Latest photovoltaic equipment industry research

Latest photovoltaic equipment industry research

According to data, with the transformation of the world’s energy consumption structure, the proportion of renewable energy in worldwide energy use will reach 40% in 2050. It is estimated that China’s annual newly installed photovoltaic capacity will be around 55GW this year, that is, the newly installed photovoltaic capacity in the fourth quarter will be about 30GW.

Analysis of photovoltaic equipment

Photovoltaic equipment includes four categories: silicon material equipment, silicon wafer equipment, battery equipment, and component equipment.

Photovoltaic equipment market review and outlook

2020-2021 is a big year for photovoltaic equipment. 2020 is the second-order release of battery demand (Tongwei, Longji battery expansion), 2021 is the second-order release of silicon wafer demand (silicon wafer new power expansion). As a result, the performance of photovoltaic equipment companies has been improved, and at the same time, with the implementation of new technologies such as large-scale, HJT, and TOPCon, the valuation of photovoltaic equipment companies has increased.

Due to rising upstream raw materials and rising energy costs, new technological changes will begin to appear in all aspects of photovoltaics in 2021. The core contradiction behind it is that the existing industrial chain has reached a bottleneck in cost reduction. Judging from the rise and fall of photovoltaic equipment stocks and the logic behind them, silicon wafer equipment benefits from the second-order derivative of terminal demand, and battery equipment is mainly due to updated demand expectations driven by technological iterations.

The impact of downstream demand is weakening

Newly installed photovoltaic capacity is expected to rise up

The release of supply in 2022 and new technology capital expenditures have increased demand. Silicon material: the first large-scale supply release after 531, the supply bottleneck will be broken; silicon wafer: 2021 is the year of capacity release, 2022 is the year of output release; battery: the whole industry will suffer losses in 2021, and N-type capital expenditure is expected in 2022 Large-scale release, the efficiency is expected to increase from 23% to 24%. It is estimated that the newly installed photovoltaic capacity in the world will exceed 210GW in 2022.

Analysis of production capacity in each link

  • Silicon material link

The price drop is beneficial to the entire photovoltaic industry chain, and the production capacity is expected to continue to expand. The production capacity of silicon materials is expected to reach 250-300GW in 2022, and capital expenditure will continue in the next few years. In the stock industry chain, the capital expenditure rhythm of silicon materials lags behind that of silicon wafers and lags behind that of batteries.

2021 is a big year for silicon wafer production expansion. By the end of 2021, the nominal production capacity of the silicon wafer industry will exceed 350GW. From a structural point of view, new players in the silicon wafer segment have continued to increase since 2019, and the expansion capacity in 2020 will basically be 182, 210 and other new capacities. In this context, the differentiation of silicon wafer production capacity by the competitive landscape may lead to continuous expansion.

  • Battery link

Profitability will welcome recovery, and new technologies will boost production capacity. The expansion of battery production in 2021 will be mainly concentrated in Q1, and the scale of expansion will continue to decrease due to the impact of declining profitability. By the end of 2021, it is estimated that the nominal production capacity of the battery industry will exceed 350GW, and the total capacity will be in excess.

However, the large-scale production capacity is expected to be around 150GW, and there is still a structural gap. With the price reduction of silicon materials, it is expected that the profitability of large-size batteries will usher in a recovery in 2022. However, considering that HJT, TOPCon and other technologies are accelerating their implementation, it is expected that the new pure PERC production capacity will decline, and new technology production capacity is expected to usher in an explosion.

  • Components

By the end of 2021, the production capacity of components is expected to exceed 400GW, but the total production capacity of large-scale components is expected to be 150-200GW. The total volume is excessive but there is a structural gap. It is expected that the production capacity of large-size components will continue to expand in 2022. But for component equipment, especially stringer, large size is about to replace small size. And in the process of HJT replacing PERC, the stringer still needs a round of capital expenditure.

The second-order lead demand of the battery sector will be the most obvious

The second-order lead demand of the battery sector will be the most obvious

  • Silicon material

Silicon material is still the most tense link in the main industrial chain, and the subsequent actual expansion progress and scale will be lower than expected under the constraints of energy consumption; the variable mainly lies in granular silicon, and the core verification of granular silicon in the next year mass production and quality.

  • Silicon wafer

In 2022, silicon wafer will officially become a commodity attribute, and the pattern will deteriorate.

  • Battery

In 2022, battery production capacity will be lower than that of silicon wafers, and there will be a significant gap, and the industry will enter the stage of N-type replacing P-type.

New technology of silicon material

Granular silicon-improved is a kind of new technology of silicon material.

  • Siemens method

The current mainstream silicon material production process in the world, the principle is to reduce trichlorosilane with hydrogen on the silicon core at a temperature of about 1050 ℃, and generate polysilicon to deposit on the silicon core.

The reduction process uses a polysilicon reduction furnace, which deposits the decomposed silicon element on the silicon core and slowly grows it into a silicon rod. This process has basically achieved no emission and greatly improved safety after being improved by Siemens.

  • Silane fluidized bed method (FBR)

The principle is to spread fine silicon particle seeds on a fluidized bed with pores, and then pass silane from below. At this time, the silicon particle seeds have fluid characteristics. Under heating and other reactions, the silicon element is deposited on the silicon particle seeds to generate larger silicon particles, which are sent out of the fluidized bed equipment through the discharge pipe. Based on this, the silane fluidized bed method is a process for producing granular silicon by means of silane cracking using fluidized bed equipment.

  • The advantages of granular silicon

First, the cost is lower, and the focus is on the prospect of carbon reduction. The investment intensity, power consumption and labor cost of granular silicon are lower.

  • Disadvantages of granular silicon

First, “carbon”, that is, the relatively high RMB content of granular silicon carbon will ultimately affect the quality of crystal pulling; according to GCL’s disclosure, the current production of granular silicon carbon content is less than 0.4PPMA, which meets the customer’s mass production standard.

The second is “hydrogen”, that is, the high hydrogen content of granular silicon leads to the problem of silicon jumping. According to Jiangsu Zhongneng’s feedback, hydrogen can be released after heating, and the current hydrogen content has dropped to 10PPM. The third is “powder”, that is, the dust problem affects the quality of crystal pulling.

The market space for silicon material equipment is small

  • Market space for granular silicon equipment

The production process of granular silicon is completely different from that of rod-shaped silicon, so all equipment needs to be updated. The main equipment is fluidized bed, heat exchanger, etc.

Considering that GCL granular silicon equipment has been localized, it is estimated that the investment in granular silicon equipment will be 600 million RMB/ton. It is estimated that China’s granular silicon production capacity will reach 30,000 tons in 2022, corresponding to a market space of 1.8 billion RMB.

String welding process matching

  • Component equipment

Component equipment refers to the equipment that connects cells in series and in parallel to form components, including string welding machines, bus bar automatic welding machines, laminating machines, trimming machines, EL testers, fully automatic framing machines, junction boxes equipment, cleaning equipment, IV testers.

  • Market space

By the end of 2020, the single GW investment of component equipment has dropped to 63 million RMB, of which stringer equipment is the core. A 250MW production line needs to be equipped with 4 stringer machines, and the price of each unit is 1.35-1.5 million RMB. That is, the single GW investment of the stringer is 20-24 million RMB, which is the core component equipment. It is estimated that in 2021, the module production capacity will be expanded by 95.1GW (182+210), corresponding to a market space of 6 billion RMB for equipment and 2 billion RMB for stringer welding machines.

Iteration of stringer technology

  • Impact of MBB

The stringer is a device that connects photovoltaic cells in series through ribbons. With the increase in battery size and the number of busbars, stringer equipment will usher in the need for upgrading. Multi-busbar batteries have greatly improved the welding capability, precision, and stability of the equipment. The upgrade from 5BB to 9BB stringer requires replacement of the stringer and the use of special flux. 9BB continues to be upgraded by replacing tooling.

  • Impact of large size

The stringer needs to be upgraded to 182, 210 type stringer, and the equipment needs to be replaced. The 182 series welding machine can be upgraded to the 210 series welding machine through transformation, but it cannot be modified on site, and the production capacity advantage is not obvious, so it is mainly replaced with a new model.

The 210 model can not only satisfy the production of 210 batteries, but also be backward compatible, and the production efficiency is relatively higher. More importantly, the stringer has two size iterations of 182 and 210 in the component link.

  • Impact of HJT

HJT is a whole-process low-temperature process, so the traditional high-temperature stringing method needs to be changed. There is a special stringer design for HJT, which will drive the need for equipment renewal.


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