Intevac expects to start shipping its largest ever single tool order to a customer in China planning to ramp N-type mono IBC (Interdigitated Back Contact) solar cells and modules, including bifacial modules in the second half of 2017. Image: Intevac
Specialist semiconductor and PV equipment supplier Intevac expects to start shipping its largest ever single tool order to a customer in China planning to ramp N-type mono IBC (Interdigitated Back Contact) solar cells and modules, including bifacial modules in the second half of 2017.
The order booked in March, 2017 was for 12 ‘ENERGi’ solar ion implant tools to support 1GW of new high-efficiency N-type mono IBC cell production, providing the opportunity to also produce bifacial solar cells. The order was the largest placed with the company outside its core hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturing market.
“This order for nearly US$23 million will support 1 gigawatt [1GW] of high efficiency solar cell [ion] implant capacity, noted Wendell Blonigan, president and chief executive officer of Intevac, during its second quarter earnings call. “Shipping through the end of this year, we expect to recognize revenues on these tools in 2018 after receiving the first customer acceptances. Based on successful results of this new manufacturing line, this customer could be in a position to add additional capacity starting in 2018 as well.”
There had been concern that ambitious new capacity expansion plans by a number of China-based PV manufacturers could be curtailed should the US ITC ‘Section 201’ case lead to significantly higher module import prices, potentially hitting demand globally as a knock-on effect of the US solar market collapsing.
Intevac’s plans to start shipping tools in the second-half of 2017, supports the view that a major technology buy-cycle to migrate to high-efficiency products is less likely to be impacted by any new US trade actions. High-efficiency cells and modules are currently in high-demand and a global shortage has developed.
However, Intervac noted in the earnings call that the specific customer in China was primarily focused on supplying demand in China and therefore its strategy was not expected to be directly impacted by any negative Section 201 trade case outcome.
The ion implant tool order remained in Intervac’s Thin-Film Equipment segment order backlog in reporting second quarter financial results.
This TechTalk webinar will examine the main ranges of utility panels available from 400Wp to above 500Wp and decode the specifics of the major technologies, whilst analyzing the benefits from a system usage point of view. The webinar will also introduce the JA Solar Deep Blue series of modules up to and beyond 530Wp. Find out more.
The first ever event dedicated specifically to solar PV Heterojunction manufacturing and multi-GW production challenges and opportunities. Meet the global community driving Heterojunction to multi-GW status in mass production today in the spectacular setting of St. Petersburg in Russia.
Going into its fifth year over 200 delegates from 150 companies and 20 countries representing the PV supply chain will gather in Malaysia to discuss the technology roadmaps for PV cell advancement in GW markets. The scope of the event has been expanded this year, to cover developments in wafer supply and thin-film investments and technologies alongside all the regular benefits to all stakeholders tracking PV technology and investment trends for the next 5 years.
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability.