Meyer Burger has secured a contract to supply upgrade equipment to Hanwha Q-Cells for the production of passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) PV cells. The company will deliver its MAiA cell coating equipment and MB-PERC technology, with shipments beginning in late 2014.
MB-PERC was developed by subsidiary Roth & Rau, Meyer Burger’s competence center for coating technologies. Meyer Burger says that the technology will enable Q-Cells to increase the efficiency of its high-efficiency cells such as its Q.ANTUM line. The contract includes an option for the supply of additional MAiA production systems in early 2015.
Business has been slow for solar equipment makers for the last three years, and recently released PV equipment market data shows a fall in the book-to-bill ratio to below parity during the second quarter of 2014, after a hopeful first quarter.
However, GTM Research Lead Upstream Analyst Shyam Mehta says that market recovery is coming. "The equipment industry is bouncing back from the lows of 2012 and 2013 as is the rest of the industry, but it is taking longer to bounce back than the component and manufacturing industry, observes Mehta.