Trump exempts bi-facial solar modules from import tariffs

In an announcement that was celebrated by the solar industry, yesterday U.S. trade officials said that bi-facial solar modules, which are solar modules that produce energy on both sides of the panel, would be exempt from import tariffs.

The announcement was made in response to a request for exclusion that was made between February 14, 2018 and March 16, 2018.

It takes effect immediately.

Bifacial modules are a somewhat newer technology and do not have significant marketshare. With solar cells on both sides of the modules, they are theoretically capable of producing more energy. Hongbin Fang of LONGi Solar, a maker of bifacial modules, says in an article on Renewable Energy World that the technology boosts output yield by 27 percent.  

Trina Solar launches N-type i-TOPCon double-glass bifacial modules

In related news, today Trina Solar announced that it has begun mass production of N-type i-TOPCon double-glass bifacial modules, which the company said means it can deliver a 425-W panel with efficiency of 20.7 percent. Trina launched bifacial dual-glass modules back in April 2017 but this technology is “a completely new product generation in terms of cell technology,” said a spokesperson for the company.

The new i-TOPCon double glass PV modules integrate these N-type bifacial i-TOPCon cells with over 80% bifaciality, multi-busbar (MBB) design, full square monocrystalline cells, dual-side and half-cut technologies, said the company.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at

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