Talking about solar cell technology, what is your opinion of TOPCon and heterojunction (HJT)?
Will Talesun solely focus on one or is it open to both?
We believe that PERC still offers the best LCOE solution for solar PV farms, and it will dominate in the next two to three years. However, for future technologies, we have deployed multiple arrangements when installing our PERC lines to make them compatible with TOPCon. HJT seems to be a little far from practice and there are few manufacturers that can provide GW scale capacity. People are very cautious with it. Saying that in late 2021 or early 2022, Talesun will also produce and supply customers with HJT modules. Based on our advanced encapsulation technology and PV module manufacturing, we will outsource HJT cells and provide HJT modules. We think HJT is a very promising technology, but it still needs time.
How much TOPCon capacity can Talesun produce?
All our current PERC lines are compatible with TOPCon requirements, and we estimate 20% of the lines and output will be TOPCon products by the end of 2022.
Large format PV wafers (182mm vs. 210mm) is another hot topic for the industry. What are your thoughts?
Personally, I am for large-size wafers because they increase conversion rates. I am against large power modules like 700 W or even 800 W products, however, because they represent no technical improvement. Talesun now focuses on 182mm based products, because we saw a mature industrial chain of 182mm that brings significant benefits to our customers. Compared to 182mm, I see very little improvement with 210mm sized modules. But there are a lot of uncertainties for both the manufacturers and end-users. We found most of our customers care more about the stability of products – something that has already been proved. The shift in size from 166mm to 210mm is too big and I think 182mm is a much better size.
Dong Shuguang, President, Talesun Solar
What is the focus of Talesun’s R&D?
Generally, Talesun has two R&D groups. One focuses on cell technology – now mainly on TOPCon. We have many micro-innovations in this area to keep our leading position in major product specifications like passivation, metallization, and others to reach better efficiencies and for cost control in future production. The other one is focused on PV modules. Our R&D group looks at the application of new materials for modules and some encapsulation technologies like high-density, tiny gaps between cells, etc.
What does Talesun think about BIPV? Do you have any preparation for the coming “Blue Sea”?
Talesun has invested lots of R&D efforts into BIPV and we are extremely bullish about this market. As you said, BIPV is a real “Blue Sea” market; however, there are still many obstacles, like the standardization of products, security issues with systems, and value compensation for building materials that incorporate PV, etc. These issues and problems cannot be solved by solar PV companies solely, and government needs to get involved and provide policy support.
Talesun has been listed as a top 10 PV module manufacturer for years. What has helped this achievement and where do you want to be in the next 10 years?
I think several principles have held up the company’s reputation. First, our pursuit of quality has given Talesun’s customers confidence regarding the stability of our products and systems. Second, we persisted in our commitments to customers and were unwilling to break any contracts, even if it meant a loss. In the past months, we have seen some Chinese PV module makers, even very large ones, start to re-negotiate with customers about signed contracts, due to the rising costs. We have not done that.
In terms of the kind of Talesun I would like to see in 10 years, I hope the company will grow to become a professional renewable energy enterprise focused on solar PV. With strong innovation capability, the company will have extended its R&D to focus on comprehensive aspects of renewable energy, even into the basic theory of solar. Furthermore, it is my hope that Talesun will gain many customers with deep cooperation for the design and manufacturing of solar PV products. But first, like Ren Zhengfei of Huawei said, the company needs to keep survival as the first target in today’s fast-changing world.