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Solar Cell

Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-01-22      Origin: Site

1. Overview of the current status of photovoltaic cell technology: Improving efficiency and reducing costs is an eternal topic in the development of the photovoltaic industry. Among many links in the industrial chain, batteries are the core of technological progress and determine the efficiency limit of photovoltaic products. As P-type PERC cells gradually reach the mass production performance limit (conversion efficiency is about 23.5%, non-silicon wafer cost is about 0.15 yuan/W), N-type cell technology represented by TOPCon, HJT, XBC, etc. is accelerating iteration. The better parameter performance of N-type batteries has continued to increase the price premium between them and PERC batteries. The proportion of N-type module bidding at power stations has also increased from less than 5% last year to the current 40%-60%. As the process matures and costs are optimized, various technical routes have gradually achieved cost-effective mass production, driving a wave of industry expansion.

2. TOPCon cell route: The core of TOPCon (tunneling oxide passivation contact) technology to improve efficiency lies in the passivation contact structure of tunneling silicon oxide layer + doped polysilicon layer, with a theoretical limit efficiency of 28.7%. Thanks to high power and controllable cost increments, TOPCon is the first among many technology routes to enter the stage of large-scale development. At present, TOPCon has a premium of about 8 cents/W compared to PERC batteries, and the cost increases by about 4 cents/W. cell manufacturers can obtain excess profits of about 4 cents/W. By the end of 2023, the nominal production capacity of the entire industry may reach about 500GW, and it is expected to further increase to more than 900GW by 2024. From a shipping perspective, the market penetration rate of TOPCon products may be close to 30% in 2023, and it is expected to surpass PERC in 2024 and become the new main line of photovoltaic cell technology.

3. HJT cell route: HJT (intrinsic thin film heterojunction) cell is named after the heterogeneous PN junction structure of crystalline silicon + amorphous silicon layer. The mass production pace is later than TOPCon. The main sticking point is that the metallization link is relatively long. High slurry cost. At present, the application of multi-busbar structure has driven down the consumption of silver paste. The cost increase of HJT batteries compared with PERC batteries can be controlled within about 1 cent/W. The overall premium of HJT module products on the market can reach more than 2 cents/W, which means As a result, leading companies can achieve better profitability levels. With the gradual introduction of 0BB+ silver-coated copper technology into mass production in the second half of this year, the cost of HJT is expected to be further reduced to the same level as PERC, and it is expected that HJT batteries will enter the stage of large-scale development. By the end of 2023, the nominal production capacity of the entire industry is expected to reach 47GW.

4. XBC cell route: BC (interdigitated back contact) cell uses a metallized structure without grid lines on the front to reduce surface optical loss, which not only improves the aesthetics of the product, but also achieves higher conversion efficiency; as a platform Type technology, BC technology can also be superimposed with passivation structures of various routes such as PERC, TOPCon, HJT, etc., to further improve the efficiency space. Due to the high technical complexity, currently only LONGi Green Energy and Aixu have achieved mass production, but their production capacity is still in the debugging and ramping period, material and process selection have not yet been fully stabilized, and there are still challenges in terms of product yield and cost performance; The company’s shipments are mainly to the European distributed market with higher prices. If the cost is optimized, it is expected to promote the product to open up the application space of ground power stations. By the end of 2023, the nominal production capacity of the entire industry is expected to reach 60GW, of which LONGi Green Energy’s HPBC batteries and Aixu’s ABC batteries each account for half.

5. Photovoltaic cell technology trend outlook: Currently, N-type batteries are still in a period of rising penetration. As the performance indicators of each route continue to be optimized, the price difference between N and P cell products is expected to further expand; among them, the new production capacity of TOPCon batteries in 2023 has basically been completed Equipped with the SE structure, double-sided polysilicon is expected to be introduced into mass production in the middle and late 2024, driving product efficiency to more than 26%; HJT batteries will also gradually explore alternative routes to copper electroplating processes after achieving 0BB + silver-coated copper cost reduction. Achieve silver removal while reducing resistance losses; the BC cell route, under the leadership of leading companies, is expected to accelerate expansion and drive the maturation of key processes such as patterning. In the medium to long term, perovskite-crystalline silicon lamination technology is expected to drive the photovoltaic industry into a new stage of efficiency improvement and cost reduction, helping photovoltaic cells explore the ultimate efficiency space of more than 40%; currently, most module integration manufacturers have conducted relevant research and With the layout of the pilot line, the industrialization process is expected to be accelerated.

6. Strategic recommendations: The iteration of photovoltaic cell technology is becoming one of the important main lines of innovation and development in the photovoltaic industry chain, driving upstream and downstream (including the main component industry chain links, auxiliary material links, equipment manufacturers, etc.) to invest in and upgrade new production capacity. Leading companies have first-mover advantages in terms of technology and process, and can be the first to enjoy excess profits and quickly occupy the market, which may further increase market concentration. In this context, it is recommended to pay attention to cell manufacturers and component integration companies that have a leading proportion of N-type shipments, as well as core suppliers with technical and cost advantages in photovoltaic equipment, silver paste and other aspects, and actively develop project loans, working capital loans, Business opportunities such as new supply chains and cross-border financing.

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