The recent asset acquisition of Advent Solar’s c-Si Emitter-Wrap Through (EWT) back-contact cell technology and cell-to-module solar architecture by Applied Materials is not expected to generate sales until sometime in 2011, according Mike Splinter, Applied’s President & Chief Executive Officer in a conference call discussing quarterly results.
“I think that will really be 2011 before we see real meaningful sales from that technology,” noted Splinter. “We need to finish up the development of the capability and then get it in to the marketplace. So, I think before we see meaningful output is 2011.”
Splinter went on to explain later in the call that Applied was needed to prove the technology from a manufacturability and cost effectiveness perspective, which was the main aim over the next several quarters.
“As we get closer to introducing that as a capability to the marketplace we’ll update you on how we think it’s going to change the fabrication of solar panels,” Splinter said.
There is currently a race to boost c-Si cell efficiencies as prices throughout the supply tumble. Higher efficiency cells and modules are not as exposed to the severity of the price declines, helping companies soften the impact of declining ASP’s.
However, Anton Milner Q-Cells founder and CEO and the largest c-Si cell producer in 2008, noted in a conference call that it wasn’t pursuing selective emitter-based cell technologies for its current roadmap of improvements due to the development of other back-contact technologies and tweaks that didn’t require production line re-tooling.