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

Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd., based in Qidong, Jiangsu Province, China, has said it is to increase its cell capacity by 50 megawatts (MW) through the enhancement of its manufacturing processes, and will convert 160 MW of its existing cell lines to high-efficiency selective emitter technology. Both aims are to be completed in the early first quarter of next year, says the company.

Orbotech enters the PV sector

Israel-based Orbotech, which is better known for testing equipment of printed circuits, has announced its decision to enter the photovoltaics (PV) panel sector. The company says its first products will be available next year.

SolarNexus gears up for launch of web-based software platform to help eliminate solar installers' paperwork

Berkeley, California-based startup SolarNexus has told pv magazine at the Intersolar North America trade show that it is getting ready to launch a web-based software platform aimed at eliminating much of the paperwork that bogs down solar installers today.

Intersolar North America closes on a high

As Intersolar North America drew to a close, analysts left the industry with upbeat forecasts for the solar market. “Things couldn’t be better in 2010,” Jefferies analyst Jesse Pichel told pv magazine.

Eco Supplies Europe acquires Gällivare Eco Supplies Europe; reports increased capital of €1.8 million

Eco Supplies Europe AB has successfully closed the acquisition of Gällivare Eco Supplies Europe AB, a Swedish producer of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. The company has also completed a fully subscribed capital increase of €1.8 million.

US must be looked at as a long-term growth market

The U.S. should be looked at as a long-term growth market said Shayle Kann, a senior analyst at GTM Research, during a talk at Intersolar North America in San Francisco, the U.S. on Thursday. “It’s not a place where you can come and develop projects and make a killing quickly,” he stated.

Oerlikon Solar has cut customers' costs to "well under" USD$1 per watt

Swiss-based Oerlikon Solar, which makes amorphous-silicon manufacturing equipment, has cut its customers’ costs to “well under” USD$1 per watt today and is on track to reach its goal of 70 cents per watt by the end of the year, Chris O’Brien, head of market development and government relations told pv magazine at this year’s Intersolar North America.

Sunlink expands beyond mounting system market with Blue Oak acquisition

American mounting system manufacturer Sunlink has told pv magazine at this year’s Intersolar North America trade show that it has bought California-based Blue Oak PV Products. The company declined to disclose the amount. The acquisition means it can expand its equipment range for building solar energy arrays.

SRC establishes USD$5 million industry-university partnership; PV research center to be established

The Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) has established a USD$5 million industry-university Energy research Initiative (ERI). It will initially address two areas: photovoltaics (PV) and systems and technologies to enable and optimize smart grids.

Imec reports record efficiencies for large-area epitaxial thin film silicon solar cells

Imec says it has realized large-area (70cm2) epitaxial solar cells with efficiencies of up to 16.3 percent on high-quality substrates. Efficiencies of up to 14.7 percent were also achieved on large-area low-quality substrates, thus demonstrating “the potential of thin film epitaxial solar cells for industrial manufacturing”.

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