PERC demand spirals upwards

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PERC technology is picking up pace and over the next two years it is expected to become the new benchmark technology, according to Goetz Fischbeck, CEO of Smart Solar Consulting in an interview with pv magazine. Right now the number hovers between 10-15% in terms of PERC adoption amongst cell manufacturers.

However, these numbers are picking up fast. Evidence of a PERC equipment bottleneck is emerging, as demand sharply increases. pv magazine has received reports that some PERC equipment ordered today, may only be delivered, at the earliest, in the second quarter of 2016 as a result of demand accelerations.

Already in November last year, IHS analyst Jessica Jin said that Taiwanese solar cell manufacturers have begun adjusting their strategies amidst the U.S. antidumping discussion. One of these strategies stated was "to strengthen their advantages on high-efficiency products like applying PERC technology or N-type on monocrystalline cells." Reports state that Taiwanese cell manufacturers have begun or will soon introduce PERC production, while Chinese manufacturers are expected to jump on the bandwagon as early as the third quarter of this year.

Motech believes in PERC’s perks

pv magazine spoke with Motech Industries who confirmed that the company will be adding at least two new PERC tools on its existing mono production line. Motech’s Susan Chu confirmed that new PERC equipment delivery will take a while though. She stated, "Meyer Burger is the dominant manufacturer of key PERC equipment, and it is said that production is fully loaded. It will take six-to-eight months for new equipment delivery". Motech believes that PERC will be a major trend in the near future and hence have plans to expand its PERC capacity.

Major orders for Meyer Burger

Meyer Burger is currently experiencing a spike in demand for its PERC equipment, from Asian producers. In May this year, the company reported an order for its MAiA 2.1 system platform from an existing, unidentified Asian customer worth over US$40.8 million. More recently in June, Chinese PV company Lerri Solar Technology placed a more than $17 million order for MAiA.

pv magazine shed light on some of the PERC equipment in its special “Array-changing technologies”. The magazine will also be covering PERC in more detail in its September edition, with a focus on market penetration as well as equipment supply bottlenecks.