In the treacherous market changes, if anyone can insight into the core nature of things, they will have a better chance to lead the development of the industry. In the photovoltaic industry, Longi may be one of the few companies with such “superpowers”.
In 2006, Longi, which switched from semiconductors to photovoltaics, firmly chose the monocrystalline route that was not optimistic at the time; in 2013, under the invasion of Europe and the United States, Longi chose immature technology, insufficient scale, and high cost. In 2014, LONGi, which entered the battery module segment, used mono-crystalline PERC technology as the main breakthrough; in 2017, LONGi firmly promoted double-sided modules… History has proved that on every key track, LONGi has bet on the right. The reason for its success lies in its focus on technological innovation and a deep understanding of product value.
Value comes first: “Firmly” R&D is not relaxed
Undoubtedly, Longi has always been a persistent explorer and practitioner of customer value. Over the years, LONGi has always focused on customer value and continuously reduced the cost of photovoltaic units through technology research and development and innovation iterations. Looking back on the past, each “self-revolution” of Longi has caused a technological change in the industry, and the roadmap of Longi’s product has become the vane of the development of the industry.
Before 2013, Longi’s photovoltaic sector remained in the silicon wafer segment. In November 2014, LONGi officially entered the field of batteries and components. So far, LONGi’s vertically integrated industrial layout has begun to take shape.
At that time, P-type mono-crystalline PERC battery technology has always been used as a high-end technology by overseas battery manufacturers. Due to the characteristics of high light decay, the domestic market is not optimistic about this technology. LONGi has conducted in-depth research on the mechanism of light attenuation through cooperation with partners such as the University of New South Wales in Australia, and solved the problem of high initial light attenuation of single crystal PERC in one fell swoop, and opened LIR technology to the industry.
In the same year, LONGi’s first product named “High+MONO”, Hi-MO1, was unveiled. This high-end module based on single crystal PERC technology and low attenuation technology allowed the photovoltaic module (60 type) to break through 300W, and the photovoltaic industry The era has entered the 3.0 era. In 2017, LONGi launched an epoch-making product, Hi-MO 2, based on double-sided PERC batteries. At the beginning of its launch, it was applied to the Kubuqi project of Elion Resources and the Golmud large-scale power plant of the State Power Investment Corporation Yellow River Hydropower. The power generation effect of the sensational industry has prompted the application of bifacial modules in the third phase of the national leader project to account for more than 40%.
In 2018 and 2019, Longi introduced half-chip technology and M6 standard silicon wafers, and successively launched Hi-MO 3 and Hi-MO 4, which further improved the power of the module and the reliability of the product. It became the most popular product at the time when it was launched. . The introduction of Hi-MO 4 has also reduced the cost difference between single and double-sided modules, further promoting the application of double-sided modules, and has become the most popular double-sided module so far.
In 2020, after a comprehensive analysis of the value of the entire industry chain, LONGi launched the optimal size module designed for large-scale ground power stations-Hi-MO 5 module. The high-efficiency PERC battery combined with LONGi’s “intelligent welding without cracks” technology, the efficiency of the module Up to 21%, achieving a perfect fusion of high power, high efficiency and high reliability.
From Hi-MO 1 to Hi-MO 5, it is not difficult to find that in different eras, the Hi-MO series have led the technological trend at that time, and each generation of products can become the definition of market standards and the most demanding downstream power plants. Best component selection.
Behind LONGi’s continuous leadership is its continuous investment in research and development. According to statistics, Longi’s R&D investment accounts for a stable 5%-7% of revenue. In 2020, its R&D investment will increase from 563 million yuan in 2016 to 2.592 billion yuan, an increase of 360%, and the cumulative number of patents obtained is as high as 1001.
Change forward: “N-type” on the field, Longi sharpens the sword again
“Zuo Zhuan” has a cloud, the gentleman must know the big and the far away. “Have a forward-looking vision” has always been a unique label that distinguishes LONGi from other brands. It is also the truth that LONGi can subvert the traditional pattern of the photovoltaic industry in just 20 years and stand on top of the industry.
After the PERC efficiency approached the ceiling, the industry speculated as to what the next-generation dominant technology should be? Just as the market was controversial, Longi gave a firm answer. At the beginning of June, Longi’s N-type TOPCon battery, P-type TOPCon battery, and HJT battery broke the world record for the efficiency of three batteries, which shocked the industry. Longi’s N-type technology layout also began to take shape.
Immediately afterwards, at the 2021 SNEC Photovoltaic Exhibition officially held on June 3, LONGi launched the flagship work of breakthrough evolution in module efficiency and power generation capacity-Hi-MO N, as the leader of the next generation technology after PERC His work, Hi-MO N carries the most dazzling and brilliant R&D technology potential of Longi in these years.
It is understood that the product integrates advanced technologies such as “new battery + best size” and intelligent welding without cracks. LONGi HPC battery technology based on the N-type TOPCon structure enables Hi-MO N modules to have higher bifacial ratio, better power temperature coefficient and lower module working temperature, better anti-light decay performance and low light Power generation performance can generate 2% to 3% more power than the mainstream P-type bifacial modules in the market. At the same time, with the support of the HPC battery manufacturing process with zero damage and no cracking intelligent welding technology, Hi-MO N components have achieved no PID effect under light, with a first year attenuation of ≤1%, and a linear attenuation of ≤0.4%/year.
In addition, the Hi-MO N module adopts a size of 182mm, which maximizes the cost reduction advantages in large brackets, cables, inverters, and labor. With its conversion efficiency of up to 22.3%, Hi-MO N can also Increase the photovoltaic installation capacity by more than 3.5% in a limited area, so as to further save the BOS cost of the photovoltaic field, and reduce the cost of the AC terminal equipment and the operation and maintenance cost during the life cycle of the power station.
After the launch of Hi-MO N, the comprehensive layout of the whole series of LONGi components has been formally formed, which once again sublimated LONGi’s “customer value-centric” concept.
Why is TOPCon “preferred” in the new battery technology route? According to the relevant person of Longi, “Longi has reserves and researches on the two new technologies of HJT and TOPCon. They are both monocrystalline silicon cells. Longi can still play monocrystalline silicon cells. The advantages of silicon wafers. LONGi’s new product development is based on the consideration of cost performance and customer value.” In the next generation of technology, TOPCon batteries and HJT batteries, LONGi have set world records successively.
This means that TOPCon technology is a “prudent” choice for Longi to integrate technical achievements and market demand, focusing on the main channel of efficiency.
From the perspective of LONGi’s development process, every innovation is not a gamble, but a steady decision made after understanding the nature of the industry and market trends. From the results, it has achieved large-scale industrialization value and accelerated The industry’s cost per kilowatt hour is optimized, and this time is no exception.
According to LONGi’s leak: “Longi’s HPC battery technology will be mass-produced at the right time, and will continue to lead the evolution of efficiency and power generation.” The new picture of industrial development is slowly being rolled out, let us wait and see.