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Trina Solar Revealed Its Modern PV Factory to Worldwide Reporters

Journalists observed firsthand the manufacturing facility where high-quality, competitively priced solar photovoltaic modules are produced.
Trina Solar invited members of both local and international media to show its advanced manufacturing facility and the cutting-edge manufacturing and testing process.

Reported by Jeanny H. Lim (swied@infothe.com)

 

 

Trina Solar, a leading integrated manufacturer of solar Photovoltaic (PV) products from ingots to modules, recently hosted journalists from around the world at its Changzhou (China) headquarters to show its factory and PV manufacturing process.

Founded in 1997 in Changzhou, China, Trina Solar is a globally recognized PV manufacturer with 2010 revenue of US$1.86 billion. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, under TSL ticker), Trina Solar employees over 17,000 people and has 11 offices worldwide. Trina Solar has shipped more than 2 GW since 2005.

 

 

The Largest Solar Campus in the World

 

Trina Solar has the largest solar campus in the world. Trina Solar’s solar campus consists of East and West Campuses and PV Park Facility Site. East Campus has more than 1 GW production facility. It is the single manufacturing campus, which increases degree of vertical integration and automation. 

The single campus idea is to ensure optimal yield and quality throughout the entire manufacturing process. It allows efficient management of the supply chain.

Today, full integration is absolutely critical for success because it not only allows you to control quality, but also allows you to minimize the cost. If you are involved in the whole chain, you understand the issues coming from one part of that chain and how that affects the next part of the chain. Therefore, full integration allows better control of cost, quality, yield, product development and cycle time,” said Ben Hill, Trina Solar’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing in Europe.

West Campus has the ‘Trina Solar Center for Excellence’, which includes a broad range of quality-control tests and procedures including product certification processes, material reliability and evaluation tests and research facilities. The center is equipped with advanced testing equipment similar to those in internationally-recognized, independent testing centers. All equipment and testing procedures are done in accordance with the following rigorous standards: UL1703, IEC61215 and IEC61730.

 

 

In the Center for Excellence, Trina Solar puts its modules through extreme environmental testing in order to ensure their reliability and performance. This allows Trina Solar confidently to provide its customers with a 25-year output warranty.

A unique concept Trina Solar is trying to put in place is Trina Solar PV Park. Trina Solar PV Park is a strategic location of key suppliers. The cluster strategy gives suppliers benefits like cost savings.

Trina Solar’s modules were ranked by Photon Yield Test (2010), DKA Australia (2009) and TUV Rheinland (2008) tests as among top 3 best performing modules.

Trina Solar achieved 18% efficiency for its multicrystalline cells and achieved 19.5% efficiency for monocrystalline cells in lab test production.

 

Trina Solar is now partnering with leading universities including MIT, SERIS, and U. Queensland for R&D. Trina Solar’s R&D investment tripled in 2010 to US$18.6 million, up from US$5.3 million in 2009. In 2010, it started construction of the Key State PV research Lab.

 

Phenomenal Growth

 

Trina Solar’s growth has been phenomenal. In 2006, Trina Solar was ranked top 20 in terms of PV module shipments shipping 27 MW of modules. In only four years, its module shipment grew to 1,057 MW in 2010 taking the fourth spot in the ranking of world’s largest PV module shippers.

Trina Solar is aiming to be the top PV module supplier, and is moving toward that goal while maintaining strong financials. Trina solar has maintained healthy financialsits gross margin is above 30% for the last five consecutive quarters. As of December 31, 2010, the company had US$791 million in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash.

Financials are key to allowing bankability, which is key to getting market access. And it’s also key for our customers because when our customers see the growth of Trina Solar and its ability to sustain its business model, they want to work with a company like Trina. This is why many of our top customers and many of the utilities who have long-term plans want to work with Trina,” said Hill. 

Trina Solar’s revenue grew from less than US$115 million in 2006 to more than US$1.86 billion in 2010, a CAGR of 201%. Thanks to this monumental revenue growth, Trina Solar was ranked No. 69 in the Fortune ‘Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies’ in 2010.

 

Serve the Customers and Customers Will Serve You

 

Trina Solar is only a 14-year-old company, yet it already has more than 17,000 employees worldwide. Employee base has more than doubled every year. 11 offices worldwide have been constantly hiring and opening new positions.

A company with the biggest factory in the future is not going to be the company that succeeds, but a company that’s close to the customers will succeed. So, we have a lot of expansion in our overseas staff supporting our customers in order to help grow our future,” stressed Hill.

Trina Solar is one of the first Asia-based manufacturers to understand the value of having foreigners in the leadership team to give a different concept, different perspective to the mentality of a manufacturing-based company.

That perspective is basically around ‘serve the customers and customers will serve you’. That’s been very successful for Trina Solar,” explained Hill.

 

The Path to Leadership

 

With the world’s largest solar manufacturing plant and vertically integrated business model, Trina Solar’s future goal is to continue bringing down the cost and improving the efficiency of their PV modules until they are competitive with fossil fuels.

We can achieve this by streamlining manufacturing, reducing the price of raw materials and components, and creating technology breakthroughs,” said Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar.

Confident about its capability to bring down the cost and raise the efficiency of their products, Trina Solar is optimistic about the role solar PV could play in providing us with safe, sustainable, clean energy.

 

Jeanny H. Lim is Editor-in-Chief of InterPV. Send your comments to swied@infothe.com.

 

 

For more information, please send your e-mails to pved@infothe.com.

2011 www.interpv.net All rights reserved.

 
 

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