Chinese companies enhancing the global PV landscape
China has become the world’s largest manufacturer and market for PV power generation equipment with Chinese PV players playing a leading role in the segments of polysilicon, wafers, cells, modules, plants and inverters in the whole supply chain. Why has China’s PV industry been able to develop so quickly? The answer could be found from the remarks of executives of four “global leading” companies.
Sunport Power president Dr. Fengming Zhang said, “It is fair to say that Chinese PV manufacturers are competitive worldwide. Sunport Power is committed to technology innovation to expand both domestic and overseas markets, further boosting our international landscape. ”
Sunport Power is the world’s first manufacturer at GW scale for MWT PV modules.This company is known both as a technology innovator and for the aesthetic nature of its modules. Featuring a variety of designs and patterns, the ultra-thin, ultra-light modules are attractive in appearance and easy to install.
Dr. Zhang said, “MWT technology is a platform which can integrate multiple types of technology, such as black silicon, PERC and HJT.”
Sunport has independent intellectual property rights over MWT technology, its high efficiency modules being shipped to more than ten countries and regions including Germany, Holland, Japan, Australia and a number of Southeast Asian countries.
“Now that Prof. Martin Green has become the Chief Scientist of Sunport Power, we will promote the rapid upgrades for high-efficiency products with the joint efforts of Prof. Green and our team of doctors.”Dr. Zhang said.
Ginlong (Solis) Technologies
Established in 2005, Ginlong ( Solis) Technologies is one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of PV string inverters in the world, with 1,000+ employees worldwide and 200+ technicians in the company.
As of mid-2019, inverter revenue has accounted for more than 95% of Ginlong Solis’ total revenue. Domestic development complemented by overseas expansion has ena-bled the company’s steady rise, which is highly commendable for a 14-year-old in-verter manufacturer.
Ginlong Solis’ President Yiming Wang said, “We have maintained a good balance worldwide. We have many different markets other than China, such as Europe, the US, India, Australia and Latin America. Last year was a tough year for domestic companies, but we were still growing and had successfully landed on the capital market. Next year we will also increase shipments to our fast-growing Southeast Asian markets.”
Ginlong Solis continues to grow in leaps and bounds with new capacity expansion plans underway. Its new manufacturing facility is three times larger than the current factory and its production capacity is forecast to exceed 15GW. Upon the facility’s completion in 2020, Solis will boast a total of 20GW of new production capacity to better serve the market.
Wang said, “Australia is not a very profitable market for us but we are still holding some market share there. We are striving to adapt to the market and maintain a bal-anced development. We must invest in different markets, providing local services to support marketing. We have business plans catering to almost all markets. Technology innovation, capacity boost, global market balance and bankability are the key areas we are promoting to win the market. ”
Arctech Solar is one of the world's leading manufacturers and solution providers of solar tracking and racking systems. Arctech has set up subsidiaries and service centre in Sydney, Australia.
As of now, Arctech has cumulatively installed approximately 19GW capacity and completed approximately 700 projects in 24 countries.
Arctech’s marketing chief Guy Rong said, “Our product and solutions are being used worldwide. We are the choice of many plants built in harsh environments. Our customers have complete confidence in us and appreciate what we’ve done. ”
Our visit to the Arctech Solar factory revealed that all the equipment is designed by Arctech Solar.
Arctech Solar began to produce racks for domestic projects in 2012,and began to explore overseas markets starting from 2013 and it has grown up to be a global leader now in terms of technology and product quality.
“For tracker business, we don’t have any Chinese competitor, so we only compete against American and Spanish, also some German. ”Rong said,“ Arctech has large overseas shipments, but we don’t plan to compete on price，we are relying on advanced technology, quality products and sound service to win the market.
Of course, we will face price competition in overseas markets. For example, other companies may submit much lower price bids than us, but we are still the choice of many customers because we are offering value.”
Seraphim’s global module capacity has reached 5GW at present, comprising 4250MW of domestic installations, 750MW of overseas capacity and 500MW for cells. Seraphim is a very interesting company, with the majority of its products being sold outside China.
Seraphim president Polaris Li said, “Globalization strategy is the foundation to keep our leadership. Our team is very familiar with oversea markets and how to do business there due to our international study and work experience. So from the very start, Seraphim’s focus is on the foreign market.”
Every year Seraphim will grade and divide the global market into three categories according to capacity forecasts and local market history, and based on this data, global business layout, key sales areas for the year can be identified.
Commenting on market changes over the past few years, Polaris Li said, “The market is changing little by little, it’s not like two or three years ago when only price matters. For example, many low quality and brandless modules were sold into Australia in the past. But now, from raw material procurement to the complete cycle of module production, quality and efficiency are becoming the new focuses. Many poor quality makers of a smaller scale who are unable to conform to stricter standards are being driven out of the market.”
It is reported that Seraphim has supplied modules to Australia’s largest smart solar farm. The smart module produced by Seraphim can enable up to 1.5x more modules per string, thanks to its voltage-limiting feature, which will significantly reduce costs and make it more suitable for large power plants and commercial projects.
“The Australian market is witnessing a fast growth over the past two years, with large scale public utilities soaring to the point of surpassing residential installations. The new PV installations in 2018 reached 3.7GW in Australia and 4.7GW is expected to be installed this year, of which more than 70% will be public facilities.”Li said.
Polaris Li also mentioned an interesting product they have specially invented for Australian market, a solar collar with a GPS chip inserted inside. This collar could monitor cattle, sheep, and goat flocks’ living habits and prevent them from getting lost. According to Li, they have set up an internal “Plus Solar” team which is directly led by their CTO to explore more about the application of solar products, to make them competitive.