Hanwha Q Cells has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against a Chinese company in Australia in addition to the United States and Germany. The company is determined to keep its technological superiority over Chinese companies that have been dominating the market based on price competitiveness.
Hanwha Q Cells has filed a lawsuit with the Australian federal court against a Chinese company that allegedly violated its patented technology that increases the efficiency of power generation by forming a protective film on the back of solar cells.
Previously, Hanwha Q Cells has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against JinkoSolar and LONGi Solar in the United States and against JinkoSolar in Germany.
Hanwha is taking action against Chinese companies as they have been increasing their shares in foreign as well as Chinese markets. According to market researcher PV Tech, seven of the top 10 global PV module makers are Chinese, with the remaining three being Hanwha Q Cells, Canadian Solar and First Solar.
In particular, analysts note that lawsuits were inevitable for Hanwha since it has the largest market share in the U.S., German, and Australian markets. JinkoSolar, which is alleged to have stolen Hanwha’s technology, is currently No. 1 in the global solar module market, and LONGi Solar is also rapidly increasing its market share with high efficiency single crystal modules. Such progress made by Chinese companies is attributed to the combination of government subsidies and strong price competitiveness stemming from patent thefts, as well as robust domestic market, which accounts for more than one-third of the global solar market.
Hanwha Q Cells plans to chase off Chinese companies by maintaining its technological superiority. Hanwha Q Cells will build a “direct wafer” plant in Malaysia with 1366 Technologies in September and start commercial operation. Solar cells are manufactured by melting polysilicon as a base material through ingot and wafer form stages. In the process of making ingots into wafers, much polysilicon is consumed. However, if direct wafer technology is used to make polysilicon into wafers directly, the use of polysilicon will be reduced by more than 60 percent, which will increase cost competitiveness.