As demand for n-type TOPCon solar panels continues to grow, JinkoSolar reports that it has seen the technology grow by 87% per year. Dany Qian, vice president of the Chinese solar power manufacturer, discusses the industry’s problems and how JinkoSolar is working to solve them.
Could you give a brief overview of JinkoSolar’s highlights for 2022?
Can you elaborate on the order trends for n-type products this year so far and how they compare to current production volumes?
Danny Qian: As for the n-type Tiger Neo module, it is expected to reach 60 percent share this year. This is a huge milestone for the PV industry as almost all Tier 1 players are currently moving to n-type TOPCon modules. We have seen strong demand so far, and currently orders are almost double the production rate.
Will JinkoSolar raise the prices of its Tiger Neo products at all in response to high demand?
Danny Qian: It is not currently in our plans, but we definitely give priority to customers who confirm their order earlier. We are increasing the production of our n-type products and expect manufacturing to grow much faster this year.
Do you think the price difference between n-type and p-type module really matters when customers make a model choice?
Danny Qian: Instead of focusing on cost per watt, what really makes a difference for a large number of customers today is energy density, rated power and output power (kWh per kW). We are also making very good progress in cost control with production growth.
What is the ratio of n-type TOPCon capacity to sales in your 2023 plan?
Danny Qian: We believe that we want to continue to manufacture and sell as many Tiger Neo modules as possible. We believe we can continue strong volume growth while maintaining industry-leading n-type products across all categories. And indeed, R&D and manufacturing technologies are our main long-term strength.
Will JinkoSolar be able to take advantage of the advanced production capacity of the n-type TOPCon module?
Danny Qian: I think we have a pretty good chance of taking advantage of the proliferation of n-type TOPCon technology in the coming years.
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What improvements can we expect to see in JinkoSolar’s Tiger Neo products?
Danny Qian: We are looking at an average efficiency of more than 23 percent for mass-produced modules in the near future, as well as up to 615 watts of peak power (Wp) for 72 cells. JinkoSolar also expects to lower the temperature coefficient further, among other technological advances.
When comparing PERC and n-type TOPCon technologies in commissioned projects, a growing number of recently published results show an average yield increase in real-world, outdoor conditions of more than 5%, which is higher than the theoretical value simulated in the test lab. . Is this one of the reasons why demand is increasing?
Danny Qian: Every time we sell a Tiger Neo panel, it is able to deliver superior reliability and performance in all scenarios – simply because of its higher efficiency, increased capacity (watts) per square meter and additional power produced (kWh). ) per watt. And we expect the value and yield growth of n-type products compared to p-type products to increase over time.
As more competitors are able to offer n-type TOPCon panels and the competition in this area increases, does JinkoSolar have any plans to cut costs?
Danny Qian: Our goal in 2023 as a factory team is to deliver a cost-effective ramp-up for n-type products clearly ahead of our competitors. The focus areas are improving the efficiency and nominal power of the panels, strict control of the quality of the delivery of volume materials, and driving the yield of the factory process as much as possible.
Are you expecting a headwind in 2023?
Danny Qian: On the raw material and inflation side – where polysilicon price is a big factor and could be a significant source of cost increases for us – we’ll have to see where polysilicon prices continue to rise in the second quarter. We are not only exposed to polysilicon price fluctuations, but also to the cost of ultrapure quartz crucibles. It is certain that we will continue to find ways to compensate for the increase in these raw material costs.
As the world moves from p-type to n-type, will that affect your margin level?
Danny Qian: We have priced our product with the long-term cost structure in mind. And we expect our margins to remain healthy for the rest of the year.