Suntech’s focus on quality and durability

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Prices for solar PV cells continued to decline throughout the first quarter of 2024, and manufacturers are seeking ways to compete on price and reduce costs so that they do not operate at a loss. For manufacturers, however, cost reduction should never mean sacrificing quality. Low-quality solar products represent a long-term risk to the credibility of the industry as a whole in the minds of consumers – be they homeowners looking at small-scale solar modules or utilities and corporations in search of large-scale installations.

Customers should prioritize product quality and durability over price alone, and need to consider the lifecycle value of solar products over short-term price advantages. Even if the initial cost is slightly higher, investments that guarantee long-term performance stability and returns are more attractive. Additionally, buyers should not rely on visual inspection of products alone: specialized equipment is usually required to evaluate the quality of solar components.

Manufacturers with a good reputation and long history will have established credibility in the industry, and their products are more likely to be reliable in terms of quality and performance. Buyers can evaluate the manufacturers by reviewing their commitments and investment plans to assess whether they are dedicated to improving product quality and technological innovation. Customers should pay close attention to the degradation rates of products, especially after several years of use, to determine whether there will be significant declines in performance. Products with low degradation rates will provide a better long-term value for the customer’s investments.

A recent study by the Polish Academy of Sciences found that two rooftop photovoltaic systems installed in a small town in southwestern Germany saw their power generation decrease by 1.9% and 2.9% respectively during 16 years in operation. This low power degradation is far better than standard warranties that allow for more than 20% attenuation over 25 years.

The modules were manufactured by Suntech, which was founded in 2001 and is one of the industry’s longest-standing manufacturers. According to the company, its cumulative historical shipments have exceeded 50 GW, and its modules have gathered considerable experience over long periods installed and operating in projects worldwide.

As the company promotes its newest product series – Ultra V Pro and Ultra X Pro – it also recently welcomed a new management team. The company has announced a forthcoming investment of €640 million that it says will reinvigorate the company as it advances to overcome new challenges in the industry.

Despite the solar industry’s current price wars, Suntech remains committed to maintaining its high level of quality assurance. The company advocates that the viability of the industry relies on manufacturers avoiding a potential “race to the bottom” that sacrifices the long-term viability of the industry through a focus on cheap products.

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