Feature Story Clean Energy & Ocean Solutions

Hanwha Q CELLS Smart Solar Technology Delivers in Both Quantity and Quality

May 12, 2020

Hanwha Q CELLS produces a complete suite of energy solutions – packed with innovations that have come out of its R&D centers. They’re manufactured at Hanwha Q CELLS plants in four countries and sold through a global business network spanning 40 markets. Hanwha Q CELLS’ vast offerings range from residential solar modules and power systems to construction of industrial-scale solar power plants. Product quality is ensured thanks to its rigorous testing and inspection process that begins at the company’s Technology & Innovation headquarters in Germany and carries through to final assembly at manufacturing plants in Korea, Malaysia, China, and the United States.

With exceptional product quality and excellent customer service, Hanwha Q CELLS has acquired the largest share of the world’s biggest solar module markets across Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan. It is also number one in the United States’ residential and commercial solar module markets. EuPD Research has awarded the company with the Top Brand PV Seal for Europe for seven consecutive years and the Top Brand PV Seal for Australia for five consecutive years.

Hanwha Q CELLS: a pioneer in solar technology

Hanwha Q CELLS manufactures solar modules that have earned a Tier-1 rating from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Currently, Hanwha Q CELLS plants, combined, have the capacity to produce up to 11.3 GW of solar energy each year. This is the world’s largest solar module production capacity, enough to provide power to more than 10 million people. At the core of Hanwha Q CELLS’ technology is Q.ANTUM, a proprietary Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) technology that boosts the amount of electricity a solar module generates. Higher performance in real-world conditions is achieved by attaching a power generation reflector to the back of each cell to cause light to bounce back. Another key technology Hanwha Q CELLS employs is Q.ANTUM DUO, which maximizes the module’s lifespan and energy efficiency by significantly reducing electric resistance and optical loss when generating electricity.

Hanwha Q CELLS’ Jincheon plant: a state-of-the-art smart factory

Hanwha Q CELLS' Jincheon solar cell plant is the world's most advanced smart factory manufacturing solar cells and solar modules

Hanwha Q CELLS’ Jincheon plant is largest and most advanced solar module production facility in the world

Hanwha Q CELLS leads the global solar market in cost and technology. As part of its effort to secure long-term profitability, the company leverages the most innovative production methods and has established some of the most advanced smart factories in the world.

Hanwha Q CELLS’ Jincheon plant in North Chungcheong Province, Korea is equipped with world-class smart factory systems and technology. At approximately 190,000 m2 or the size of 26 soccer fields, the Jincheon plant is the largest solar module plant in the world. It can produce up to 2.2 million solar cells per day, with an annual production capacity of 4.5 GW (as of 2020), enough to provide electricity to more than 5 million people.

The Jincheon plant is implementing multiple state-of-the-art smart factory systems that use big data analysis and automation to optimize its work force, minimize opportunity costs, and improve production efficiency.

The solar cell and module manufacturing process at Hanwha Q CELLS’ Jincheon plant

Advanced robotics and other innovative solar and photovoltaic cell technologies fill Hanwha's state of the art smart factory

Hanwha Q CELLS’ Jincheon plant uses innovative technologies including artificial intelligence and advanced robotics in its production lines

The production process at Hanwha Q CELLS’ Jincheon plant is fully automated from the moment that the wafers (the raw materials) enter the production line to when the completed solar modules are shipped out. The Manufacturing Execution System (MES) focuses on monitoring and control, tracking and managing logistics, work history, status identification, and defect management. At the core of the plant’s facility automation is Hanwha’s MES, which interlinks the production line, logistics system, and monitoring system.

Recently, the Jincheon plant began providing wrist-worn wearables for its employees. These devices provide real-time alerts to help employees address any issues as they occur and keep all stakeholders and relevant departments informed. In addition, the facility has a platform that collects system-failure information and takes systematic measures.

The Jincheon plant achieves high efficiency by using artificial intelligence and robots throughout the entire production process. Hanwha Q CELLS is the only company in the solar industry to laser engrave each solar cell with an unforgeable data matrix code. This proprietary Tra.Q system stamps one side of every solar cell with identifying information that includes its production line, production date, and material batch number. This information is used in big data analytics to further optimize the production process. By analyzing the Tra.Q data from the billions of solar cells produced annually, production problems can be prevented before they occur.

The video below provides a brief overview of the automated production process from manufacturing to packaging at Hanwha Q CELLS’ Jincheon plant.

A video tour of Hanwha Q CELLS' Jincheon smart factory, which is capable of generating 2.2 million solar cells a day.

The Jincheon plant produces highly durable solar cells and modules with significantly fewer defects by leveraging state-of-the-art technology in all processes and applying rigorous quality control standards that are two-to-three-times tougher than the industry average. These cells and modules lead the industry in product efficiency, durability, and quality. Moreover, they maintain their performance throughout their lifespan.

Hanwha Q CELLS has set a new bar in the global solar industry with its technologically advanced products and Tier-1 quality. It is a trusted partner to investors and customers alike. As a result, Hanwha Q CELLS is helping to create a sustainable future as a provider of cleaner solar energy and services for generations to come.