PV in Japan: Ulvac’s thin-film push, Kyocera takes orders

November 21, 2007 – Ulvac is gearing up for mass production of thin-film solar cells, having spent 3B yen (~$27.2M) for a dedicated production line at its main plant in Kanagawa Prefecture, where after equipment installation in September, production is currently being tested and quality confirmed, notes the Nikkei Business Daily. The equipment utilizes 1.1m x 1.4m glass substrates, from which about 100W worth of solar cells can be produced.

The company already has orders in hand from two Taiwan solar cell producers, plus two sets of systems going to a Chinese solar cell firm. About 20 units are planned to be produced by the year ending 2012, with sales topping 100B yen (~$901M), the paper notes.

Meanwhile, Sekisui Chemical, a resin processor and prefabricated-home builder, is diversifying its sources of solar power systems, now aiming to buy 30% of its needs from Kyocera in addition to longtime supplier Sharp, notes the Nikkei daily. Sharp’s monocrystalline cells cost about 2M yen ($18K) to install in a typical single-family home, while Kyocera’s polycrystalline systems should cost about 3.5% less, the paper notes.


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