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R&D spending analysis of 20 key PV manufacturers in 2017

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By Mark Osborne, Solar Media

An analysis of R&D spending of 20 publicly listed PV module manufacturers in 2017 has been undertaken to replace Photovoltaics International’s previous list of 12 companies tracked over a 10-year period.
A number of the original companies tracked have subsequently de-listed from stock markets and gone private, which meant that a broader analysis, including other listed companies was required to provide a good representation of global R&D spending trends in the PV wafer, cell and module segments of the upstream solar market.

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Welcome to Photovoltaics International 41. An emerging theme in the industry further downstream is the growing variety of bankable PV modules. It’s a topic we’ll be picking up on 23-24 October at our PV ModuleTech conference in Penang, Malaysia. This issue of PVI captures the ongoing work to drive improvements across the full range of those technologies. From the exploration of next generation CIGs cells to the commercial improvements of PERC by Trina Solar, this edition neatly captures that variety. Fraunhofer ISE reviews the latest results from efforts to improve the texturing of diamond wire sawn wafers. Trina Solar presents a roadmap for PERC improvements that it claims could halve costs while pushing efficiencies to 24% in around seven years. ECN and imec explore the latest developments in integrated cell to module manufacturing approaches from the more familiar multi-busbar and multi-wire to shingling and woven fabric and foil-based module technologies for back contacted cells. Elsewhere, CSEM INES zooms in on a major limiting factor for silicon heterojunction cells, metallization. All the regular features including our news reviews and R&D spending report make a return, plus lots more. Following on from this bumper edition, PVI42 will be published in Spring 2019.

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