JA Solar unveils new lightweight modules at SNEC

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What new products did JA Solar unveil at SNEC this time?

Dr. Zi Ouyang: At SNEC 2024, JA Solar introduced its long-awaited lightweight n-type single-glass module, featuring a low-moisture permeability backsheet and low-acid ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) film, significantly reducing module weight. The new module incorporates our patented dust prevention design, enhancing water flow across the module surface to prevent dust accumulation from stagnant water. This design not only boosts energy generation but also lowers module failure rates, improving operational stability. These dust-resistant modules are particularly suitable for residential rooftop applications and will soon be available through JA Solar's global marketing channels.

Currently, tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) technology dominates the market, but heterojunction (HJT) and back contact (BC) also have strong supporters. How does JA Solar view the development of cell technology routes?

Dr. Zi Ouyang: As a leading player in the PV industry, JA Solar maintains robust technical reserves across key cell technologies. We don't pick favorites; rather, we invest heavily in developing all major and promising routes. Whether it's historical technologies like back-surface field (BSF) and passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC), the current mainstream TOPCon, or future potentials like HJT, BC, and next-generation perovskite, JA Solar is at the forefront of R&D in most areas.

What factors influence JA Solar's choice for a technology route for mass production?

Dr. Zi Ouyang: We operate on a “dual-drive” principle, integrating inputs from both internal and external sources. While frontline sales departments provide crucial market demand insights, which are important but sometimes short-sighted, JA Solar's internal R&D department offers comprehensive evaluations based on technical understanding, theoretical efficiency limits of new products, cost reduction paths, and anticipated challenges in product reliability. Ultimately, our product deployment decisions are driven by this dual approach.

Dr. Zi Ouyang, Vice President and CTO of JA Solar

Image: JA Solar

What will be JA Solar's mainstream technology route post-TOPCon?

Dr. Zi Ouyang: Our development path is relatively clear. By the end of 2023, we had a total of 85 GW in cell capacity, with 57 GW dedicated to TOPCon cells. We also have a 1.2 GW HJT pilot line in operation. While our TOPCon production efficiency stands at 26.4%-26.5%, with potential to go higher, we strive for an optimal balance between efficiency and cost, currently targeting 26.5% by year-end and possibly reaching 26.8%. Looking ahead, we see 27% efficiency as achievable, but further improvements will be challenging.

Could you outline JA Solar's achievements in ESG?

Dr. Zi Ouyang: JA Solar has long advocated the “Green to Green, Green to Grow, Green to Great” concepts, guiding our operations toward green and low-carbon practices. We implement comprehensive green manufacturing systems, including designs for easy product recycling, zero-carbon manufacturing facilities, and minimizing carbon emissions during production and transport. Furthermore, JA Solar will collaborate with supply chain partners to build a zero-carbon ecosystem, and we actively participate in various global charitable and social responsibility activities.

What are JA Solar's plans for global expansion?

Dr. Zi Ouyang: Our vision is to become a leading PV enterprise with global sales, production, and R&D capabilities. Currently, JA Solar's products are available in over 165 countries and regions worldwide. We have 6GW capacity in Vietnam and anticipate 2GW capacity in the US to commence production in Q3 2024. Additionally, we are evaluating possibilities for establishing factories in other regions.

What is JA Solar's forecast for PV installations in 2024?

Dr. Zi Ouyang: Based on third-party figures, we estimate global PV installations could range between 510 GW to 520 GW this year, with corresponding module demand between 600 GW to 650 GW. Domestically, we expect a 15%-20% growth in installations compared to 2023. JA Solar aims to achieve global shipments between 85 GW to 95 GW.

 

The questions and responses in this sponsored interview article were provided by JA Solar. 

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