Bedford, MA October 28, 2015 1366 Technologies today announced a series of new performance records for its kerfless, drop-in 156mm multi-crystalline wafers, including a champion result of 19.1% on an industrial line of Hanwha Q CELLS. The result was independently verified by the Fraunhofer ISE. Hanwha Q CELLS has achieved an average cell efficiency of 19.0% (max efficiency at 19.1%) at its Headquarters for Technology and Innovation in Germany using 1366’s proprietary Direct Wafer® technology and Hanwha Q CELLS proprietary Q.ANTUM, passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) cell process.
“The disruptive nature of the Direct Wafer® process is not only evident in the cost and material savings it provides, but in its ability to break the technology limitations of conventional wafer manufacturing. The rapid and significant efficiency gains we’ve achieved will be further increased by new wafer features made possible only with our process,” said Frank van Mierlo, CEO, 1366 Technologies. “We intend to change the way the industry thinks about wafers. There are more gains to be had, and we have a clear roadmap to achieve 20% cell efficiency.”
The 1366 team currently has a manufacturing hub of three, fully-operational furnaces at their demonstration facility in Bedford, MA. Each furnace is capable of throughput in excess of 5 MW of wafers per year on par with standard directional solidification furnaces while using just one half of the space and delivering a 60% reduction in energy consumption per wafer. This hub has demonstrated manufacturing readiness for copy intelligently scaling and is the blueprint for the Company’s first commercial scale facility, which will house 50 Direct Wafer® furnaces.
“These most recent achievements are exciting because they were attained in industrial lines, not a lab. They represent a real leap forward,” continued van Mierlo. “We are well on our way to producing high performance wafers at a cost of less than $0.40 each at GW scale.”
Daniel Jeong, Global R&D Head at Hanwha Q CELLS said: “These latest results demonstrate the potential in combining 1366’s Direct Wafer® Technology with our unique Q.ANTUM technology. Together they can push the efficiency limits of multi-crystalline solar cell technology while at the same time reducing the cost significantly. We will continue on our track to jointly mature 1366’s Direct Wafer® Technology.”
Earlier this month, 1366 announced it will build its 250 MW commercial facility in Genesee County, New York. The facility will initially produce 50 million wafers each year and eventually scale to 3 GW of capacity, manufacturing 600 million wafers each year.
1366 Technologies’ Direct Wafer® process forms multi-crystalline wafers directly from molten silicon instead of today’s multi-step, energy- and capital-intensive approach. The result is a uniformly better wafer, created at one-half the cost.