PV components: trends and predictions.


Overview of the market of the components of photovoltaic systems

A photovoltaic system is defined as the set of mechanical, electrical, and electronic components that contribute to capturing the solar energy available and transforming it into electrical energy usable by the end user.

The system consists of three main components: cell, module, and inverter.
  • The photovoltaic cell is a device that, thanks to a semiconductor, converts, by photoelectric effect, sunlight incident on the cell into direct current electricity.
  • The photovoltaic module is the set of photovoltaic cells, electrically connected and mechanically assembled, in series or in parallel.
  • The inverter converts the electrical energy of the photovoltaic generator into alternating current, to be used or fed into the public distribution network.

Market trends:
IThe photovoltaic market undergoes changes every year due to the trend in the prices of its components. The world's largest manufacturer of PV modules and components is China. This has been a big problem for Europe. In fact, as a matter of practice, China gives priority to the domestic market, hindering other countries. Consider that 206.5 GW of wafers, 183 GW of cells and 167 GW of modules were produced in China in 2022, but given the great growth in domestic demand, this production almost exclusively met Chinese orders.

Hence the lack of available products and therefore the growth in their prices. Europe has also been further affected by the phenomenon of the shortage of raw materials and essential elements necessary for the construction of the components. The shortage inevitably led to price spikes.
This was mainly determined by the lack of polysilicon (necessary for cells and modules). It must be said that market demands are increasing and, therefore, the main players are driven to seek solutions to increase production by looking for ways to increase polysilicon capacity, which should lead to a reduction in prices.

The real problem, however, remains the inverters.
In fact the predictions for inverters are not positive
This depends on the fact that the main components needed to produce inverters are absorbed by the Automotive industry. The insufficiency of product in relation to inverters could result in a slowdown in new installations, especially utility-scale ones.



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