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Start by
Pedro M. Fernández
02-26-2014 09:52 PM

Consideration when selecting 10MW thin-film manufacturer supplier

Hi all colleagues. I just started the process to select a 10MW thin-film module supplier for our European PV Parks. I have experience with mono and polycrystalline modules but I'm new to thin-film.

According to your experience, in which particular areas would you primarily focus to benchmark offers?

Here are the ones I considered:

* Manufacturer location: Europe. Non-European manufacturers are welcome when they provide smooth guarantee response (I want to avoid legal disputes at all in case of problems with modules)
* Module type: So far I don't have a determined preference: aSi (rigid), monocrystalline silicon (in tandem with amorphous), CdTe, CIS, CIGS
* Ratio (Power output / module area) : the bigger the better
* Material guarantee: minimum expected 2 years
* Yield guarantee: minimum expected 90% at 10 years and 80% at 25 years
* Price: below 2 eur/Wp (current exchange 2.52$/Wp)
* Payment terms: i.e. 15% down payment, 60% material release, 25% credited
* Incoterm: DDP
* Delevery rate: 2MW per month starting at June 2009, up to 10MW
02-27-2014 12:03 AM
Top #2
Bert Hartmann
02-27-2014 12:03 AM
Are you asking any questions centered on the mounting racks and inverter? How about the cost of the installation per watt so that you have a total price per watt? I know that there are newer panels coming from manufacturers like Solyndra who have a very low installations cost due to how they are constructed. BTW, have you looked at Solyndra as a supplier? I know their process is well established now and it is an incredible product.

I have been working on the manufacturing side of PV so I might not understand the business as well as you from the outside. But with the “Material guarantee: minimum expected 2 years”, are you locked in as well? What I mean is the cost per watt continues to move lower and lower and it seems as if in another year you might be able to find another manufacturer that can deliver at an even cheaper rate. Again, I have been in the manufacturing side so you might have a better perspective.
02-27-2014 02:37 AM
Top #3
LCDR Charles (Joe) Byers, USN (Ret)
02-27-2014 02:37 AM
Good point. ROI on price per watt is the correct comparison.
02-27-2014 05:05 AM
Top #4
Anatoli Naoumov
02-27-2014 05:05 AM
Can't say much about the financial conditions, but as for price and performance I suggest you take a look at First Solar; CdTe panels are available in Canada at USD2.40. Their panels may not be the biggest, but by the end of the day you have to deal with size only once. I found it more productive to evaluate installation costs on per sqm basis, rather than on per watt basis - this way it is easier to account for difference in efficiency and in size of panels. Just a suggestion. Other than that, I'd certainly agree with Joe - ROI is the king.
02-27-2014 07:09 AM
Top #5
Pedro M. Fernández
02-27-2014 07:09 AM
Thanks for your comments.

x Bert. Your point is totally clear; and I expressed myself incorrectly. I wrote "material guarantee" when I meant "Product Warranty".
Concerning to Solyndra products, they look really innovative and interesting. I see that they are based on CIGS.
As far as I know, Public Administrations (at least in Europe) consider that there are environmental risks inherent to CIGS modules. Therefore, they request further bank guarantees to make sure that PV Plants will be dismantled properly.
Does anyone know better about this point?

x Joe & Anatoli. Just for clarification. When you state ROI, do you mean the financial ratio (margin/cost), or you mean others such IRR, NPV, etc.
02-27-2014 09:42 AM
Top #6
LCDR Charles (Joe) Byers, USN (Ret)
02-27-2014 09:42 AM
I'm refering to Return On Investment. I'm not aware of CIGS module issue.
02-27-2014 12:39 PM
Top #7
Anatoli Naoumov
02-27-2014 12:39 PM
I meant Return on Investment as a concept: never mind the details of the technical solution, what counts business-wise is how much money the system generates in relation to how much it costs. It can be NPV, IRR on equity or assets, or even cash on cash (pre-tax cash on cash equity investment). Actual financial ratio depends on financing conditions, company financial practices and the question you want to have answered.
02-27-2014 02:46 PM
Top #8
Becovillage Crowdfunding
02-27-2014 02:46 PM
As far as I know the size of the modules is important as the bigger the modules are the mùore mountings structure and space you need and tht costs money to.
I see regularly developers asking for 175/180W modules because it costs more with 220W modules in screws and mounting racks.
For the whole system I can deliver it at very good rate and we have very nice prices for these amounts like a 10MW order.
We can deliver 10 MW Sharp thin film 110/115/121W at system cost modul, inverter and mounting at 3$ CIF Europe or USA.
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