LONGi calls for industry alignment on wafer size as Hi-MO4 sales top 2GW

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
The Hi-MO4 launch at Intersolar Europe 2019.

The solar industry must work together to agree on standardised larger wafer sizes, according to monocrystalline solar manufacturer LONGi Group.

The company has revealed that its H-MO4 module, which utilises M6 (166mm) wafers, has now sold 2GW. PV Tech understands European availability is expected in Q4 2019.

The firm is now backing that wafer size with a series of upgrades across its own facilities.

“By end 2020, LONGi will upgrade its existing cell and module lines and transform them for production with the 166mm wafer,” said Wang Yingge, executive assistant to the chairman of LONGi Solar. “New lines such as the 5GW monocrystalline cell line in Yinchuan will be designed for the 166mm size from the start,” said Yingge adding that large-scale production of Hi-MO4 will commence the third quarter of 2019.

Larger wafers create more efficient modules but also mean more weight and greater physical stresses. Production equipment must also be amended. According to LONGi, the divergence in larger wafer sizes began in 2018 and is leading to a number of mismatches along the supply chain.

“The 166mm wafer has reached the allowable limit of production equipment which is difficult to overcome. This would be the upper limit of the standard for a considerable period,” said Professor Shen Wenzhong, Director, Solar Energy Research Institute of Shanghai Jiaotong University.

“If manufacturers cannot reach an agreement on a size standard, it will restrict the development of the whole industry,” said Li Zhenguo, president of the LONGi Group. 

Shen Wenzhong added: “Existing crystal drawing and slicing equipment are compatible with 166mm size silicon wafer. Production equipment for cell and module needs to be modified, though the costs are lower and easier to achieve. Calculated by “flux”, cell and module production lines using 166mm wafers will increase capacity by 13% as compared with the 156mm size.”

At present, M6 wafer have a price premium of RMB0.4 (US$0.057) compared to the M2 wafer but as scale increases beyond 2019, Yingge said this premium is set to halve.

Read Next

October 26, 2021
LONGi has reached a new record conversion efficiency of 25.82% for its commercial-sized heterojunction (HJT) solar cells.
October 22, 2021
Essentia Energia has begun operations at its 475MW Sol do Sertao solar power plant in the Brazilian state of Bahia
October 18, 2021
Recent solar wafer and cell price increases from both LONGi Solar and Tongwei, which have seen prices rise by between 5.6 – 7.7%, have underscored heightened volatility in the solar supply chain.
October 13, 2021
Reliance New Energy Solar (RNES) has invested US$29 million in German wafer technology company NexWafe’s Series C financing round as it looks to establish wafer production facilities in India.
October 6, 2021
Hello and welcome to PV Tech’s coverage of the opening day of Intersolar Europe 2021. The return of a live exhibition for Europe’s solar industry was warmly welcomed, with thousands flocking to the Messe München for the exhibition’s opening day.
October 1, 2021
As the PV sector continues to focus on cell production technologies and the transition from p-type to n-type, Finlay Colville teases an upcoming opportunity to watch Professor Martin Green's keynote presentation from PV CellTech 2021 Online.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021