loss, and thus improve the photovoltaic module’s light conversion efficiency. CPIA expects that the market share of 9+ grid technology will continue to increase. And this will lead to a change in demand for multi-grid tapes. Compared with conventional modules, stacked modules have many advantages such as higher conversion efficiency and power with the same area and less shading effect. With the gradual promotion of stacked tile modules, the demand for stacked tile ribbons will also increase accordingly.
Conductive adhesive or partial replacement of the photovoltaic ribbon
Conductive adhesives are adhesives that are electrically conductive and function similarly to photovoltaic ribbons. In other words, a conductive adhesive is an adhesive with electrical conductivity after curing or drying. Similar to photovoltaic welding tape, it can connect a variety of conductive materials together to form an electrical pathway between the connected materials. Conductive adhesive consists of the resin matrix, conductive particles, diluent, a cross-linking agent, toughening agent, etc. And the substrate mainly includes epoxy resin, silicone resin, polyimide resin, acrylate resin, polychlorinated ester, etc. Conductive adhesive is the different types of conductive particles in the conductive adhesive, and we can divide conductive adhesive into the silver conductive adhesive, gold conductive adhesive, copper conductive adhesive, carbon conduct adhesive, etc., the most widely used is the silver conductive adhesive.
Stacked tile modules have obvious advantages, conductive adhesive is the key to reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Stacked tiles are conventional cells cut to 1/5th size. And then the cells are bonded together using conductive adhesive to connect the cell strings. Conventional modules generally retain a cell spacing of about 2 to 3 mm. The tile stacking process allows for no cell spacing and more cells to be placed in the same area (66 cells can be packaged in a conventional 60-cell module). This results in higher power and conversion efficiency. Stacked tile modules also have many advantages such as high reliability and increased resistance to shadowing. But the high cost of conductive adhesives limits their application. Conductive adhesives play an important part in the production cost of stacked modules. And once the cost of preparing them drops, the penetration of stacked modules will increase significantly.
Photovoltaic conductive adhesive technology
Photovoltaic conductive adhesive technology is held by foreign manufacturers, localization is expected to reduce the cost of large-scale applications. Stacked tile components on the electrical conductivity of the adhesive, bonding effect, and curing time has high requirements. It also caused the production of a photovoltaic conductive adhesive to have certain technical barriers. At present, the PV conductive adhesive suppliers are Germany Henkel, Deppon, Heraeus, and Suzhou Rui Li Bo. The listed company back to the new material of PV conductive adhesive has been successful in the benchmark customer first single supply. Compared to the photovoltaic ribbon. The cost of photovoltaic conductive adhesive is much higher. And it is also the most important factor limiting its scale of application, with the continuous research and development of domestic enterprises.
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