Cast-mono wafer production forecast to reach 2.4-GW in 2012
March 27, 2012 // Paul Buckley
PV polysilicon and wafer prices fell approximately 50% in 2011 with demand for solar systems forecast to be down or flat in 2012. Polysilicon and wafer prices are expected to remain under heavy pressure.
As a result, revenues for both industries are predicted to shrink, polysilicon by 35% and wafer by 47%.
The new NPD Solarbuzz Polysilicon and Wafer Supply Chain Quarterly pinpoints significant oversupply of both polysilicon and wafer production is causing less competitive manufacturers to temporarily idle or shutter factories and reduce utilization. Polysilicon factory utilization is forecast to fall from 76% in 2011 to 66% in 2012. Wafer utilization is forecast to fall from 64% to 57%.
In the challenging market, cast-mono is emerging as an important strategy for wafer and vertically integrated module makers, particularly in China, to increase competiveness. The technology enables hybrid mono/multi-crystalline ingots to be grown in high productivity conventional multi-crystalline DS casting furnaces at lower costs than Cz grown mono ingots.
“Chinese manufacturers know they need to increase conversion efficiencies in order to remain competitive in the oversupplied market. They see cast-mono as a low-cost approach with relatively low technical barriers to achieving this goal,” said Charles Annis , Vice President at NPD Solarbuzz.
Commercial production of cast-mono wafers and modules began in 2011. This year, cast-mono is predicted to account for 2.4 GW, or about 8%, of total PV wafer production. Based on survey results detailed in the report, cast-mono production is forecast to grow steadily and to account for more than 25% of all wafer production by 2016.
“Many leading Chinese manufacturers are very optimistic about cast-mono, but there are still multiple technical and commercial challenges, such as the wide range of efficiency distributions and the non-uniform appearance of modules, which need to be resolved before the technology can fully achieve its promise of higher efficiency at lower costs. In 2012, we will see how the end market receives a strong supplier push of cast-mono,” added Annis.
Figure 1: Polysilicon and PV Wafer Industry Revenues
Source: NPD Solarbuzz Q1’12 Polysilicon and Wafer Supply Chain Quarterly
Visit NPD Solarbuzz at www.solarbuzz.com
3D Sound Labs cracks user-centric surround sound
April 27, 2015
French startup 3D Sound Labs is now taking pre-orders for its Neoh headphones which it claims produce a truly immersive, ...
Wireless charging gets universal antenna
European Space Agency to send ultracapacitors into orbit
A clean MIPS slate for academia
Design win; IDT meets IKEA
Eurotech to offload its cloud offering to iNebula
April 24, 2015
Italian companies Eurotech and iNebula have joined their forces to provide what they claim will be the industry's first cloud ...
Electric vehicles: Driving range decides
Samsung details its flex display
3D-printing aerogels for energy storage
- Smart Capacitive Design Tips
- Wireless MCUs and IoT
- Battery Management System Tutorial
- Deciding if Automated Test is right for your Company
InterviewInfineon: CAN FD success goes at the expense of FlexRay
The faster version of the venerable CAN bus, CAN FD is currently taking off at several carmakers. Infineon's Thomas Böhm, Head of Body / Automotive, believes this could well go at the expense of FlexRay. ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, DecaWave is offering EETimes Europe's readers the chance to win two TREK1000 kits to evaluate its Ultra-Wideband (UWB) indoor location and communication DW1000 chip in different real-time location system topologies.
Worth €947, the kit allow designers to prove a concept within hours and have a prototype ready in days. Based on the two-way ranging scheme, the kit lets you test...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.