Interview: Sai Charan Kuppili

Technical Director, South & Central Asia at JinkoSolar

Jinko Solar: Focusing on the enhanced development of TOPCon

November 07, 2023. By News Bureau

It is need of hour for the market to consider high energy density and high power density technologies like TOPCon- Tiger Neo kind of leading PV Technologies and BESS with LFPe – Sun GIGA or Sun TERA kind of storage solutions to cater to the immediate and intermediate needs of the market applications, says Sai Charan Kuppili, Technical Director, South & Central Asia in an interview with Energetica India.

Que: Could you give us a brief on Jinko Solar along with its notable milestones?

Ans: Jinko Solar is one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers. With effective supply chain management, high-quality products, and technology advancements, Jinko Solar topped the leaderboard chart for 2022. We are expecting that 2023 will be a great year as well.

Over the years, Jinko Solar consistently topped the list of global solar module shipments. The company’s strong market presence and high-quality modules have contributed to its success in terms of volume of shipments.

We have received various industry recognitions for our contributions to the solar industry. Jinko Solar was included in Fortune's Future 50 list, Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 list, and BloombergNEF's Tier 1 Module Supplier list, among others. These recognitions are proof of Jinko Solar’s strong market position and reputation. We have a significant global presence with a strong customer base in both established and emerging solar markets.

Jinko Solar consistently demonstrated its strong financial performance and reported robust revenue growth and profitability over the years, indicating the company’s ability to compete effectively in the solar industry.

•TOPCon production ramped up from 15GW(2022) to 50-60 GW(e)
•Total Jinko Production capacity for 2023 will reach 90GW
•Best-in-class optimisations within TOPCon Technology
•Increased Power & Energy Densities with Jinko’s High-efficiency Technology products

Overall, Jinko Solar has achieved significant milestones and it continues to play a crucial role in the global solar industry. With its emphasis on technological innovation, sustainability, and quality, Jink Solar is well-positioned to contribute to the growth and adoption of solar energy in the future.

Que: Has there been any recent developments at Jinko Solar in the realm of solar energy?

Ans: Jinko Solar is committed to continuous innovation and technological advancements in solar PV modules by developing highly efficient modules, utilising advanced technologies such as TOPCon, PERC in both monofacial & bifacial variant modules and BIPV, which can generate more electricity from sunlight.

From the initial days of Multi Crystalline or PERC Products: Cheetah Series with 156.75mmx156.75mm- cell size with 380Wp to Tiger Pro with 182mm x 182mm with 580Wp; to the recent TOPCon with 182mm x 182mm or any other Rectangular cell with the maximum power class of 630Wp, JinkoSolar has been a pioneer in developing high-efficiency solar modules. These advancements in efficiency have contributed to improved performance and increased energy generation.

We developed certain new mechanisms in the space of TOPCon with Selective Emitter configuration to reduce the temperature coefficient in increasing power density and energy density.

Jinko Solar has made certain new innovations on the fronts of BESS segments with reduced auxiliary consumption for the solutions being provided by Jinko. Highly intelligent solutions are designed from the state of art of Jinko’s technology in reducing the levelised cost of storage (LCOS)

Sun TERA is one of our prominent solutions in MWh markets, which is leading most of the markets with our 280Ah LFPe cell. Typical Sun TERA can come with a high energy density of not less than 3.44MWh per 20’ container.

Que: How does Jinko Solar approach the seamless integration of PV modules with the grid?

Ans: Integration of PV modules with the grid involves connecting solar photovoltaic systems to the existing electrical grid infrastructure. This integration enables the transfer of electricity generated by PV modules to the grid for distribution and consumption by end-users. Some common approaches to PV module integration include Grid Tied Systems, Microgrids, Hybrid Grid Integration Technologies as per local statutory regulations and Virtual Power Plants

Jinko Solar’s PV Technology Modules can be used for all kinds of applications. We provide limitations only on the DC side of the interconnecting system with the regulation on the Module withstanding voltage as 1500V DC and Series fuse rating specific to current as 25A/30A as per the module variant. Thus, monitoring these two parameters of the module can protect major equipment on DC side of the system on any upstream faults generated from AC side GSS of the system.

It is important to consider local regulations, grid infrastructure capabilities, and the specific goals and requirements of the project when choosing the approach for integrating PV modules with the grid.

Que: How important is R&D for solar PV module and battery energy storage technologies? What have you been doing to foster R&D at Jinko Solar?

Ans: There are various technological advancements in solar PV that are expected to contribute to the growth of the sector in India.

Research and development efforts are focused on improving the efficiency of solar cells. We anticipate that TOPCon will be leading all new variants for the next 8-12 quarters in the commercial sense. Jinko Solar is focusing on the enhanced development of TOPCon with more advanced variants of TOPCon to leverage better benefits of N type and these evolved technology products will be available in both Monofacial and Bifacial variants. Meanwhile, Advanced solar cell technologies like multi-junction, tandem, and perovskite cells are being developed to achieve higher conversion efficiencies, which can lead to increased power generation from the same area of solar panels, but is still under development stage only.

Bifacial solar panels have the ability to capture sunlight from both sides, increasing their overall energy generation. This technology is particularly beneficial in areas with highly reflective surfaces with better albedo factors.

The integration of energy storage systems with solar PV plants is gaining momentum. Battery storage technologies enable storing excess solar energy generated during the day for use during periods of low or no sunlight, improving grid stability and enabling solar power to be available round the clock. BESS solutions with Lithium Ferrous Phosphate batteries can relatively provide better energy density, better backup with high depth of discharge and charge/ discharge profile when compared with conventional Advanced lead acid batteries.

Building integrated PV products from Jinko Solar come in different variants on the name of curtain raiser with a wide range of colour variants as per the need and demand of a specific customer. Thus, customised options are available within BIPV products with a wide range of power class upto 600Wp as per the absorption co-efficient of colour required for solar PV module.

These technological advancements are expected to drive the growth of the solar PV sector in India by improving efficiency, reducing costs, increasing flexibility, and enabling better integration with existing energy infrastructure.

Que: Could you provide insights into the recycling and disposal processes for your products? What measures does Jinko Solar take to minimize environmental impact while handling end-of-life components?

Ans: Solar PV module recycling and disposal have become important considerations in the renewable energy industry. As solar installations continue to grow, the proper management of end-of-life modules is crucial for environmental sustainability.

Recycling Processes: Currently, the most common method of recycling solar PV modules is through mechanical processes. These processes involve the separation and recovery of valuable materials such as silicon, glass, aluminum, and copper, which can be reused in various industries. Thus, we have Global collaboration with PV Cycle to dispose our modules as per the end client need at a nominal cost for collection and transportation in an effective and efficient recycling with no impact on environment, which will be collected by recycling agency from end client.

Handling and store end-of-life modules carefully can prevent breakage and the release of potentially harmful materials. Hence, implementing proper protocols for handling, transportation, and storage is important for minimising environmental risks.

All components must be properly separated and sorted when dismantling modules. This allows for the efficient recovery of valuable materials and the safe disposal of any hazardous substances. Following best practices for dismantling and recycling can prevent environmental contamination.

Recent innovations in recycling technologies aim to reduce environmental impact. Chemical processes and advanced sorting techniques can help efficiently recover valuable materials from end-of-life modules while minimising waste and pollution. Investing in and utilising these environmentally friendly technologies can enhance recycling efforts.

Que: How do you ensure that modules withstand extreme weather events and give long-term performance?

Ans: All Jinko Solar’s TOPCon products come with 12 years of product and 30 years performance warranties in place, specific to durability. However, on the fronts of reliability, more specific to the BOM composition of Module which is being used by us on all our high technology variant products comes with stringent quality guidelines considered within our line on internal quality control or in-process quality control or even during pre shipment inspection activities, which will nullify the constraints and address all concerns specific to extreme weather conditions. Thus, better reliability on Thermal cycle, Humidity freeze, Dampheat, LID, PID or LeTID etc., can be expected with all Jinko Solar’s Tiger Pro or Tiger Neo products when compared with normal P type Technology products from other manufacturers.

Que: Please share your thoughts on the current scenario of the renewable energy sector in India. What trends do you anticipate shaping the sector in the coming years?

Ans: The current state of the renewable energy sector in India is quite promising. India has set ambitious renewable energy targets, including a target of achieving 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Given India's abundant solar resources, solar energy is expected to play an important role in achieving these targets. With a total installed solar capacity of over 60 gigawatts (GW) as of FY 2022-23, the country has made significant progress in solar energy installations.

In a bid to promote solar energy deployment at a global level, India has actively participated in international collaborations like the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The government has introduced various policy initiatives to promote solar energy, including incentives such as subsidies, tax benefits, and competitive bidding for projects.

The role of PV modules will continue to be crucial in the growth of the Indian solar industry. PV modules are the building blocks of solar photovoltaic systems and are responsible for converting sunlight into electricity.

Over the years, the cost of solar PV modules has significantly reduced, making solar power more affordable and competitive with conventional energy sources.

It is need of hour for the market to consider high energy density and high power density technologies like TOPCon- Tiger Neo kind of leading PV Technologies and BESS with LFPe – Sun GIGA or Sun TERA kind of Storage solutions to cater to the immediate and intermediate needs of the market applications.

Overall, the renewable energy sector in India, including solar PV and BESS, is on a positive trajectory. However, challenges such as land availability, financing, and grid integration need to be addressed to achieve the full potential of solar power in the country.

Que: How is Jinko Solar adapting its modules to align with the needs of the Indian market?

Ans: Global markets understood the advantages of TOPCon during 2022 and the majority of matured markets transformed completely towards TOPCon, which is the reason for most of the global PV manufacturers to adopt TOPCon technology as mainstream technology manufacturing with the expected capacity to reach 600 GW by 2024.

Indian market is on the verge of transformation from PERC to TOPCon due to the constraints limited to BCD, ALMM, capacity availability from TOPCon manufacturers, and economic viability on manufacturing cost as compared with PERC. However, most of the developers started considering TOPCon for all their futuristic needs and for the same reason, we can notice Indian manufacturers also started to consider SMBB stringers within their new manufacturing lines.

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