Home > Is this the end for silicon thin-film solar cells?

Is this the end for silicon thin-film solar cells?

Editorial
article image Equipment manufacturers are jumping ship from the silicon thin-film solar market, with many halting new technology development in the area.

IT MIGHT be the end of the line for silicon thin-film solar cells, with manufacturers shutting down technology development and manufacturing.

According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, the silicon thin-film solar market share will keep plummeting, as DuPont having announced that it will terminate its silicon thin-film operations by 2014.

DuPont will gradually shut down the silicon thin-film production lines at its subsidiary company.

“Judging from recent price quotes, silicon thin-film price quotes is at US$0.58/watt while silicon module is at US$0.6/watt. Price difference has decreased from the original US$0.1/watt to US$0.02/watt. Therefore, silicon thin-film product no longer holds price competitiveness,” said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend.

“Meanwhile, silicon module conversion efficiency is around 17.2% while silicon thin-film remains at 8% to 10%. Efficiency gap between the two will continue to increase as silicon module efficiency goes up.”

Equipment manufacturers are jumping ship from the silicon thin-film solar market, with many halting new technology development in the area.

Manufacturers had earlier pinned their hopes on Oerlikon’s commercialisation of Tandem-Junction amorphous silicon technology as a possible way to improve silicon thin-film product efficiency.

However, Tokyo Electron acquired Oerlikon’s thin-film business in 2012, then closed down its micromorph thin-film production line operations in January 2014.

Newsletter sign-up

The latest products and news delivered to your inbox