Chinese PV giant Longi has unveiled its latest solar panel range in Australia, the HiMo 4 series, promising a higher power, higher efficiency monofacial PERC module for a lower levelised cost of energy.
The launch was a virtual affair on Wednesday afternoon, in keeping with Coronavirus restrictions, but nonetheless offered a hint of optimism that the rooftop solar market might just make it through the global health crisis relatively unscathed.
It is the second major launch in Australia for Longi inside of 12 months, after the company launched its HiMo X module in Melbourne in August of last year.
The HiMo 4 series offers a 370W panel with a 20.3 per cent efficiency – a record high, according to Longi, in mid-range price products – that is pitched at the residential and small commercial segment as “maximum power on limited roof space.”
A larger panel of up to 450W with 20.7 per cent efficiency is aimed more at the large commercial and industrial market.
The modules use half-cell technology, which Longi says work to reduce power loss from resistance, lower the operating temperature of the module, reduce hot spot temperature by 10~20°C and improve the panels’ overall performance in partial shade.
But the key selling point is that the modules can generate more power than their competitors, while taking up less space on rooftops, and requiring less labour and parts for the install, thus offering both installers and consumers more bang for their solar buck.
This is true for residential and commercial installs, but the pay-off obviously improves as the system size increases. By way of example, Longi’s Andrew Feng told the launch, a 100kW system using HiMo4 would need 270 of the 370W panels, 10 per cent fewer than a 100kW system using 330W panels.
“These panels are very high energy yield, very high quality, and will enable customers to save on balance of system costs,” said Feng.
Zane Zhou, Longi’s head of channels and C&I at Longi, said that despite the rocky start to the year, globally, Australia’s solar market data – presented at the start of the Longi launch by SunWiz analyst Warwick Johnston – so far tells a different story.
“At the moment the big word for us is ‘uncertainty,” Zhou said. “We had concerns that the residential and commercial markets could be impacted quite a lot, but the data is telling us we might be over-panicking.
“This product brings us to a new high power,” she added. “We think it’s going to be a really major sell for us in the commercial market.
“People are working very hard to get back to normal business.”