In defiance of a significant trend by a growing number of leading PV manufacturers to either completely replace P-type multi c-Si cell technology with P-type mono c-Si with PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Contact) technology, or hedge their bets and do PERC on both wafer substrates, Silicon Module Super League member Canadian Solar is placing a potentially risky bet on pushing ahead with the migration to P-type multi c-Si PERC cell technology using diamond wire saw (DWS) and ‘Black Silicon’ texturing under its ‘ONYX’ cell branding.
‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member Hanwha Q CELLS may have reported record PV module shipments and revenue for 2016 but the underlying strategy for 2017 is cash preservation after its gross profit and margins collapsed in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Diversified renewable energy firm Shunfeng International Clean Energy (SFCE) had previously warned that it expected to report a loss in 2016 of around US$133 million (RMB 923 million) due to a catalogue of issues but revised analysis by the company put the figure significantly higher at around US$348 million.
Many key PV manufacturers in Taiwan are still reporting monthly sales in February, 2017 that are well below the levels set in the first half of 2016, due primarily to the expected boom in China’s downstream PV market, which has yet to take hold.
Leading PV manufacturing equipment supplier Meyer Burger reported a significant increase in revenue in 2016, due to the start of major technology upgrade and capacity expansion cycle by PV manufacturers primarily in the ingot/wafer and solar cell upstream segments.
Silicon Module Super League (SMSL) member Canadian Solar exceeded fourth quarter 2016 shipment and full-year guidance, due to strong demand at the end of the year but profitability was impacted by lower ASP’s and revised US anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
von Ardenne’s ‘SCALA’ platform has been designed to close the gap between R&D and production of Silicon heterojunction (HJ) solar cells. The modular platform provides a pathway via a technology approach, the tuning of the PVD processing and the complementary technology steps such as texturing, PECVD and metallization processes for 22% conversion efficiencies on 6-inch substrates and thus to ease the path to commercialization.
The PV CellTech 2017 conference has just finished. The findings were revealing, stimulating, thought-provoking, and in terms of mass production metrics from a PV event, once again ground-breaking, writes Finlay Colville.