Chinese PV firm LONGi Solar, which is the subsidiary of LONGi Group, has become arguably the industry’s greatest advocate of monocrystalline solar. The company has puts its money where its mouth is with huge investment to increase its manufacturing capabilities. In the second part of an interview with Zhenguo Li, LONGi Group’s president, Mark Osborne discusses capacity expansions and R&D spending.
Specialist PV manufacturing equipment supplier Singulus Technologies has secured new tool orders from China and the US for its ‘SILEX II’ wet cleaning batch system, primarily used for high-efficiency heterojunction (HJ) solar cells.
PV Tech reached its own little milestone of having reported and analysed the R&D spending habits of the same 12 key PV module manufacturers for 10 years. The results have just been published in sister technical journal Photovoltaics International as part of the annual leaders and laggards of R&D spending for 2016.
In the past the value proposition of solar modules has been primarily about the lowest price ($/Watt) via the lowest manufacturing costs of conventional multi-Si modules. In the last few years, PV system cost has decreased significantly. In the meantime, PV module costs had dropped at a faster pace than Balance of System (BOS) costs, resulting in PV modules accounting for a smaller and smaller percentage of overall PV system costs.
US-headquartered Hybrid Cell Technology (HCT) module producer Sunpreme has signed a Master Supply Agreement (MSA) with True Green Capital Management for Commercial & Industrial (C&I) PV Projects in the US, totalling 150MW, over a three year term.
Updated: With the solar industry transitioning to high-performance products backed with innovation, Solar Power International 2017 in Las Vegas is showcasing an ever increasing portfolio of solar modules exceeding 300 watts in the standard 60-cell format. However, 72-cell modules exceeding 360 watts are also entering the mainstream and 400 watts is just around the corner.
Driving the high-performance wave is PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell), bifacial and the migration to 5 busbars and beyond, whether with multicrystalline or monocrystalline wafers. The growing use of half-cut and multi-cut cells that reduce cell to module losses, boosting overall performance are also becoming mainstream as well as heterojunction (HJ) modules.
Major metallization paste producer Heraeus Photovoltaics said it had signed a major strategic partnership agreement with ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) leader JinkoSolar that will focus on what the company said would be the development of a new generation of “Super PV Cells” with higher efficiencies and lower costs.
‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member LONGi Green Energy Technology and the leading fully-integrated high-efficiency monocrystalline module manufacturer, reported first half 2017 revenue slightly down from the prior year period as a result of average selling price (ASP) declines, partially offset by product shipment growth.
Leading polysilicon and solar wafer producer GCL-Poly Energy Holdings reported lower revenue and profits than expected in the first half of 2017, primarily due to wafer price erosion, only partially offset by higher wafer production volumes and stable polysilicon prices.
China-based integrated monocrystalline PV manufacturer Solargiga Energy Holdings' sales have rebounded in the first half of 2017, fuelled by demand in China for high-efficiency wafers including N-type wafers for ‘Top Runner’ PV power plant projects.
Having turned and continue to remain cautious about its business outlook for the second-half of 2017, JA Solar reported second quarter results that simply defied previous guidance, driven by greater than expected demand in China and a start of a rush to stockpile in the US.
A key factor in the strong growth of the PV industry in 2017 is the Silicon Module Super League (or SMSL), comprised of the seven companies that will each ship in excess of 4GW of modules this year, well above all other module suppliers to the industry.