A newcomer Talesun aims top position in the global photovoltaic market with consistent high quality and price competitiveness.
Headquartered in Changshu, China, Talesun Solar Corporation is a manufacturer of crystalline photovoltaic solar cells, solar modules and custom PV applications. Incorporated in September 2010, Talesun has a 200,000 square-meter main plant and has facilities and auxiliary equipment of up to 2 GW for cell and module capacity.
The plant process equipment features complete automation of both cell fabrication and module assembly using first-grade European and Japanese equipment and can support both selective emitter cell production and multiple pass screen printing from the outset?the only solar facility in China with this standard of equipment and level of automation.
InterPV magazine has spoken with Arthur Chien, General Manager of Talesun, to discuss the young Chinese solar company’s ambitions and strategies.
Why has Talesun chosen to enter the PV Market?
The PV industry is a promising and newly emerging industry and has huge long-term potential. We entered the PV market hoping that we can make contributions to the development of renewable energy.
You entered the PV market relatively late. What strategies do you adopt to make your entry successful?
With the goal of becoming the world’s largest PV module manufacturer, we will increase our production capacity for cells and modules to 2 GW by 2012 and 3 GW by 2013 respectively.
As a late entrant to the PV market, we will strategically put our focus on niche markets. For that, we have already secured long-term contracts to get stable supply of polysilicon and wafers.
One of the strengths of Talesun is that our manufacturing cost is very low?even lower than that of other leading manufacturers such as Suntech, Yingli and Trina Solar. Even though we are a late entrant, we are equipped with R&D talents who are experts in core semiconductor and photovoltaic technologies. Our world-class team of researchers and engineers has experiences with some of the world’s leading solar cell and module manufacturers, and is well aware of the defects and shortcomings of the existing products on the market and knows how to fix them. Therefore, we claim that the products that we manufacture have quality that is world-class and unrivaled. Moreover, we are able to produce products according to the requirements of different countries and can fulfill variable customer requirements.
To target the international market, we have established offices in Munch, Germany for the European market, San Francisco for the U.S. market, and Singapore for the Asian market.
Technology-wise, we use transparent backsheet to produce high-efficiency solar cells. Price-wise, unlike many Chinese solar module manufacturers who have fixed price policy, we adopted flexible price policy, which can easily espond to customer requirements.
Could you introduce your business model and growth strategy?
Talesun will have a capacity target of 3 GW for both cells and modules by 2013, with the state-of-the-art equipment, processes and quality. The plant started to operate on December 26, 2010. The cell capacity will reach 720 MW and module capacity will reach 1 GW before the end of 2011, while the capacity for both cells and modules will increase to 2 GW by the end of 2012.
In addition, we will provide comprehensive local sales and customer service in major markets. Talesun has a team of highly experienced scientists and engineers who have ambitious plans for better products.
Where would you put your focus this year in terms of both business growth and technology development?
We will initially focus on the European market since it is still the largest market in terms of market share. And we will also work to grow our sales in the North American and Asia-Pacific markets. Last but not least, we’ll focus on the China market, where we will work with well-known utilities and state-owned companies to develop local projects, such as projects under the Golden Sun program. All the staff from our R&D team are from public-listed PV companies in China, and they are highly knowledgeable and experienced?now our multi cell efficiency has already reached 16.5%, for mono, we have achieved 17.8%. We expect progressively higher conversion efficiencies and lower processing costs, eventually reaching in excess of 20% for monocrystalline cells and 18% for multicrystalline cells.
How are you differentiated from other China-based solar module manufacturers?
We have fully automated production lines; we are one of the few companies in China who have invested a large sum of money on module lines. The reason why we implemented fully automated lines is because we want to make our products consistent in quality and save on module processing costs. That way we are able to make the most cost-effective products.
Also, all of our cell lines will be able to implement higher efficiency cell processes. We have designed the plant with retrofits for newer and better processes in mind.
Finally, we are a much more market-centered company than many of our peers. We have the most experienced international management team as well as local team in major markets like Europe and the U.S.A., and we are spending a lot of time on customer service and quality. Our business model is sales driven not production driven.
Which country/region do you think will be the biggest market for Talesun and why?
Initially it will be Europe since that is where 2/3rds of the solar market currently is. Longer term, it will be North America and Asia.
What will be the efficiency of your modules for delivery in 2011?
By the end of this year, our normal-mono module efficiency will reach 18.20%, and normal-poly efficiency will reach 16.80%.
As a company headquartered in China, what are your expectations for the development of the PV market in China this year?
We will continue to develop local projects together with the local government and the large utilities. We are currently building a 20 MW rooftop project on agriculture structure and so far no other tier one Chinese solar players have done a similar project. China NDRC increased the installation target to 50 GW by 2020, and the National FiT has been issued, though the price is comparatively low. Nevertheless, the national policy should speed the adoption of solar here.
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