Can you highlight a strategic initiative or business expansion you spearheaded that significantly contributed to the company’s growth in the SAARC region?
The SAARC member states, comprising developing economies such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, amongst others, have contrasting economic profiles and energy portfolios with high energy consumption patterns. According to a study by CRISIL, the total primary energy consumption of these nations is expected to exceed 1,500 MTOE by 2030.
To meet the rising demand in the SAARC region, Trina Solar has been highlighting its ability to offer integrated solutions, a key differentiator for us in the market and an offering that unlocks customer value. Trina Solar is able to offer truly integrated solutions because we are the only solar module manufacturer that also makes trackers and energy storage systems. We are also able to help with project management and provide design engineering services. Accordingly, Trina Solar has continued to build its regional team, including pre-sales and project management.
Partnering with a total solutions provider provides the customer with value-added support, as they are dealing with one company with regard to module technology, tracker, energy storage, etc. Trina Solar also provides deep and close support throughout the lifecycle of a project.
How do you integrate Trina Solar’s commitment to sustainability into your sales strategies, and how has this approach impacted the company’s reputation and sales?
Trina Solar was founded 26 years ago as a manufacturer of solar PV modules with the mission to benefit mankind through solar energy. As a part of our commitment to sustainability, we have incorporated the concept of green and low-carbon sustainable development into the company’s strategy.
Our modules already provide businesses with a net zero source of electricity, but we as a company are working towards having net-zero manufacturing operations and a net-zero supply chain. Trina Solar is committed to reducing carbon emissions for the benefit of society at every step of the way. Moving forward, Trina Solar will continue to work with all stakeholders to protect the biosphere, support global decarbonization initiatives, and make solar energy available to people everywhere.
Our core value of ‘customer-first’ makes us the preferred partner for developers. We serve so many countries around the world and we have earned a reputation for being able to deliver on volume. For instance, in India, we have strong customer relationships and are known for our high standard of after-sales service. Our customers like the fact that our staff have remained with Trina Solar for more than seven years.
How do you tailor Trina Solar’s sales approach to cater to the specific needs and market trends of the SAARC region?
In this region, we have observed that while the customers prefer high-power and highly efficient modules, they are extremely cost-conscious. At Trina Solar, we offer a wide range of products to cater to varying requirements of customers in many markets across South Asia.
For example, in India, the textile industry faces challenges such as erratic power supply and high power tariffs, amongst others. The industry demands equal power tariffs and steady supply to maintain its competitiveness.
Our cost-effective solutions have helped many textile manufacturers, such as Sri Desikanathar Textiles Pvt Ltd, to reduce its electricity bills. Sri Desikanathar Textiles deployed Trina Solar modules for its 1.8 MW rooftop project in Tamil Nadu.
Trina Solar offers reliable solutions for electricity generation that also reduce one’s dependence on the grid. As mentioned, we have also expanded our product and service offering to become a total solutions provider for smart energy.
In terms of the latest products, we plan to launch our new n-type solar modules in India, delivering lower BOS costs and LCOE to maximize customer value. In addition, we plan to launch our second-generation Vanguard 2P tracker in India as well as our energy storage system, Elementa.
How does Trina Solar stay ahead with innovative product developments? Are there any upcoming product launches or advancements you can provide a sneak peek into?
Trina Solar has been a consistent leader in the market in terms of innovative technology and product development. We will soon be bringing our latest i-TOPCon solar cell technology to India.
The i-TOPCon technology, which stands for tunnel oxide passivized contact technology, is a ‘game-changer’ in the solar industry. This technology provides a further boost to the cell’s efficiency. When a PERC solar cell is paired with an ultra-thin tunneling oxide layer, it adds another barrier to contain unabsorbed light, increasing the cell’s efficiency. Higher efficiency modules allow the module to harvest more energy per unit area. i-TOPCon modules also have an 80% bi-faciality rate.
The Vertex N modules, which are powered by the i-TOPCon technology, already provide 685W maximum power output and up to 22.1% module efficiency, but this technology platform is being further developed to provide 700W+ modules. We believe this technology is the next big thing in the industry as it provides higher power-output and efficiency, delivering lower balance of system (BOS) cost and levelized cost of energy (LCOE).
In India, for instance, we will be launching the i-TOPCon Ultra technology-powered n-type modules. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is evaluating the product and will be ready to enter the market as soon as it receives the certification.
We are also introducing a portfolio of next-generation integrated solutions in markets such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh – integrating PV systems with new-generation Vanguard 2P smart trackers and advanced energy storage systems.
What technological innovations and advancements have Trina Solar products incorporated to ensure superior performance and efficiency for customers in the SAARC region?
As a leader in solar PV manufacturing, we believe that for the solar industry to continue to grow at a steady pace in the region and truly displace conventional forms of power generation, it’s imperative to innovate to remain efficient and cost-effective.
One such emerging technology is the i-TOPCon Ultra technology. Our highest power modules, the Vertex N modules, incorporate this technology.
In India, for instance, where utility-scale and commercial and industrial (C&I) projects dominate the market, the Vertex N technology has remained advantageous. Unlike its predecessor, p-type modules, the power of the Vertex N module is generally 15-20W higher. Our low voltage design means you can have more modules per string, reducing the balance of system (BOS) cost.
We foresee the market will migrate to n-type i-TOPCon technology and we are at the forefront of commercializing this technology, making it a mainstream product. Higher production will lead to economies of scale, further reducing the cost difference between the p-type and n-type modules and facilitating its adoption in the market.
Another innovation that we will be introducing to the region is our second-generation Vanguard 2P tracker system. It is worthy of mentioning that Vanguard 2P has multiple motors, reducing the number of mechanical parts. Fewer mechanical parts mean our trackers are quicker and easier to install. The Cost of maintenance over the product’s lifecycle is also less. Trackers are gaining popularity in India, especially in southern and western parts, where previously it was a fixed-tilt market. The tracker allows the modules to capture more sunlight throughout the day.