In an exclusive interview with TaiyangNews Managing Director Michael Schmela during the SNEC Conference & Exhibition 2023 as part of TaiyangNews & SNEC Solar Leadership Conversations, Senior Vice President for R&D at JA Solar, Xinwei Niu discussed the company’s research and development activities.
Calling R&D crucial for the global PV industry, Niu said JA operates a R&D center for solar ingots and wafers in Hebei province, and for cells and modules in Yangzhou in Jiangsu province. It is also conducting R&D on storage, hydrogen and other applications. These activities help the company manufacture new products while continuing with innovation.
JA spent around 6% of its total revenue in 2022 on R&D activities, according to Niu.
At SNEC, JA launched new products based on PERC (Niu called it the company’s bread and butter), TOPCon, heterojunction (HJT). It also presented a module with back contact using p-type wafers, which Niu says is based on PBC technology and is currently at the R&D stage.
HJT modules on the other hand, will be available for shipment in Q4/2023 though in a limited volume. As of now, this technology generates higher W per module compared to TOPCon and Niu is hopeful that cost for HJT is likely to come down as more players enter the fray.
Talking about the company’s R&D roadmap, Niu shared, while TOPCon and HJT solar cell technologies will be on its radar going forward, JA will continue to invest in PERC. The focus will be to improve PERC cell technology with larger wafers, rectangular size, new encapsulation technologies. etc., since it continues to be in demand.
Perovskite solar tandem is also being researched within JA, though Niu did not share too many details about the Chinese company’s R&D investment in this field.
Watch the complete interview with JA Solar Senior VP Xinwei Niu and other SNEC exclusive executive interviews on TaiyangNews YouTube Channel.