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    Promising future for CdTe solar panel
    ----Interview with Pan Jingong
    General Manager
    CNBM (Chengdu) Optoelectronic Materials Co., Ltd.
    As a high-tech company held by central enterprises, CNBM (Chengdu) Optoelectronic Materials Co., Ltd. ("the Company") was established on December 16th, 2009 and has a registered capital of RMB233.7 million.

    Asian Metal: Hello, Mr. Pan, thank you very much for accepting the interview of Asian Metal. Would you please give a brief introduction to your company?

    Mr. Pan: As a high-tech company held by central enterprises, CNBM (Chengdu) Optoelectronic Materials Co., Ltd. ("the Company") was established on December 16th, 2009 and has a registered capital of RMB233.7 million. Depending on CNBM's lead-edge technologies and market advantages in the worldwide building materials industry, the Company devotes itself to the R&D and industrialization of CdTe solar panels, the production and marketing of high pure metal semiconductor materials, and the design, installation and operation of photovoltaic system. Under the guidance of national strategies, the Company completed the integration of industry chain of upstream and downstream photoelectric materials and there will be three business sectors with CdTe solar panels as the core, scattered metal materials and graphene materials as the important support in the future.
    The Company officially put the 100MW CdTe solar panel production line ("the Production Line") into operation in April which is the first Industry 4.0 production line with independent intellectual property right and a technology revolution in the field of building materials, solved the technological problems of high purity photoelectric materials on the aspects of synthesis, coating film, thermal treatment and packaging, broken the western blockade on techniques, and fill in China's technical blank on the large-scale CdTe solar panels production line. Thanks to the Production Line, China has been upgraded from a major country in building glass to a major power in electronic glass, made technological preparations for the next step to become a powerful country in semiconductors, and ushered in a brand new and intelligent green building materials industry.

    Asian Metal: What is the current production and order status since you put the Production Line into operation in April? What are the differences from conventional or the common CdTe solar panels and what are their advantages?

    Mr. Pan: We have yet to reach the designed capacity and are debugging and optimizing the equipment and technology at present, expecting to reach full capacity in October. In addition, we see favorable orders and are providing products for the national targeted poverty alleviation project in Zhangjiakou. They are building 14 village-level distributed solar poverty alleviation power stations with a total capacity of 7.38MW. The project combines livestock husbandry with CdTe solar panels, CdTe solar panels are used as the roof of the shed, and the open livestock breeding is carried out by using the raised bracket bottom space. Compared with the traditional solar energy cells, CdTe solar panels can generate electricity even in the dark and rainy days when the light is weak; what's more, there is no special requirement for the angle when installing and it can be vertical, inclined and tiled; furthermore, the manufacturing technique process is easy and highly automatical as you can produce it by a more than 500 meters long flow production line in a workshop.

    Asian Metal: Thank you for your detailed explanation. CdTe solar panel is really a great project, and I hope it can be used more widely. Would you please give a brief introduction to the application of CdTe solar panel in China?

    Mr. Pan: At present, CdTe solar panel is mainly used for building exterior walls and roofs to replace traditional glass and cement. For example, our plants in Chengdu have been totally transformed by CdTe solar panel; in addition, the material is applied to walls, platforms and expressway charging stations.

    Asian Metal: As the founder of CdTe solar panels in China, is it possible to improve the technology of the panel?

    Mr. Pan: There is still plenty of room for improvement in technology. The theoretical transfer efficiency of CdTe is 29%, the transfer efficiency in our lab is 17.4%, while that of mass production is 13.5%. There is still a long way to improve quality and efficiency in the future. There is room for improvement, optimization and improvement in materials, technology and equipment. The performance of materials determines the efficiency of devices and there is still much work to be done in the study of material theory and material preparation process; as for the technology, we focus on the aspects of energy-saving and cost-reducing and quality improvement; in regard to the equipment, we still depend on importing some key equipment now and are making efforts for the domesticization of key equipments.

    Asian Metal: The production of photovoltaic modules involves rare minor metals such as indium, gallium, selenium and tellurium, so how is the price and supply of raw materials? Will the demand for raw materials such as selenium and tellurium increase following the development of solar energy cell industry?

    Mr. Pan: It is a new application for these minor metals as they are the raw materials in the solar energy cell industry. The demand will present a trend of increase with the development of solar energy industry, but this will not attach great impact on the market. We keep improving our technology and try to reduce the thickness of film as well as reduce the consumption of raw materials while ensuring the quality of solar panel products.

    Asian Metal: Please give us some suggestions on the comprehensive utilization of resources such as selenium and tellurium.

    Mr. Pan: We should make reasonable use of the limited resources including selenium and tellurium which are scattered metals. First of all, improving the utilization rate of raw materials or finding alternatives to reduce the use of selenium and tellurium resources, especially to avoid resources waste; improving the hydrometallurgical process of selenium and tellurium, and extracting more selenium and tellurium from tailings and tailing water so that they become resources instead of pollutants; carrying out circular using and comprehensive recovery of resources and comprehensively recycling waste products containing selenium and tellurium to make sure no resources are wasted. Before the launching of our products, our scientific research personnel have carried out comprehensive recovery tests on the CdTe solar panels and we are taking the lead in formulating the national standards about the comprehensive recovery of thin film solar energy cell modules.

    Asian Metal: Thank you very much for your sharing. Last but not least, please talk about your company's short-term development planning.

    Mr. Pan: There will be three business sectors with CdTe solar panels as the core, scattered metal materials and graphene materials as the important support in the future. In addition, we will produce more new products by combining China's superior building products glass with our traditional products high-purity scattered metals.

    Asian Metal: Thank you again for accepting the interview. Wish your company better development in the future.

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