Trina Solar is a Chinese manufacturer of solar PV panels and cells, which was founded in 1997 in Jifan Gao and has its headquarters in Changzhou.
Thanks to its innovation power over the last years, the photovoltaic company was able to achieve positioning on the Fortune-List of the top 100 of the fastest-growing companies several times.
Trina Solar has 24 offices worldwide, including one in San Jose (California). They employ more than 14,200 worldwide; mostly in China. The company manufactures all of its solar products in China.
A) Trina Solar panel products: Allmax, Tallmax, Honey, and Duomax series
Multicrystalline solar panels
Trina Solar offers four different series of multicrystalline solar panels:
AllMAX Serie (60 cells)
AllMAX serie has the following types of solar PV panels:
- AllMAX – PD05.05 260-280W, 1000V DC, black solar backsheet (Europe, USA).
- AllMAX – PD05.08 260-280W, 1000V DC, white solar backsheet (Europe, USA).
- ALLMAX – PE05A 1500V 265-280W, 1500V DC (Europe)
Tallmax Serie (72 Cell)
Tallmax serie has the following types of solar PV panels:
- TALLMAX, TSM-PD14 320–335W, 1000V DC
- TALLMAX-PE14A 320–335W, 1500V DC
- DUOMAX TSM-PEG5.07 260–280W, 1500 V IEC, 1000 UL DC with 60 cells and transparent Eva film.
- DUOMAX TSM-PEG14 320–335W, 1500 V IEC, 1000 UL DC with 72 cells and white Eva film
Honey Serie (60 cells)
Honey serie has the following types of solar PV panels:
- HONEY – TSM-PD05 265–280W, 1000 V DC (Europe, Australia)
- HONEY – TSM-PD05.05 260-275W, 1000 V DC, black solar backsheet (Australia).
- HONEY – TSM-PD05.08 265-280W, 1000 V DC, white solar backsheet (Australia).
Monocrystalline solar panels
Trina Solar offers four different series of monocrystalline solar panels:
ALLMAX M Plus Serie (60 cells)
ALLMAX M Plus serie has the following types of solar PV panels:
- ALLMAX M Plus –TSM-DE05A(II) 280-305W,1500 V DC (Europe)
- ALLMAX M Plus TSM-DD05A.05(II) 275-300W,1000 V DC, black solar backsheet (USA)
- ALLMAX M Plus TSM-DD05A.08(II) 280-305W,1000 V DC, white solar backsheet (USA)
TALLMAX M Plus serie (72 Cell)
TALLMAX M Plus serie has the following types of solar PV panels:
- TALLMAX M PLUS – DD14A(II) 335–365W, 1000V DC
- TALLMAX M PLUS-DE14A(II) 335–365W, 1500V DC
DUOMAX M Plus Serie
DUOMAX M Plus serie consists of:
Solar PV panels with 60 cells
- DUOMAX M PLUS – TSM-DEG5 (II) 280–305W, 1500 V IEC, 1000 UL DC, frameless, white Eva film (Europe, Australia)
- DUOMAX M PLUS – TSM-DEG5.07 (II) 270–300W, 1500 V IEC, 1000 UL DC, frameless, transparent Eva film (Europe, Australia)
- DUOMAX M PLUS – TSM-DEG5 (II) 280–305W, 1500 V DC (IEC, UL), frameless, white Eva film (USA)
- DUOMAX M PLUS – TSM-DEG5.07 (II) 270–300W, 1500 V DC (IEC, UL), frameless, transparent Eva film (USA)
- DUOMAX M PLUS – TSM-40(II), 280–305W, 1500 V IEC, 1000 UL DC, frameless, white Eva film
- DUOMAX M PLUS – TSM-DEG5.47(II) 270–300W, 1500 V IEC, 1000 UL DC, frameless, transparent Eva film
Solar PV panels with 72 cells
- DUOMAX M PLUS – TSM-DEG14 (II) 335–365W, 1500 V IEC, 1000 UL DC, frameless, white Eva film (Europe, Australia)
- DUOMAX M PLUS – TSM-DEG14 (II) 335–365W, 1500 V DC (IEC, UL), frameless, white Eva film (USA) with Clamp installation method
- DUOMAX M PLUS – TSM-DEG14.40 (II) 335–365W, 1500 V DC (IEC, UL), frameless, white Eva film (USA) with Gecko Grip installation method.
HONEY M PLUS Serie (60 cells)
HONEY M PLUS serie has the following types of solar PV panels:
- HONEY M PLUS – TSM-DD05A.05 (II) 275–300W, 1000 V DC, black solar backsheet (Europe, Australia)
- HONEY M PLUS – TSM-DD05A.08 (II) 280-305W,1000 V DC, white solar backsheet (Europe, Australia)
The next review aims to evaluate the quality of one of Trina solar panels namely TSM-PD14 320 Wp.
We will assess the most important quality criteria required to decide by selecting the right solar panel type.
B) Expert review of module-type: TSM-PD14 320 Wp
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is a 72 cell-multicrystalline solar panel from the Tallmax serie.
Solar PV panels with 72 cells are more commonly used for ground-mounted and commercial solar PV installations as well as for space limited roofs, while the 60 cell solar PV panels are more usual for residential solar PV systems.
1) The solar panel manufacturer
Trina Solar is recognized by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (the most common Tier ranking system) as Tier1 solar panel manufacturer.
This means that:
- Trina solar is “Vertically integrated” (Trina Solar produces every individual piece of the module from the solar panel frame to the solar photovoltaic cells).
- It invests heavily in research & development (R&D) to stay at the forefront of technology.
- Trina solar uses automated manufacturing processes to remove the potential for human error during the production process and to save money on production costs.
- it produces solar PV panels for more as five years (has proved itself in the industry).
- As a Tier 1 solar panel manufacturer, Trina solar has also demonstrated its solar bankability during the last few years (can be a valuable tool for determining the performance, reliability and durability of its PV systems).
It is certain that a Tier1 solar panel manufacturer has proven experience and had reference projects.
To be a Tier 1 solar panel manufacturer is a good indicator of the quality of solar PV panels, but there are also other criteria, which must be evaluated.
2) Nominal power and performance tolerance
Nominal power (320 Wp) is one of the factors that determine how much power solar PV panels can produce.
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has a positive performance tolerance (0 ~ +5), which means that this solar panel type will always have a rated STC maximum power greater than or equal to the specification value (max 336 Wp/min 320 Wp).
This is a good sign that the solar panel manufacturer has got a good handle on its quality control and manufacturing processes.
3) Solar Panel Efficiency
According to the current solar panel efficiencies on the market (which is constantly changing), we will use the following four classification ranges to evaluate the solar panel efficiency:
- Economy efficiency range: When the solar panel efficiency is less than 15% (Sufficient polycrystalline solar panels, thin film solar panels)
- Standard efficiency range: When the solar panel efficiency is between 15 and 17% (Medium polycrystalline solar panels, thin film solar panels)
- Good efficiency range: When the solar panel efficiency is between 17 and 20% (Good polycrystalline solar panels, medium monocrystalline solar panels)
- Excellent efficiency range: When the solar panel efficiency is larger than 20% (Good monocrystalline solar panels).
With 16.5% Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp falls into the standard efficiency range for solar PV panels.
4) Temperature coefficients, NOCT
The “Temperature Coefficient of Pmax”
The closer to zero the temperature coefficient, the better is.
We will use the following classification ranges to evaluate the temperature coefficient of PMAX:
- Sufficient < -45 %/°C
- Good = -0.4 to -0.45 %/°C
- Excellent > – 0.4%/°C
All solar PV panels reduce their power as they heat up. The “Temperature Coefficient of Pmax” tells us how much power it loses for every °C that the solar panel is hotter than 25°C.
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp will lose 0.41% of its maximum power for every degree above 25.
Solar PV panels with less sensitive temperature coefficients will perform better over the long term.
With the value of -0.41%, Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has a good temperature coefficient of PMAX.
Calculation of the real maximum power at NOCT
The NOCT (44°C) is the temperature that the panel reached in the lab when subjected to 800W/m² of irradiance (moderate sun) at an ambient temperature of 20°C. So, it is a much more realistic measure of the temperature at which your modules are likely to operate.
So, it is a simple sum to work out the power loss at this temperature:
(44°C-25°C) * (-0.41%/°C) = 19 * -0.41% = -7.79%
So expect the real maximum power out of this panel to be 7.79% lower than the panel’s rated power. The Trina Solar 320 PD 14 is 320 Wp panel, so its real-world maximum power is approximately 92.21% * 320 Wp = 295.07 Wp.
This is a much better number to use for solar panel comparison than the STC rated maximum power because it takes into account the temperature performance of the solar PV panels.
The other Temperature Coefficients
The values of the temperature coefficient of VOC (-0.32%/°C) and ISC (0.05%/°C) put Trina Solar 320 PD 14 320 Wp into the “standard” range of solar PV panels for these coefficients.
5) California Energy Commission (CEC), PTC
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is CEC certified with an PTC equal to 292. This PV module is rack mounted (no BiPV module).
PTC stands for “Photovoltaics for Utility Scale Applications Test Conditions” or PVUSA Test Conditions.
Under PTC, everything is heated up as if it were in the sun. The solar photovoltaic cells within the panel are raised to their “normal operating cell temperature” which is typically around 112°F (44°C). The ambient temperature is set to 68°F (20°C), and a 2.2 mph (~1 meter/second) breeze blows across the panel.
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has a PTC rating of 292 Wp and an STC rating of 320 Wp.
The PTC ratings varied in the GoSolarCalifornia table from (PTC/STC=0.835) to (PTC/STC =0.922).The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is at the high end of the scale (PTC/STC=0.912).
6) Number of solar bypass diodes
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is a 72-cell solar panel with three solar bypass diodes; this means that every solar bypass diode is installed in parallel with 24 solar photovoltaic cells.
The solar bypass diodes are integrated into the PV junction box.
Trina solar uses Schottky diodes (SB3040DY) in this module which are known for their low forward voltage.
7) PV Junction box
A good PV junction box keeps corrosion at the terminals to a minimum, as it will exclude water coming in. The quality junction boxes have an IP 67 or IP68 rating.
IP67 and IP68 mean:
- IP refers to Ingress Protection,
- 6 stands for dust-proof and
- 7 for temporary immersion, 15 cm to 1m, and
- 8 for permanent Immersion, under pressure
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has a PV junction box with an IP67 rating. This means it will be completely protected from dust and will properly functional after temporary immersion in water (up to 1m deep).
The solar panel junction box of Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is certified according to IEC61250, IEC61730, and UL1703.
8) Solar panel frame
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has a frame thickness of 35 mm (less than the average 40 to 45 mm). Thinner anodized Aluminum frames are good for roof statics as well as being slightly lighter to handle for the installer.
The solar panel frame is made of anodized aluminum, to increase corrosion resistance and the stability of the assembly. Anodized aluminum is the most superior material from which solar panel frames can be constructed.
The solar panel frame of Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is certified according to IEC61250, IEC61730, and UL1703.
9) solar panel glass
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp solar panels are made of anti-reflective (AR) coated tempered glass. Tempered glass is much stronger and safer than standard glass. In case it breaks, it will shatter in thousands of small pieces that will not be harmful.
Both the strength and safety are necessary for solar PV panels.
The application of an anti-reflective coating on the glass surface increases the share of sun irradiance effectively used for power generation.
The glass thickness of Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is 3.2 mm. It is a common way for manufacturers to reduce costs by using slightly thinner glass than common. Average is around 3 to 3.5mm. Besides, a 4mm solar panel glass absorbs more light than a 3.2mm Glass.
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has the certificates of IEC (IEC61730, IEC61215) and UL1307. This means that the solar panel glass of this panel has withstood the quality and safety tests!
10) Solar backsheet
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has TPT backsheet. At present, TPT is the best solar backsheet material on the market.
11) Solar panel weight
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has 72 solar photovoltaic cells, which makes the module heavier (22.5 kg (49.6 lb)).
Solar panels with 72 cells are intended to be utilized for commercial applications, but they are suitable for residential applications if the roof statics allows it and also to increase the output in space limited roofs.
12) Solar Panel Dimensions
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has a standard size of the 72 cell solar PV panels (1956 × 992 × 40 mm (77.0 × 39.1 × 1.57 inches)).
13) Solar connector Type
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is compatible with the most reliable solar connectors available on the market (MC4 and Amphenol H4/UTX).
14) Mechanical Load Pressure
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is certified (UL1703/IEC 61215) to withstand the most challenging environmental conditions:
- According to UL1703, the maximum mechanical load pressure from the front side (snow) and the rear (wind) is 30 lbs.ft2 (1436.41 Pa)
- According to IEC 61215, the maximum mechanical load pressure from the front side (snow) is 5400Pa and from the rear (wind) is 2400Pa.
These values correspond to the international standards.
15) Fire Performance type
Fire Classification refers to a fire-resistance rating system for roof covering materials based on their ability to withstand fire exposure.
- Class A – effective against severe fire exposure
- Class B – effective against moderate fire exposure
- Class C – effective against light fire exposure.
Solar modules are given a type classification based on their materials and construction.
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp modules have Module Fire Performance type 1 and 2.
Type 1 and 2 solar PV panels have a tempered glass superstrate, polymeric encapsulant, polymeric substrate, and aluminum framing and meet minimum fire performance requirements.
The Type 1 and/or Type 2 PV modules must be installed with a UL listed PV mounting systems that have been rated as a Class A systems to maintain the System Class A Fire Rating.
The fire rating of Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp is valid only when mounted in the manner specified in the mechanical mounting instructions of the installation manual (for more information see the installation manual of Trina Solar TSM-PD14).
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp with exposed conductive parts is considered to comply with UL1703 only when it is electrically grounded in accordance with the instructions and the requirements of the National Electrical Code.
16) The test certificates
IEC 61215, IEC 61730 and UL 1703
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp module is certified according to UL1703, IEC 61215 and IEC61730 Part 1/2 and confirms, therefore, the strict compliance with international standards in terms of product safety, durability and quality.
(Copyright © http://www.solarackusa.com/docs/ul-certifications)
IEC 61701 Salt Mist Corrosion Resistance
According to the positive result of the IEC 61701, Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp panels can be utilized trouble-free near the sea, where there is high salt content in the air and in solar PV systems near to roads, which are loaded in winter periods by saline water spray.
IEC 62716: Ammonia corrosion
According to IEC 62716, Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp panels can be safely installed in wet atmospheres having a high concentration of dissolved ammonia such as farmhouses.
(Copyright © http://www.seraphim-energy.com/en/portal/module-certification)
Quality, health, and safety
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp adheres to the strict environmental and occupational health and safety standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)
The Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has the MCS certificate for the UK market. Microgeneration products (such as solar PV panels) must be certificated under the MCS to be eligible when applying for UK government incentives, such as the Feed-in Tariff scheme.
17) Warranty Period
Energy Production Guarantee
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has a maximum performance digression of 0.8% p.a. in the course of 25 years. This is the standard level of performance warranty.
Material defects and workmanship
Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp has a 10-year product warranty, which is the standard warranty in solar panels industry.
18) Maximum System Voltage
The maximum system Voltage is 1000 DC (IEC/UL).
19) Solar Panel Data (Trina Solar TSM-PD14 320 Wp)
General and Electrical Data
|General and Electrical Data |
|Reference PV plants, Company Experience||Yes, Tier 1 solar Manufacturer||Subsidiary in The USA:||Yes, 24 offices worldwide|
|Solar panel manufacturer:||Trina Solar||The country of production:||China|
|Nominal power/ power Tolerance |
manufacturer information [Wp]:
|320.00/ 0 ~ +5||Solar cell manufacturer:||Trina Solar|
|Calculated nominal power|
(UMPP * IMPP):
|320.18||Number of solar PV cells:||72|
|Nominal power with Tolerance:||max 336/ |
|Solar panel type:||Polycrystalline|
|Fill factor (MPP Power/ Max. Power) (%):||76.82||Solar panel Effeciency (%):||16.5|
|Maximum Power Voltage-VMPP (V):||37.1||Temperature Coefficient of VOC:||-0.32%/°C|
|Open Circuit Voltage-VOC (V):||45.8||Temperature Coefficient of ISC:||0.05%/°C|
|Maximum Power Current-IMPP (A):||8.63||Temperature Coefficient of PMAX:||-0.41%/°C|
|Short Circuit Current-ISC (A)||9.10||NOCT||44°C (±2°C)|
|Open Circuit Voltage at -10°C:||50.93||Number of solar bypass diodes:||3|
|Power Voltage VMPP at +70°C:||31.76||Max Series Fuse Rating [A]:||15|
|Maximum System Voltage (IEC, UL):||1.000 V DC||PV Junction box:||IP67 or IP68 rated|
|Solar Panel Dimensions:||1956 × 992 × 40 mm (77.0 × 39.1 × 1.57 inches)||Solar panel frame:||Silver Anodized Aluminium Alloy|
|Module Surface [m²]:||1.94||Operational Temperature:||-40°~+85°C|
|Power/m² [W/m²]:||165.04||Storage temperature:||-20° ~+50°C|
|Solar panel weight:||22.5 kg (49.6 lb)||Fire Type:||Type 1/ Type 2|
|Mechanical Load Pressure from the front side (snow) (Pa-N/m²):||5400||Mechanical Load Pressure from the rear(wind) (Pa-N/m²):||2400|
|Solar panel glass thickness:||3.2 mm (0.13 inches)||Solar Connector:||MC4 or Amphenol H4/UTX|
|Solar Backsheet||Tedlar film -PET- Tedlar film (TPT)|
Certificates and Warranties
|Certificates and Warranties|
|IEC 61215:||Yes||IEC 61730 Part 1/2:||Yes|
|OHSAS 18001:||Yes||ISO 9000, ISO 14001:||Yes|
|CEC certified||Yes (PTC=292.0)||BIPV module:||None|
|Linear Power Warranty||80% in 25 year||Product Warranty||10 year|
C) Solar PV System Simulation (using the solar design program PV SOL)
1) PV Simulation
The following parameters are used during the PV SOL simulation of Trina Solar TSM-320-PD14 Wp (5 kWp and 10 kWp solar PV System):
5 kWp solar PV System
|5 kWp Solar PV System with TSM-320-PD14 Wp|
|Number and type of solar panel||16 x TSM-320-PD14 Wp||Location||Los Angeles (CA)|
|PV Generator Surface||31.0 m²||Type of solar PV System||grid connected|
|PV Generator Output||5.12 kWp||Installation Type||Roof parallel|
|Solar Cables loss (average)||5%(431 W)||Inclination||30°|
|Calculation of Shading Losses||0.7 %/year||Orientation||South 180°|
|PV Generator Energy (AC grid)||8,195.8 kWh||Solar Power Inverter Type||1 x Sunny Boy 5000TLUS-22 (240V)|
|Spec. Annual Yield (kWh/kWp)||1,600.7||Configuration||MPP 1: 1 x 8
MPP 2: 1 x 8
|Global solar Radiation at the Module (kWh/m²)||1,975.1||Configuration Quality||95.33%|
|PR= Global solar Radiation at the Module/ Spec. Annual Yield||81%||Inverter Sizing Factor||102.4%|
|Energetic Flyback||1.5 years||Harvesting Factor||20 times|
10 kWp solar PV System
|10 kWp Solar PV System with TSM-320-PD14 Wp|
|Number and type of solar panel||32 x TSM-320-PD14 Wp||Location||Los Angeles (CA)|
|PV Generator Surface||62.1m²||Type of solar PV System||grid connected|
|PV Generator Output||10.24 kWp||Installation Type||Roof parallel|
|Solar Cables loss (average)||5%(512 W)||Inclination||30°|
|Calculation of Shading Losses||0.8 %/year||Orientation||South 180°|
|PV Generator Energy (AC grid)||16,361.5 kWh||Solar Power Inverter Type||2 x Sunny Boy 5000TLUS-22 (240V)|
|Spec. Annual Yield (kWh/kWp)||1,597.8||Configuration||Inverter 1
MPP 1: 1 x 8
MPP 2: 1 x 8
MPP 1: 1 x 8
MPP 2: 1 x 8
|Global solar Radiation at the Module (kWh/m²)||1,975.1||Configuration Quality||95.33%|
|PR= Global solar Radiation at the Module/ Spec. Annual Yield||80.9 %||Inverter Sizing Factor||Inverter 1
|Energetic Flyback||1.5 years||Harvesting Factor||20 times|
2) Performance Ratio (PR)
The above simulated solar PV systems have a Performance Ratio between 80.9% and 81%. These values are good.
3) Energy Payback Time, Harvesting Factor
The Energetic Payback indicates how long a PV system/component needs to generate the energy used for its manufacturing. The balance is positive when it is smaller than its life expectancy.
According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, ISE (Photovoltaics Report 2017) the Energy Payback Time of solar PV systems is dependent on the Geographical location. Multicrystalline solar panels installed in southern Europe (Los Angeles, CA has the same average radiation) have an energetic flyback of 1.5 years.
The harvesting factor indicates how often the solar PV system/component brings the energy required for its manufacturing during its life expectancy.
PV systems in Northern Europe need around 2.5 years to balance the input energy, while solar PV systems in the South equal their energy input after 1.5 years and less, depending on the technology installed:
- Multicrystalline Silicon PV Rooftop Systems: 1.5 to 2.5, California (USA): 1.5 (Los Angeles has a global solar radiation average similar to Southern Europe)
- Monocrystalline Silicon PV Rooftop Systems: 1.75 to 3.3, California (USA): 1.75
- Thin film PV Rooftop Systems: 0.65 to 1.35, California (USA): 0.65.
Assuming the 30 years lifespan, the above solar PV system (Los Angeles (CA)) can produce 20 times the energy needed to produce it.