LONGi Green Energy has unveiled plans to invest in its first-ever HPBC pro solar cell facility in Tongchuan, China. This decision reflects LONGi’s commitment to Back Contact (BC) solar cells as the future of its solar cell development.
In a press release on September 19th, LONGi announced an investment totaling CNY 3.915 billion (~ USD 536 million) for this groundbreaking project. Tongchuan LONGi PV Technology Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of LONGi Green Energy, will be responsible for the operation of this facility.
Production is set to commence incrementally in November 2024, with full-scale production anticipated by November 2025.
This project is notable for its utilization of LONGi’s proprietary HPBC Pro high-efficiency solar cell technology. It marks the company’s initial venture into HPBC Pro high-efficiency cells, a significant step towards commercializing and scaling up their advanced solar cell technologies.
This investment underscores LONGi’s commitment to BC solar cells as a pivotal element of its future battery technology strategy, with plans to expand BC cell production in the coming years.
In China, LONGi’s HPBC solar cells primarily target rooftop applications, emphasizing its advantages in monofacial scenarios. The forthcoming HPBC Pro product is designed for both distributed and ground-mounted solar applications. Bifacial products with BC technologies targeting ground-mounted systems will also be introduced.
BC solar cells are characterized by the placement of PN junctions and metal contacts on the backside of solar cells, allowing versatility when combined with technologies such as PERC, HJT, and TOPCon. These cells maximize the utilization of incident light, resulting in improved energy conversion efficiency and aesthetic appeal.
Mr. Zhong Baoshen, Chairman of LONGi Green Energy, has described BC solar cells as the “crown jewel” of their endeavors. The introduction of HPBC cell products signifies a milestone, making these previously high-cost, technically demanding products more accessible in the market.
LONGi is currently exploring three main directions for BC cell technology: HPBC (based on a combination of TOPCon and PERC), TBC and HBC (based on TOPCon and HJT). The company is conducting extensive research and development in each direction, accompanied by corresponding production and testing lines.
At present, LONGi has made significant progress with its 30 GW HPBC solar cell production capacity, expected to reach full-scale production by the end of this year.
Additionally, the 30 GW TOPCon cell project is projected to reach full-scale production in the first quarter of the next year. The company’s current investment plans exclusively focus on BC solar cells, reflecting a notable expansion in their product offerings.