As part of TaiyangNews and SNEC-Solar Leadership Conversations at the world’s largest solar show SNEC 2023 in China’s Shanghai, Managing Director of TaiyangNews, Michael Schmela sat down for an exclusive interview with the Vice President of LONGi’s Distributed Generation (DG) Business Group, Charles Jiang.
Referring to the ‘fierce and homogenous competition’ in the solar market, Jiang said LONGi always focuses on technology innovation to get a competitive advantage, instead of just getting into pricing competition.
The world’s leading solar PV manufacturer, LONGi spends more than 5% of its total annual revenue on R&D, the highest in the industry, according to Jiang.
After exploring many technologies, the company zeroed in on HPBC (high-performance back contact) technology as one of the technologies having both high cell conversion efficiency and reliability that the manufacturer was looking for, for a differentiated solar module technology.
Safety is another feature that’s high on its list since current crop of its HPBC modules cater to DG segments as residential and commercial & industrial (C&I) installations. At the same time, aesthetics also are important for some markets as Europe.
Jiang said since HPBC is busbar free technology on the front side, it tremendously increases module efficiency. “HPBC, at least in the current moment, is perfect product for distributor market,” he added.
The company says it has received very good feedback, especially in the European market from end consumers for the HPBC products. While Europeans prefer a sleek and aesthetic product, the US might value high efficiency product, so LONGi likes to work with its customers and users to provide a value generating product, he explained.
Going by the current market needs, LONGi has 25 GW annual capacity for HPBC which Jiang said is good for this current demand.
Overall, Jiang believes DG market is set to grow further as utility scale solar will end up dealing with land availability issues in the future. However, considering limited rooftop space, this segment needs modules with high efficiency and safety features.
LONGi may look at launching more local product development and solutions centers like the one it operates in China, in different countries in Europe and may be the US among other markets. These will be used to explore needs of the local market and bring out customized products for various applications ranging from rooftop to floating or BIPV needs.
Watch the complete interview with Charles Jiang on TaiyangNews YouTube channel.