Date November 03, 2023

Senior PV analyst Derek Zhao (趙祥) of InfoLink Consulting on October 30 shared his views on the opportunities and challenges facing HJT technology amidst the rapid development of high-efficiency n-type cell technology at the 1st Annual Meeting of the International Silicon Heterojunction Value Chain Alliance.

Zhao emphasized that high-efficiency n-type cells evolve rapidly, underscoring the significant position of n-type technology in the PV market. As of this October, n-type wafers have captured 37% of the market share, and the percentage may exceed 50% in the first quarter of 2024, according to InfoLink's monthly tracking of p-type and n-type wafer demand.

The demand for n-type wafers primarily comes from TOPCon manufacturing, while HJT accounts for only about 6 GW. Zhao pointed out that the main reason for HJT’s relatively slow development in recent years lies in high metallization cost, which remains the most critical challenge.

HJT technology uses low-temperature silver paste, making it difficult to reduce silver paste consumption per unit. As a result, HJT consumes much more silver paste than PERC and TOPCon technologies. However, there has been a notable quarterly decrease this year, especially in the third quarter, said Zhao. Some leading HJT cell manufacturers reduced their silver paste usage to about 16 mg and achieved mass production with silver-coated copper paste, showcasing rapid progress in HJT.

As the world embraces carbon pricing, companies will ultimately have to pay for their carbon emissions. Those who actively adopt carbon reduction measures or low-carbon technologies will gain an advantage in future green competition.

HJT outperforms PERC and TOPCon in polysilicon consumption with its thinner, more efficient wafers, while it surpasses TOPCon in power consumption. These factors reduce HJT's carbon footprint, giving it a competitive edge.

Zhao made predictions about future technological developments, expecting TOPCon technology to become mainstream in the next two to three years, while back contact (BC) technology will not see significant increases in market share in the short term, given current capacity planning, yield rates, and production costs. As for HJT technology, cost reduction takes time despite excellent power performance. Only until HJT reaches the price level of TOPCon can it experience accelerated growth in market share.

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