HONG KONG SAR –
Media OutReach – 14 December 2022 – Recently, Kunshan GCL Photoelectric Materials Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “GCL Photoelectric Materials”), a subsidiary of GCL TECH, announced the completion of RMB 500 million B+ round of financing, which was jointly led by Temasek, Sequoia China, and IDG Capital, followed by Longwater Investment and other institutions. GCL TECH, the major shareholder, continued to increase their investments, with Lighthouse Capital serving as the exclusive financial advisor. It is reported that this round of financing will be used to improve the process and equipment development of the 100MW perovskite module production line of GCL Photoelectric Materials.
Photovoltaic technology is an important engine to boost the green transformation of energy under the goal of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. Perovskite solar cell is considered one of the most promising solar cell technologies in the future due to their advantages of high conversion efficiency, fast iteration speed, short process flow, low raw material cost, and low energy consumption. Perovskite solar cell is still in the early stage of industrialization with the formula, equipment, and technology still under iterative development. Once the mass production process of large-area modules is mature, perovskite batteries will go on a different commercial path from crystalline silicon with lower cost, and richer application scenarios.
As the global leader in the industrialization of perovskite in solar power modules, GCL Photoelectric Materials is far ahead in the conversion efficiency of large-area preparation of perovskite and the progress of a 100MW mass production line.
Leading the Industrialization Process of Perovskite
The 100MW Mass Production Line for Modules with the World’s Largest Area Has Been Built
GCL Photoelectric Materials has accumulated rich industrialization experience in the stage of large-area module efficiency and pilot test line and successfully enlarged it onto a 100MW large-area module production line, leading the world in the two key indicators of finished module efficiency and stability.
In September 2021, GCL Photoelectric Materials built the world’s first 100MW mass production line, with a module size of 1m × 2m. At present, GCL Photoelectric Materials’ 100MW mass production line is in the stage of process development and equipment transformation, with the conversion efficiency of finished modules steadily improving. It is expected that the conversion efficiency will exceed 16% by the end of this year and 18% by the end of 2023, becoming the first 100MW production line in the world to run through mass production.
The conversion efficiency of 18% is of great significance to perovskite industrialization. At present, the actual efficiency of 1m × 2m crystalline silicon modules on the market is about 20%. Due to the different circuit structure from crystalline silicon modules, the power generation of perovskite modules with the same efficiency is 5% higher than that of crystalline silicon on average. If GCL Photoelectric Materials’ 100MW production line were able to mass produce 18%-efficiency large-size modules, with the lower manufacturing cost of perovskite modules, it would significantly strengthen the competitiveness of perovskite modules in the photovoltaic market.
In terms of stability, most advanced laboratories have been able to continuously operate perovskite modules for at least 1,000 hours without attenuation. The service life of GCL Photoelectric Materials 100MW finished products is expected to exceed 25 years. On June 7th, 2022, the 1m × 2m perovskite modules produced by the company passed the hail test, which is a strong piece of evidence for the tolerance of large-area modules in severe weather.
With Continuous Independent Innovation, GCL Photoelectric Materials Leads the World in Large-Area Preparation Efficiency
The conversion efficiency of perovskite is the industry’s most concerned index. Currently, the conversion efficiency of a single junction of perovskite can reach 26% in the laboratory, the theoretical conversion efficiency can reach 33%, and the theoretical efficiency of tandem perovskite cells can reach 45%, which is much higher than that of the crystalline silicon battery. However, this index is only of practical industrial significance when it is on a module with a large enough area for commercialization.
Large-area preparation is one of the biggest challenges for perovskite mass production. Small-sized modules are of little economic value. Therefore, perovskite components need to be larger to reduce costs for mass production. However, the large-area preparation of perovskite films faces such problems as non-uniformity and increased resistivity, sharply reducing the conversion efficiency. Manufacturers must systematically redesign and commission the material formula, coating, crystallization, laser, and more to ensure that the module efficiency will not be impaired in large-area preparation.
As early as 2019, GCL Photoelectric Materials took the lead in completing 15.31% efficiency certification of 45cm × 65cm (2925cm2) large-area perovskite module.
With continuous technological innovation advantages, GCL Photoelectric Materials has made breakthroughs in the conversion efficiency of large-area modules. At present, the 1m × 2m perovskite module produced by GCL Photoelectric Materials is the world’s largest perovskite module, with the conversion efficiency of finished modules being nearly 16%, which is expected to exceed 18% by the end of 2023.
Accelerate the Green Transformation of Global Energy
To Become a Globally Competitive Perovskite Module Manufacturer
Driven by the goal of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, governments worldwide have accelerated the transition to green energy. New energy technologies represented by photovoltaics have ushered in a golden stage of development, with the installed capacity of new photovoltaics globally rising rapidly every year. According to the survey report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global installed capacity of new photovoltaics is expected to be 190GW in 2022, reaching a record high. However, due to the cyclical adjustment of the photovoltaic industry and the rising cost of silicon materials, among other factors, the actual installed photovoltaic capacity in the world has fallen short of expectations since 2021.
In this context, perovskite battery, as a new generation of solar cell technology, has a broad commercial prospect. Compared with traditional crystalline silicon batteries, the perovskite battery preparation process is shorter with lower energy consumption, boasting obvious cost advantages. The highest process temperature in the whole process of perovskite module preparation is lower than 150 Celsius degrees, with the unit energy consumption being only one-tenth of that of the crystalline silicon module and the investment per unit capacity is only about half of the crystalline silicon. At the same time, because of its excellent characteristics, such as being lightweight, thin, flexible, and translucent, perovskite photovoltaic modules have more applications than crystalline silicon batteries. They can be used in photovoltaic panels for ground power stations, BIPV curtain walls, electric vehicles, and more.
The advantages of high efficiency, low cost, low energy consumption, and rich application scenarios make perovskite batteries one of the most promising photovoltaic technologies with the goal of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. According to the report of Precedence Research, an international market research organization, the global perovskite solar cell market was about USD 600 million in 2021, which will jump to USD 7.2 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 31.8%.
GCL Photoelectric Materials is a world leader in the R&D and mass production technology of perovskite batteries. As of now, GCL Photoelectric Materials has been granted 64 patents, including 17 invention patents and 47 utility model patents. With this round of financing, GCL Photoelectric Materials will continue to increase its R&D efforts on the 100MW mass production line, strive to become the top perovskite module manufacturer with global competitiveness, and accelerate the green transformation of the global energy structure.
Fan Bin, founder and CEO of GCL Photoelectric Materials, stated that “GCL Photoelectric Materials has been committed to the industrialization of perovskite photovoltaic technologies for almost a decade. Thanks to everyone at GCL Photoelectric Materials and our investors, the commercialized production of perovskite modules is a dream that is about to come true. Compared with traditional technologies, perovskite photovoltaic technologies are expected to enable higher conversion efficiency, lower cost of power generation, and a significant reduction in environmental impacts during module manufacturing. Environmental-friendly, sustainable, and economical energy is the foundation for building a bright future for human society, which is worth fighting for. New shareholders introduced in this financing round are investment institutions with prestigious reputations and insightful visions in terms of capital and industry. Our earlier shareholders are also actively increasing their investments to show their continuous and strong support. Our team will work even harder to achieve our goals as soon as possible.”
Wang Xin, Partner of IDG Capital, said that “IDG Capital has been paying attention to the new energy domain since 2005 and is firmly optimistic about the photovoltaic industry in the long haul. Crystalline silicon batteries are approaching their theoretical efficiency, whereas perovskite is one of the most prospective technological pathways for the next-generation battery, opening up more potential for conversion efficiency and promoting the reduction of the cost of photovoltaic power generation. GCL Photoelectric Materials has been deeply involved in the field of perovskite for years, with its industrialization progress leading the industry. IDG Capital is happy to work with GCL Photoelectric Materials and looks forward to witnessing grander breakthroughs from them in the future.”
GCL TECH, a major shareholder of GCL Photoelectric Materials, stated “Guided by technology, driven by innovation, and empowered by digitalization, GCL Photoelectric Materials has successfully produced the 100MW large-size perovskite module and has entered the ecology of commercialized operation. GCL Photoelectric Materials is also thrusting the conversion efficiency to 18% from 16%, which was already a major breakthrough, creating an unprecedented record in the industry. We believe that the process and equipment development of GCL Photoelectric Materials would make even more significant progress after this B+ round of financing. Boasting frontier technologies that GCL has attached great importance to, GCL Photoelectric Materials will continue to be a top perovskite company that leads the industry by implementing continuous investment and key support to technologies for large-area perovskite modules. In the context of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, GCL TECH will provide comprehensive support in aspects including industrial synergy, scenario verification, technology application, and capital collaboration, accelerating the commercialization progress of large-size perovskite modules of GCL Photoelectric Materials and realizing the implementation and manufacturing of GW-level production lines.”
Xue Ling, Managing Director at Lighthouse Capital, expressed that “Lighthouse Capital has been continuously searching for industrial innovation opportunities under the goals of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, focusing on technological breakthroughs as well as the implementation of industrialization of technologies. Perovskite is commonly recognized as the key material for next-generation photovoltaic modules and holds great potential. The GCL Photoelectric Materials team led by Dr. Fan has been committing to the industry for almost a decade and has been focusing on the first principle for technological breakthroughs of perovskite material and implementation of commercialization, pioneering the industry with breakthroughs in key processes such as coating and crystallization and leading far ahead in the progress of 1m × 2m large-area high-efficiency modules and 100MW mass production line. Lighthouse Capital fully recognizes the dedication and arrangement made by GCL Photoelectric Materials in the perovskite field and the foresight investment from the GCL Group in terms of innovation incubation. We are honored to work with GCL Photoelectric Materials during this new round of financing and hope to work hand in hand with them to promote the green transformation of the global energy structure.”
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