Innovations in crystalline silicon offer hope to PV supply chain

Nine technology areas could drive increased c-Si efficiencies, higher yields, and meaningful cost gains in the near term
Innovations in crystalline silicon offer hope to PV supply chain

A new report from Greentech Media (GTM) indicates that equipment vendors, material suppliers, component manufacturers and startups are pushing the needle on advanced technology concepts like never before, in a bid to further increase efficiencies and lower the cost curve of crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV technology.

The global photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing sector continues to be besieged by problems of overcapacity and mounting financial losses. However, a new report from GTM Research entitled Innovations in Crystalline Silicon PV 2013: Markets, Strategies and Leaders in Nine Technology Areas, closely examines the benefits, challenges, key vendors, and market penetration prospects of nine advanced technology platforms being commercialized in the 2012 to 2014 timeframe. The nine technologies covered in the report are:

Quasi-mono wafers

Diamond wire sawing

Kerfless wafers

Selective emitters

Reduced-silver metallization

Dielectric-passivated backside cell architectures

Conductive adhesives

Encapsulant alternatives to EVA

Frameless and plastic-framed module designs

“Silicon PV is entering an era of unprecedented technological progress,” said Andrew Gabor, Consulting Analyst at GTM Research and author of the report. “While most c-Si cost reductions until now have stemmed from economies of scale and reductions in the cost of key consumables, the next few years will have to see technology innovation playing a dominant role in driving down costs. Platforms such as diamond wire sawing, selective emitters and reduced-silver metallization will enable higher cell and module efficiencies, more efficient material utilization and higher throughput processes that will keep the cost of silicon PV declining for years to come.”

 “The rate of technological innovation for c-Si is overwhelming and the potential impacts on PV module cost, performance and reliability are difficult to understand or predict," continued Gabor. “This report aims to help readers navigate these topics. We have made concrete recommendations based on both technology and cost/performance merits and do not shy away from controversial conclusions.”

GTM Research analyzes more than 150 vendors in this report and identifies the following companies and their technologies as potential market leaders:

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT): Ion implantation diffusion for mono c-Si

Dai Nippon Printing (Tokyo:7912): Polyolefin encapsulant

DuPont (NYSE:DD): Ionomer encapsulant

Hitachi Chemicals (Tokyo:4217): Conductive adhesives for cell interconnection

Komatsu (OTC:KMTUY): Diamond wire sawing

Meyer Burger (SIX:MBTN): Diamond wire sawing

Schmid Group: Mask/etchback selective emitter for multi c-Si and TinPad™ rear metallization


Further information:

GTM Research

Tags: PV , Photovoltaic
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