Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd., a vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots, wafers and photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules in China, announced its plan to increase its cell capacity by 50 MW through the enhancement of its manufacturing processes, and to convert 160 MW of its existing cell lines to high-efficiency selective emitter technology, both to be completed in the early first quarter of 2011.
Dr. Peter Xie, President of Solarfun, commented, "We experienced robust demand from customers in the first half of 2010, and customer demand in the second half of 2010 turned out to be much stronger than what we had anticipated. We are largely sold out of existing capacity for the remainder of 2010. Our continued ramp-up in capacity is driven by increased visibility of demand from our key customers in the first half of 2011 and we want to be prepared to meet this additional demand." Dr. Xie also noted, "The introduction of high-efficiency cell technology is a culmination of increased focus and aggressive investment in R&D, leading to a significant gain in cell efficiencies which are critical to reducing our costs and maintaining our competitive position."
The companys cell capacity is expected to reach 550 MW by the early first quarter of 2011. The addition of 50 MW incremental capacity will be achieved through debottlenecking and the enhancement of manufacturing processes without the purchase of any new cell lines.
Also by the early first quarter of 2011, the company plans to finish converting 160 MW of its existing cell capacity to high efficiency cell capacity through the introduction of selective emitter technology. The companys approach is expected to realize efficiency targets exceeding 18.5% and 17.0% for monocrystalline and multicrystalline cells, respectively. According to Dr. Mohan Narayanan, Vice President of Technology, "We believe our selective emitter technology offers several advantages in addition to higher cell efficiencies, including lower capital and physical space requirements, better utilization of existing equipment and employee skills, and reduced costs and higher yields."
The company also announced that new manufacturing complexes are currently under construction allowing for major future cell and module capacity additions. These facilities will be completed during the first half of 2011 and are expected to provide the ability to add 500 MW of cell capacity and 1.2 GW of module capacity. Dr. Xie concluded, "The investment in these new manufacturing facilities are reflective of our confidence in the continued growth in renewable energy and solar energy in particular, as well as our abilities to capture an increasingly larger share of that market."
Further Information: Solarfun (http://www.solarfun-power.com/)
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