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16 minutes ago, sunnypease said:

So margin is down, meaning ASP was down, but volume was up, on assumption that cost went down, gross margin was down and dollars were up. selling expenses were up supporting more volume. Tax benefit 3M, helped. Their expansion is tech, not the floor, so Capex requirements are not big. 

The company news has $460M long term debt is due this year. They will have to get a new loan to replace it. 

They did better than SPWR and FSLR per share if the tax benefit was removed from them and FSLR, yet they are down.

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What do you make of the LeTID discussion by HQCL in their conference call. They spent 3 paragraphs on the topic and suggested that the degradation was not just Multi Perc. HQCL suggested that many of their PERC competitors have the issues in both Multi and Mono cells in which customers or the industry should set up testing for. 


I know from reading CSIQ new Black Silicon modules that they are using half sized wafers to reduce the impact of LeTID.  Any idea what competitors that HQCL is talking about and do you see many recalls in the future from legacy PERC sales that are now or will be failing warranty?









Edited by SCSolar

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Thank you for your question,

My understanding of the CSIQ approach is based on their recent announcements. First, one essentially building a multi-c cell supply using black silicon wafers. They will reach 4GW black silicon wafer supply to support 4GW cell capacity by December (cell capacity being for 4GW of multi is shown in June’s presentation). That cell capacity is not PERC. 

Second is the mono capacity that comes from the purchase of wafers on the market, and the cell capacity is above that number, say 0.7GW with debottlenecking it. They are moving mono architecture to PERC by the end of this year.

Now they do have a plan to move black silicon cell to PERC from BSF in 2018. The concerns Hanwha describes are real, but they come specifically to multicrystalline PERC, not black-silicon PERC.  Hanwha does not do black silicon. If you look at the rating of Ku modules in 72 cell configuration, they produce more W than the same PERC module from Hanwha.

I used a success from GCL to build black silicon cell in PERC and transplanted onto CSIQ potential, assuming ties with GCL. I was scolded for this idea. Perhaps, independently CSIQ workshopped their solution, perhaps someone helped. They are moving to it in 2018, also using their slide-present statement.

Hanwha bought PERC from MB in 2014 for delivery in 2015. Two years for the equipment maker is a bit of a lifetime ago with progression in place.  In Q1 cc Johnson asked Qu about the equipment sourcing, and Qu said PERC is from Europe, I am pretty sure it is MB.  They are getting the latest version.

I doubt mono is a risk Hanwha sees it be. Hanwha said they would make their own equipment and in 2014 as they could not get margin over 5% decided to go full PERC and buy it from MB. Their PERC is a legacy tool, which has been upgraded since in house.  The problem of LiD is out there for a long time, solutions have also been found for some time.  

Multi is a problem, and this is why you are not hearing about Jinko having multi PERC production. They do not have a solution or reason to find one; they are going mono. CSIQ is unique here; they want to produce cheap cells with black silicon and meet mono-PERC efficiency. Based on Ku they have done that.

Then put in PERC architecture for black silicon and create better efficiency, above mono-PERC.  They have own R&D in the house for it and if they achieve that they will be very efficient.

The efficiency game may pay off by Q1 as the modules will be selling fully converted to black-silicon and mono-PERC. The black silicon PERC will be a game changer in 2018, and CSIQ needs to go there to meet its plans.




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REC is going to be in a place like CSIQ, however, REC had chosen a different path.  They did multi-PERC and half cut cells first, now they are buying diamond-wire saws to get black silicon wafers and build them into PERC architecture. We are talking two months ago.  CSIQ is actually a lot more progressive rather than old mono-PERC ideas.


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Mono Perc has LID and LeTID issues as well. It is not as pronounced as the multi wafer Perc that can lose 8-10%.


HQCL stated in their con call that mono Perc also has LeTID issues. This is from the Seeking Alpha transcript.


"The LeTID effect was long believed to only appeaser on multicrystalline wafers, however this is not the case. Hanwha Q Cells featured a presentation at the R&D conference 'Silicon PV' in Germany in April showing that LeTID can also significantly reduce the energy yield of monocrystalline PERC solar cells. Based on tests we conducted on PERC modules from competitors we are concerned about the quality level of PERC models. So our recommendation to anyone using PERC modules is to test for LeTID through count injection of about 1 ampere at 75 degree centigrade in a climate chamber for several days."


The PV Insights article also indicates that LID is not just a multi issue.


"Trupke, who is also the Deputy Director of the UNSW’s PV Centre of Excellence, did caution that some manufacturer claims that LID in mono and multi PERC cells has been “solved” should be treated with caution."


The last link from researchgate indicates 

"All cells fabricated with four different ingot sources have high possibility of over 3% LID in output power, and the oxygen concentration is not correlated with power drop. Only one of the seven cell types surveyed from the worldwide market has LID less than 3%"

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I do not think I stated mono did not have an issue. I stated mono solution has been well-documented and the PERC equipment manufacturers have provided those solutions from auxiliary sources/companies to manufacturers along with their own in the house progress.

REC and Hanwha had been on a forefront of PERC adoption on multi. They said they found those solutions, where everyone else has lagged behind. While they are mass producers, they are not alone with working on it. I am aware of only REC trying to put PERC with black silicon, GCL, and Canadian Solar. That is yet another play.

However, the mono PERC has been adapted on a larger scale, because of that adoption you rest assured that mono-PERC issues have been well researched, addressed and impact reduced and perhaps in some cases of the top class production, eliminated. 


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They beat while earning 6 cents a share.  

With a 2-3% operating margin & most measures going against them.

Not sure about the lumpiness but the stock seems fully valued @ 9.  

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