advanced cell structures

Innovating Out of the Solar Winter – Dan Hutcheson Interviews Applied’s Jim Mullin

Innovating Out of the Solar Winter – Dan Hutcheson Interviews Applied’s Jim Mullin

The end market for solar power is booming, thanks to tremendous cost decreases over the last few years. However, it’s a crowded market for the companies that actually make the solar cells. Last week, Applied’s Giorgio Cellere blogged about how new manufacturing technology can help solar cell makers gain a competitive edge.Recently, Dan Hutcheson, CEO of VLSIresearch, explored this same subject in more depth with Jim Mullin, vice president of Solar Marketing at Applied Materials, in a video interview titled “Innovating out of the Solar Winter with Technology”.
Printing Solar Profitability

Printing Solar Profitability

Solar installations are rocketing worldwide as solar electricity becomes cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels – it’s already happened in 105 countries. This is the tipping point where economics takes over from altruism and solar PV becomes a serious part of the global energy mix.The steady drop in cost-per-watt is great news for the end user and is enabled by simultaneous increases in cell efficiency and lower manufacturing costs.If you’re a cell manufacturer, though, dropping prices are a double-edged sword: strong demand is good, but you must continuously lower costs by improving your manufacturing processes in order to be profitable.So, in a fiercely competitive industry, how is this done?After the jump, we’ll look at a great example of how cell manufacturers can boost profitability using an emerging technique called “double printing”.
Advanced Solar Cells Boost Efficiencies and Lower Costs

Advanced Solar Cells Boost Efficiencies and Lower Costs

Cell manufacturers worldwide, are in the process of transitioning to advanced cell structures in order to boost cell efficiencies and drive down the cost per watt. The photovoltaic (PV) learning curve has traditionally seen a 20% decline in module prices for every doubling of total installed modules. While this rate of reduction has primarily been driven by scale, we are now at a point where cell efficiency will become crucial in accelerating cost reduction.