Crystalline solar cell market grew 39 percent in 2007, says Gartner

April 7, 2008

PVTech : The crystalline silicon solar cell market had another robust year, according to figures from Gartner, Inc. The sector saw revenues increase 39 percent in 2007 compared with 2006, resulting in a 42 percent CAGR from 2004 through 2007. Ongoing demand in 2008 is expected with solar silicon consumption expected to exceed that of electronic semiconductor consumption for the first time, Gartner sai.

Crystalline silicon solar cell leaders were able to secure silicon material sufficiently for strong growth in 2007, though short supply actually hampered growth rates. Gartner noted that Q-Cells took the number one slot for the first time as Sharp and other Japanese manufacturers struggled to secure polysilicon supplies. Q-Cells now holds 17.2 percent of the market with revenues climbing 70 percent in 2007 compared to 2006…

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Konarka announces first-ever demonstration of ink-jet printed solar cells

March 4, 2008

Syscon.com, via Business Wire: Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Power Plastic®, a material that converts light to energy, today announced the company successfully conducted the first-ever demonstration of manufacturing solar cells by highly efficient inkjet printing. The company discusses and analyzes the performance of highly efficient inkjet printed organic bulk heterojunction solar cells in a paper recently published in Advanced Materials, entitled, “High Photovoltaic Performance of Inkjet Printed Polymer:Fullerene Blends” by Dr. Stelios A. Choulis, Claudia N. Hoth, Dr. Pavel Schilinsky and Dr. Christoph J. Brabec, all of Konarka.

“Demonstrating the use of inkjet printing technology as a fabrication tool for highly efficient solar cells and sensors with small area requirements is a major milestone,” commented Rick Hess, president and CEO at Konarka. “This essential breakthrough in the field of printed solar cells positions Konarka as an emerging leader in printed photovoltaics.”

Inkjet printing is a commonly used technique for controlled deposition of solutions of functional materials in specific locations on a substrate and can provide easy and fast deposition of polymer films over a large area. The demonstration confirms that organic solar cells can be processed with printing technologies with little or no loss compared to “clean room” semiconductor technologies such as spin coating. The most popular printing tool for organic electronics, inkjet printing could become a smart tool to manufacturer solar cells with multiple colors and patterns for lower power requirement products, like indoor or sensor applications. Inkjet printing is considered very promising because the polymer devices can be fabricated very easily because of the compatibility with various substrates and it does not require additional patterning.