Interview

| LOUIS LIU | HEAD OF SMART PV BUSINESS INDIA | HUAWEI |

 

Q. Kindly enlighten us about HUAWEI's journey till now?

 
In 2013, following more than three years of technical research and build-up, Huawei Network Energy (now renamed as Huawei Digital Power) began launching Huawei inverters. Huawei Smart PV Solution 1.0 made its industry debut in 2014, and demonstrated how the centralized control center remotely detects and locates PV module faults, site intrusion, and power generation for each array. 
 
From that year in 2015 until 2019, global shipments of Huawei inverters are ranked No. 1 in the IHS Markit ranking. In 2019, Huawei became the first string inverter brand with 100 GW deployment globally. A decade hard work from Huawei created a miracle in the in the industry.
 
The development of new energy has kicked off a game-changing energy revolution, greatly exceeding the expectations of the industry. However, an energy system with renewable energy as the core, the construction of an energy IoT, and the fully connected world of the future have not yet been fully realized, and a great deal of challenges await. When the complexity of all these exceeds human’s limit, Al steps in as the energy nerve center and connecting all the dots.
 
Huawei's commitment to a better today lays the foundation for a brighter tomorrow.
 

Q. What are the other key issues faced by solar manufacturers?

 
O&M is also a significant challenge for inverters globally, as the manpower cost outside China is higher and central inverters require professionals to handle faults onsite. 
Redefining O&M: Currently, by integrating technologies such as big data mining, AI identification algorithms, and self-learning, Huawei's Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis has been applied in more than 7 GW PV plants worldwide. So far, Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis has reached the highest level in the industry in terms of fault detection accuracy (certified by China General Certification Center, CGC). The traditional manual inspection mode is completely changed. All PV strings can be remotely scanned in one-click mode. For a 100 MW PV plant, Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis can automatically generate a diagnosis report within 15 minutes and proactively send maintenance requests, issue diagnosis, and accurate locations to O&M personnel. This achieves zero-inspection for PV plants. The application of Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis in actual PV plants significantly improves the energy yields. This is how AI technologies redefine O&M.
 
With a large number of renewable energy plants are connected to the grid in a short period of time, it raises many concerns about grid stability. Thus it is critical for the power plant equipment to support the characteristics of the power grid.
Redefining grid connection: As the penetration of renewable energy increases, the power grid becomes weaker, that is, its short circuit ratio (SCR) that indicates the grid strength is gradually decreased. To ensure that renewable energy can be connected to the power grid on a large scale, solar inverters must better support power girds by wider SCR adaptability, continuous high- and low- voltage ride through capability, and fast frequency modulation capability, which are necessary for grid connection. Huawei smart solar inverters integrate the world-leading AI algorithm architecture and have stronger control capabilities. Huawei introduces the AI technology for impedance reshaping and integrates multiple leading grid connection algorithms such as dynamic damping adaptation. AI self-learning can proactively identify the electrical features of the PV plant and automatically adjust the grid connection algorithm to match the power grid. For example, Huawei solar inverters support the HVDC scenario, a minimum power grid SCR of 1.5, no power derating during high-voltage ride through, a better connection to weak power grids, and fault ride through (FTR) capability. From following the power grid to supporting the power grid, the Al technologies finally complete redefining the power grid. The goal is to transform PV energy from a cheap energy source to a mainstream energy of high quality.
 

Q. What are the new markets that HUAWEI is focusing on besides India?

 
There are many new markets that we are focusing on, including countries in Northeastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. 
 

Q. Kindly enlighten something about your product, technology, solutions and quality?

 
Huawei launches the leading Smart PV Solution that integrates the digital information technology accumulated over 30 years with the PV industry. In terms of power generation, new information and communications technologies (ICTs) such as AI and cloud are further converged with PV to build smart PV plants that feature "Higher Yields, Simple O&M, Safe & Reliable, Equivalent CAPEX", helping PV energy become a main energy source. As for power consumption, Huawei launches the 24-hour green power solution for enterprise and home users based on the concept of "Optimal Electricity Cost & Active Safety." This solution improves the self-consumption rate and enables users to enjoy clean power anytime at home, leading users into a new era of power consumption. Through continuous innovation, Huawei Smart PV Solution aims to bring green energy to every person, home, and organization.
 
In 2018, Huawei took the lead in introducing AI technologies into the PV industry. The most typical applications include the Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis, smart tracking algorithm, and smart grid connection algorithm. This is the 1.0 era of AI + PV. Today, as the leader of AI technologies, Huawei is about to usher in the 2.0 era of AI + PV. AI technologies will not only be simply applied in PV power generation, but also play the role of redefining PV, in aspects including power generation, O&M, grid connection, and safety. This is aim at bringing more values and better experience to customers, and transforming PV from an auxiliary energy to a main one.
Huawei's factory covers an area of 315,000 square meters. It has more than 9800 employees including 700 engineering technical talent. More than 40 advanced surface mounting technology (SMT) lines are available and are equipped with various self-developed function test equipment. In addition, Huawei cooperates with multiple well-known electronic manufacturing services (EMS) enterprises in the industry. The annual production of boards is over 34 million, and the annual production of equipment is over 1.13 million sets. Huawei's self-made semi-finished product processing offers the industry advantage in quick line changeover, which is suitable for small-batch and multi-category production. The facility features high flexibility of production capacity, meeting customer requirements for customized and multi-category facility integration. One-stop service is available for onsite trial production of new products and provides strong assurance for the fast and high-quality R&D of Huawei's new products. The monthly output of the solar inverter production line is 4 GW.
 

Q. How HUAWEI initiatives towards CSR?

 
Huawei has always been customer-centric in sustainability management, and is committed to contributing to society and building a fully connected, intelligent world. Huawei works with partners to provide ICT services for every person, home, and organization, and proposes innovative solutions to enable more people to benefit from digital inclusion. Huawei also improves the capabilities in identifying, detecting, and preventing cyber risks to ensure that networks are running healthily and stably. Huawei intensifies its efforts in cyber security and user privacy protection and takes it as the top priority. Huawei end-to-end product eco-design management helps reduce the environmental impacts of products throughout their life cycles. Huawei cares for employees, operates in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, gives back to local communities, and works with partners to build a robust and healthy ecosystem.
 

Q. Covid -19 has spread over a large part of the world. What has been the impact on your business operations as a result of the coronavirus outbreak?

 
We see the market slowly begin to open up besides certain regions that are heavily affected by COVID-19. Now production, supply chains, and logistics have all returned to normal. Customers are also actively doing a lot of desk work and Huawei continues to try our best to support them.
 

Q. There's debate going on "Women empowerment" and women are coming up with technical talent also. What are your views on that?

 
Technology can be the key to providing equal opportunities for women around the globe. We place great importance in empowering women in STEM and in our team as well.