Solarfun to increase cell capacity by 50 MW; will introduce high-efficiency cell technology

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."

He added: "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 company’s cell capacity is expected to reach 550 MW by the early first quarter of 2011. It adds that the addition of 50 MW incremental capacity will be achieved through de-bottlenecking and the enhancement of manufacturing processes without the purchase of any new cell lines.

Also by the early first quarter of next year, 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. Its approach is expected to realize efficiency targets exceeding 18.5 percent and 17.0 percent for monocrystalline and multicrystalline cells, respectively.

Dr. Mohan Narayanan, vice president of technology explained: "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 additionally 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 next year and are expected to provide the ability to add 500 MW of cell capacity and 1.2 GW of module capacity.

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."