Wickon Hightech has developed a new model of the ‘SPEEDFilm’ inspection platform specifically for PV manufacturers. The ‘SPEEDFilm Solar’ system ensures 100% inspection of screen printed paste structures with a very high throughput that is able to handle thinner and thinner printed structures on c-Si solar wafers.
Leading polysilicon and solar wafer producer GCL-Poly Energy Holdings has experienced a rise in polysilicon prices over the last 12 months, while experiencing a similar decline in the selling prices of solar wafers, causing a collision in prices going in the opposite direction that massively impacted its wafer operations profitability in the first quarter of 2017.
PV module manufacturer Astronergy said it was undertaking a transition away from 4BB (busbar) technology to 5BB to boost overall conversion efficiencies at its production plant in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany.
China-based polysilicon producer Daqo New Energy has reported its best ever financial quarter in terms of cost structure, production volume and polysilicon quality as it fully ramped annual capacity to 18,000MT.
Mono c-Si cell production is forecast to account for 49% of all c-Si cell production in 2018, and will become the dominant technology used in the PV industry by 2019, according to new research contained in the latest release of the PV Manufacturing & Technology Quarterly report, from the in-house research unit at PV-Tech’s parent company Solar Media Ltd.
After several months of lacklustre sales from many key PV manufacturers in Taiwan, indicating an expected boom in China’s downstream PV market had yet to gain momentum, March sales data indicates improving market demand, yet not at the levels seen in the prior year quarter.
A novel nanoscale pseudo-pit texture has been formed on the surface of a multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) wafer by using a metal-catalysed chemical etching (MCCE) technique and an additional chemical treatment.
A desirable nanoscale inverted-pyramid texture was created by optimizing the recipe of the MCCE solution and using a proprietary in-house chemical post-treatment; the depth and width of the inverted pyramid was adjustable within a 100–900nm range. MCCE black mc-Si solar cells with an average efficiency of 18.90% have been fabricated on CSI’s industrial production line, equating to an efficiency gain of ~0.4%abs. at the cell level. A maximum cell efficiency of 19.31% was achieved.
REC Group has introduced an all-black variant of its ‘TwinPeak 2’ Series PV module for US and European residential markets. The REC TwinPeak 2 BLK2 Series has a nominal power rating of up to 285Wp, using its half-cut cell and PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) technology and uniformly black-colored multicrystalline cells.
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.
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.
Specialist PV manufacturing equipment supplier RENA Technologies has secured several major orders from Asia-based PV cell manufacturers for its alkaline texturing and junction isolation tools in the first quarter of 2017.
Leading PV manufacturing equipment and technology supplier Meyer Burger has recently announced a swathe of new orders that encompass diamond wire saw equipment, PERC upgrade technology and Heterojunction (HJT) cell technology.