9:19 pm - Tuesday September 1, 2015

The Role of Automation Software in the Solar Industry

InterSolar Europe, the industry’s largest tradeshow was held in Munich, Germany last week. With more than 2,200 exhibitors and more than 75,000 visitors, one of the most important industry shows took place at an important inflection point in the industry.

This was Applied Materials’ fourth year participating in InterSolar Europe and our theme this year, ‘Powering the c-Si Roadmap’ set the stage for the various activities that took place including equipment demos at the booth, executive presentations, a software symposium and customer meetings.

At the booth visitors had the opportunity to meet with Applied Materials solar executives from around the world to learn more about how Applied Materials is lowering the cost-per-watt of solar energy and powering the crystalline silicon roadmap with our equipment as well as experience technology demos of Selective Emitter, Precision Wafering Systems and Baccini screens.

In conjunction with the show, Dr. Charlie Gay gave the keynote address at the Applied Materials Software Symposium and discussed the latest developments in solar technology, manufacturing and the technologies ability to achieve grid party. His talk entitled, A Solar Industry Roadmap and the Role of Automation Software outlined:

· How companies, now more than ever, must be more efficient and productive and have a clear roadmap to guide research.

· How the large increase in manufacturing capacity added in the last year has resulted in the continued pricing decline for cell and module manufacturers—putting pressure on profitability.

· How Applied is helping customers to increase conversion efficiencies, improve productivity, reduce manufacturing costs, and achieve the economies of scale needed to compete in this growing, competitive marketplace.

· How scaling up the size of manufacturing facilities provides tremendous opportunities for materials cost reduction, infrastructure cost savings, and improved efficiencies in logistics planning.

Solar adoption depends on the technology’s ability to match the cost-per-watt of traditional energy sources, and one way to achieve this cost goal is to continuously strip costs out of the manufacturing process. One way to help do this is by automating the solar factory.



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