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Applied Materials optimistic about a-Si thin-film PV

Post Time:Apr 29,2009Classify:Company NewsView:320

Declining polysilicon prices may impact demand for amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules, but Applied Materials is confident of the development of thin-film PV modules because of their advantage in large-scale power generation, as well as building-integrated applications such as electrochromic glass used as curtain walls, according to Mark Pinto, the company's senior vice president and CTO as well as general manager for Energy and Environmental Solutions Group (EES), during a recent interview by Digitimes.

Q: How is the solar market? How is EES's business progress in Xi'an, northwestern China?

A: The orders for Applied Materials' PV production equipment from Spain in 2008 reached a total volume of 2.2GWp due to government feed-in tariff incentives, but the order volume may decrease by half in 2009.

Applied Materials has set up an engineering and development center in Xi'an, the company's second largest overseas center next only to the SubFab, Applied Materials' a-Si thin-film PV production line in Germany. The Xi'an R&D center consists of a-Si thin-film and polycrystalline silicon PV pilot production lines and has cooperated with China's academic organizations and universities as well as three China-based PV makers, ENN Solar Energy, Suntech Power and Best Solar.

Q: What are EES's 2009 business goals?

A: EES has two main goals for 2009: one is the development of micromorphous silicon (micro-Si) tandem-junction thin-film PV production equipment, and the other is to minimize production cost and equipment installation time. Applied Materials and Germany-based Sunfilm AG have achieved the first goal, a mileage for Applied Materials. While energy conversion rates for a-Si thin-film PV modules are about 6% currently, those for micro-Si models have reached about 8% and are improving towards 10%. Applied Materials hopes for a level of 12%. Currently, EES is cooperating with clients for 14 SunFab projects around the world.

Source: DIGITIMESAuthor: shangyi

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