Manufacturing

July 21, 2010
In a significant change of direction, Applied Materials has revealed that it will stop selling its turnkey a-Si thin-film technology under the SunFab name to potential new customers, shifting emphasis away from thin-film altogether and focusing on crystalline silicon (c-Si) and LED manufacturing equipment and technology.
July 15, 2010
The executive and project management team from Dyesol and Corus met with Welsh Assembly Government representatives on July 7 to present the achievements of the two-year R&D project to industrialize dye solar cell (DSC) technology on steel, for the continuous manufacture of integrated building products.
June 15, 2010
At Intersolar Europe 2010, a powerhouse of the semiconductor industry exhibited for the first time but based on their manufacturing strategy will be attending this and many other major events for years to come. As is typical of the Korean-based memory manufacturer, little has actually been revealed about their solar manufacturing strategy, especially capacity and capital spending plans. However, PV-Tech was granted an exclusive video interview with the head of its new Solar Energy division, Changsik Choi, Executive Vice President, Samsung Electronics.
June 2, 2010
Plextronics has announced its Plexcore PV 2000, an organic solar ink, which the company hails as being able to deliver higher performance in fluorescent lighting conditions in comparison to amorphous silicon solar cells. The Plexcore PV 2000 is said to have a 30% to 40% increase in indoor power density in comparison to the standard organic solar technology.
June 1, 2010
The subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Uni-Solar, has detailed its technology roadmap, which is intended to push conversion efficiencies to 12% and a cost-per-watt of 95 cents by 2012. Importantly, the efficiency gains and cost reductions come from material improvements and process optimizations rather than fundamental cell changes, which should ensure a smooth demand driven production ramp in 2011. Initially, Uni-Solar is targeting area conversion efficiency gains to 8.2% in 2010 and by close of 2011 calendar year approximately 10%, with fully loaded production cost-per-watt of US$1.50.
June 1, 2010
The subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Uni-Solar, has detailed its technology roadmap, which is intended to push conversion efficiencies to 12% and a cost-per-watt of 95 cents by 2012.
May 10, 2010
In another sign of the difficult market conditions facing a-Si thin-film module manufacturers, Masdar PV has sacked both Rainer Gegenwart and Joachim Nell from their roles as CEO and COO/CMO, respectively. Michael Alexander will head Masdar PV in the interim. Masdar PV is a customer of Applied Materials turnkey thin-film technology and equipment under its ‘SunFab’ product line.
May 5, 2010
Harvard University spin-off SiOnyx has entered into a joint development agreement with Coherent to evaluate and develop the start-up’s light-absorbent material for solar cell fabrication applications. Fabrication of black silicon uses femtosecond laser processing of the target material to produce absorbent layers that better capture infrared light, potentially boost solar cell conversion efficiencies over conventional processes. Coherent has been active in developing laser-based techniques for both c-Si and thin film process technologies.
April 28, 2010
Having announced in February revenue of US$2,066.2 million in 2009, thin-film leader First Solar was crowned the number-one photovoltaics manufacturer by revenue for the first time. It also shipped over 1GW in modules, the first PV company to reach that milestone. However, First's time in the top slot would seem to have been short lived, as Sharp retook the position after issuing revenue of 208.7 billion yen (US$2.214bn), up 32.8% over the previous year.
March 29, 2010
With an initial production capacity of 160MW, Sharp has started volume production at its 1GW a-Si thin-film plant in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. According to the company, the new facility will be a model plant for future Sharp thin-film solar cell plants around the world.

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