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    Solar Energy > Solar News > Solar Business > Applied Materials announces progress on solar panel technology

    Applied Materials announces progress on solar panel technology

    Posted on by Nate Lew

    Applied Materials expects far more efficient solar panel manufacturing advances in the next couple of years, according to company executives.

    Dr. Mark Pinto, the company’s chief technology officer, said that the company’s crystalline silicon manufacturing plant producers about 1,500 wafers per hour, resulting in about 16 percent efficiency. He added that automation and other factors will double this figure to nearly 3,000 wafers per hour by 2012.

    "To drive performance and reduce costs, the industry will become more technology-intensive, with new materials, applications, integration schemes, and factory automation and control," said Pinto.
    The company is expecting to make substantial gains in its SunFab thin film product line, with an eye on achieving $1 per watt production costs by next year.

    Specifically, Pinto indicated that Applied Materials is aiming for 12 percent conversion efficiency and module costs below 70 cents per watt by 2012.

    In a separate announcement recently, Applied Materials said that it is working with DuPont on new printing technology that will improve the efficiency of crystalline silicone solar panel products.

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