RE+ is the top exhibition for renewable energy in North America, and this year’s event in Las Vegas was the biggest ever! With over 40,000 clean energy professionals in attendance testifying to our industry’s incredible growth, LONGi was excited to have an opportunity to showcase our industry-leading solar panels, talk about the future of module technology, and help raise awareness of the ways our industry is making the world a better place.
In case you weren’t in attendance or missed a chance to visit our booth, here’s a quick rundown of what you missed.
Continued leadership in solar module technology
On September 12th, LONGi Product Marketing Manager Alyssa Huang delivered a presentation for attendees titled “Technology Trends of High Efficiency Photovoltaic Modules.” Over the past two decades, LONGi has led the way in development and adoption of several solar technologies including diamond wire wafer cutting, monocrystalline cells, and bifacial modules, and we are investing over $1 billion annually in R&D to ensure that we continue pushing the industry forward.
- Top bankability, performance, reliability – and soon, assembled in America: Front and center at LONGi’s booth was the Hi-MO 5 module, available now in North America – and soon to be manufactured in Ohio as part of LONGi’s joint venture with leading U.S. utility solar developer Invenergy. With a 72-cell, 550W module for the utility market and a 54-cell, 405W module for the distributed generation (DG) market, the Hi-MO 5 module has achieved top bankability ratings and offers high performance and reliability proven across over 50 GW of projects globally.
- Next generation high-efficiency technology: The solar industry is progressing towards high efficiency n-type photovoltaics technologies. During this pivotal transition, LONGi is spearheading the development of an array of cutting-edge technologies. Among these advancements are the launch of the Hi-MO 7 HPDC high-efficiency module boasting over 22.5% efficiency and 80% bifaciality for the Canadian market, as well as the showcasing of our 2681 conceptual module at RE+. This module is named after its world record-setting 26.81% cell efficiency with more than 600W power, standing as a testament to the future of high-efficiency PV technology.
- Hail protection: As solar deployment takes off in hail-prone regions of North America like Texas and the Midwest in the U.S. and southern Alberta and British Columbia in Canada, mitigating hail risks was front-of-mind for many attendees. Selecting durable modules is a key part of any hail protection strategy, and LONGi is proud to offer full-scenario product protection for our modules under our Lifecycle Quality guarantee. We are also developing modules with additional hail protection, and at RE+ we had lots of great conversations with solar developers in hail-prone regions about their needs.
- AI in manufacturing: Artificial intelligence (AI) was a hot topic discussed by companies throughout the renewables industry at RE+, and LONGi is leading the way in applying this revolutionary technology to our manufacturing process. For example, we are using AI-enabled smart manufacturing processes to increase the efficiency of solar cell inspections by 25%, which has helped us to cut labor costs, reduce inspection errors, and improved early warnings of potential defects. Discussing our progress in this area was an important opportunity to remind attendees that solar innovation isn’t just about efficiency but cost reductions and quality control as well.
Besides technology advancement, we significantly evaluate field handling factors when developing new products. Because it’s absolutely critical to enable solar construction crews to build projects quickly and safely, we are laser-focused on the standardization of module sizes as well as evaluating tradeoffs between material strength, efficiency, and weight. This factors into LONGi’s technology leadership in all of these areas: for example, our next-generation modules will utilize the standardized 2382 x 1134mm module size to minimize challenge to the solar value chain.
Spreading the word about solar
In addition to discussing all of our own innovations, LONGi was thrilled to help raise awareness of the solar industry’s wider benefits for communities across North America alongside two terrific non-profit organizations that we have partnered with.
- Solar Butterfly: We are co-sponsors of the Solar Butterfly caravan tour, whose eye-catching trailer – including “wings” covered in solar panels – made a stop in Las Vegas to showcase solar’s importance as a climate change solution. Just like a caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly, Solar Butterfly is spreading its wings across the country and around the world to show how we can transition from fossil fuels to a renewable-powered future.
- Footprint Project: We have also donated solar panels to the Footprint Project, a non-profit focused on greening disaster response industry that partnered with RE+ to host the first-ever mobile microgrid build competition. By bringing mobile solar and battery powered microgrids to areas struck by power outages, the Footprint Project is demonstrating how renewable energy can help communities on the front lines of the extreme weather events caused by climate change.
As amazing as it was to connect with so many professionals in our industry in the exhibition hall, it was just as gratifying to see the way these organizations are raising awareness of our industry’s progress and potential with the broader public. LONGi is committed to advancing a greener future through innovation as well as education, and this year’s RE+ was an unparalleled opportunity to talk about the importance of both. Until next year!