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Rising demand for solar solutions across various sectors in Pakistan

by Haroon Amin
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As more homes and companies realise that solar energy is a dependable and affordable source of electricity, Pakistan’s need for solar energy is rising.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF) reports that during January to September 2023, Pakistan imported solar products valued at USD$1.11 billion, or an estimated 4GW of modules. This is in keeping with framework rules that the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) released in September 2023 to incorporate solar onto public building roofs and expedite power purchase agreements for solar projects.

Trina Solar, a leader in smart PV technology and energy storage solutions globally, expects the Pakistani market to grow significantly in light of these advances. This positive view stems from significant developments in solar technology, fuel price fluctuations, and reforms in solar programmes. The market dynamics and the company’s strategic focus on lowering the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOEs) of solar projects reinforce its vision.

The Pakistani market’s inclination for high-power output modules is in line with the introduction of high-power modules, which are propelled by technological innovations such as the 210mm n-type i-TOPCon Advanced technology. Leading the way in these technological developments, Trina Solar anticipated the shift in the industry towards the 700W era.

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Trina Solar has implemented projects throughout Pakistan in a number of market categories, including residential, commercial and industrial (C&I), and utility scale, as proof of its significant influence in the country’s energy sector. For example, the 5MW solar project in Islamabad by FectoCement (FSEL) and the 4MW rooftop solar project in Larkana by Asif Rice Mills both feature Trina Solar’s industry-leading 210mm Vertex modules. Fish Farm Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Northern Bypass in Karachi and the rooftop of Packages Mall in Lahore are examples of C&I installations.

According to Trina Solar Asia Pacific’s Subregional Head Dave Wang, the company is dedicated to strengthening various entities in Pakistan and promoting environmental stewardship in addition to economic growth.

Reducing the cost of power makes a huge difference, especially given the recent spike in electricity prices over the last 18 months, driven by rising fuel prices and general inflation, as Wang notes to highlight the significant impact on households and companies. Furthermore, instead of depending entirely on the grid, homes and businesses in areas that experience protracted blackouts can now access an alternate supply of electricity.”

Wang uses the example of a residential home with 500 units of energy consumed each month, which comes to a monthly cost of about Rs. 20,000, to demonstrate the financial advantages. The potential yearly savings for the homeowner would be Rs. 341,000 if they were to invest in a 5kW system that could generate 6200 units at a cost of Rs. 900,000. In this case, the modules would basically pay for themselves in two to three years.

Due to higher population densities and more public understanding of solar module technology, major cities like Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore have seen the greatest adoption of solar technology. Numerous installers offering a variety of alternatives are another advantage of larger cities, which reflects the increased awareness and acceptance of the advantages of solar energy in highly populated urban areas.

Building on this momentum, Trina Solar is set to take the lead at the Solar Pakistan exhibition in Lahore, Pakistan, from February 27 to 29. There, it will present its energy storage systems and the most recent Vertex N range of 210mm modules, which are powered by n-type i-TOPCon Advanced cell technology, showcasing its capacity to offer comprehensive smart PV solutions.

The Vertex N 720W (Vertex N NEG21C.20), an n-type i-TOPCon bifacial dual glass module with a maximum module efficiency of 23.2% and compatibility with current mainstream system components, will be introduced by Trina Solar in Pakistan. Its super multi-busbar (SMBB) technique enhances current collection, reduces series resistance, and improves light trapping. Utility projects are the best use case for this module.

Trina Solar’s Vertex modules are equipped with state-of-the-art technology specifically designed to endure Pakistan’s varied climate, in addition to the newest technology available. Strict performance tests guarantee the modules’ resistance to the worst weather conditions. These tests include extreme dynamic mechanical load (DML) testing, extreme wind tunnel testing, extreme low-temperature mechanical load testing, non-uniform snow load testing, hail testing, and static mechanical load testing. This stringent testing procedure ensures the dependability and longevity of Trina Solar modules in a range of climate circumstances, in addition to being in line with Pakistan’s unique extreme weather problems. Certifications from internationally recognised third-party agencies, including TUV Rhineland in Europe and UL in North America, attest to their effectiveness and quality.

As part of its extensive range of renewable energy solutions, Trina Solar will also debut its newest TrinaStorage product, Elementa 2, in Pakistan for the first time. This 4.07MWh energy storage system is intended for utility-scale applications. It has a 306Ah lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell made exclusively by Trina, which is projected to last 12,000 cycles. Its highly integrated design shows intelligent control over its liquid cooling system and rack-level battery management in addition to reducing footprint. With the support of a sizable internal battery cell production capacity, TrinaStorage has become a leading global energy storage provider, offering containerised storage solutions to independent power producers (IPPs) and establishing itself as a crucial collaborator for developers and EPCs.

The arrival of Trina Solar in Pakistan marks a significant advancement in the field of renewable energy solutions. With state-of-the-art technologies on display at Solar Pakistan, such as high-power modules and the ground-breaking TrinaStorage Elementa 2, Trina Solar underlines its goal to develop into a comprehensive provider of renewable energy solutions.

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