How competitive is the N-type Solar Cell technology in the post-PERC era?

With the continuous iteration of high-efficiency Solar Cell technology, the mass production efficiency of domestic enterprises’ new PERC production lines in 2021 will exceed 23%, which is close to the ceiling of 24% R&D efficiency, which strengthens the industry’s determination to build N-type Solar Module Cell production lines.

At present, the N-type Solar Panel Cells that achieve small-scale mass production (>1GW) mainly include TOPCon, HJT and IBC. According to the analysis of EnergyTrend, the new energy research center of TrendForce Consulting, the N-type capacity and market share will increase simultaneously from 2021. It is expected that the N-type Solar Panels Cell capacity will reach 22GW by the end of 2021, and the market share will exceed 10 by 2023. %.

01 The scale effect of N-type capacity is weak, and multiple factors lead to wait-and-see

In 2021, TOPCon or HJT will be the main focus of N-type Solar Modules Cells expansion. For companies that have already put N-type technology into production, most of the new entrants deploying HJT are at the pilot line level, and most of the TOPCon deployments are vertically integrated companies. However, due to the comprehensive impact of large size, cost, yield and other factors, the scale effect of N-type capacity is weak, and the price of the photovoltaic industry chain in the epidemic era will change after the superposition. In 2021, the N-type layout will still focus on the R&D of enterprises with technical reserves. The focus is on the release of large-size TOPCon Solar Cell capacity and the progress of the GW-level HJT production line.

In 2021, first-line component companies have a clear N-type technology layout plan. In the product layout, Canadian Solar and Trina Solar plan to sell HJT modules, Longji and Hanwha plan to sell TOPCon modules, Jinko has already sold TOPCon module products, and Risen has launched module products that integrate TOPCon and HJT technologies. In terms of production line construction, Risheng has mass-produced HJT modules, Canadian Solar will build the HJT pilot line, JA Solar has built the TOPCon pilot line, and plans to build the HJT production line in the second half of 2021; Jinko has mass-produced TOPCon Components, Longi TOPCon Solar Cell plant plans to start production at the end of 2021.

Integrated business owners promote TOPCon, and the new N-type production capacity is concentrated in the HJT project. The current market layout of TOPCon technology is dominated by integrated companies represented by Longji, Jinko, and JA. Since 2020, most companies have left TOPCon upgrade space for new PERC capacity; there are many HJT technology companies, including professional Solar Cell companies, component companies, Equipment integrators, new entrants, etc., among them, Risheng, Akcome, Junshi, Meyer Burger, etc. all plan to build GW-level HJT projects.