Applied Materials Aquires HCT and Introduces Integrated Thin Film Production Line
Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT) has aquired HCT and is making large inroads on their Solar PV technology. HCT Shaping Systems started this thin film solar technology andÂ Applied Materials will see it through with theirÂ announcement of its Applied SunFabâ„¢ Thin Film production line. By applying their four decades of thin film on silicon experience to the manufacturing of solar modules, the company claims that the total volume of solar panels manufactured each year can be vastly increased. At the same time, their products are aimed at reducing the cost per watt of energy produced, to become more competitive with current electricity generation. Thinner solar panels means cheaper materials which is past on to the consumer in a more affordable green and clean energy solution.
HCT Shaping Systems SA (HCT) is the world’s leading supplier of precision wafering systems for manufacturing crystalline silicon (c-Si) substrates for the solar industry. The acquisition of HCT expands Applied’s portfolio of solutions for helping solar customers reduce the costs of manufacturing photovoltaic (PV) cells to make solar energy more competitive with grid electricity.
This acquisition, combined with our strong production technology and global support infrastructure, will enable us to bring crystalline silicon solar manufacturing to a new level of efficiency and help drive down the cost-per-watt of solar power, said Mike Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials. HCT’s technology is critical to our roadmap since it complements our high-throughput deposition systems and will enable customers to scale up production and reduce costs.
Applied SunFab is the world’s first and only integrated production line for manufacturing thin film silicon solar modules using 5.7 square meter (m2) glass panels. These ultra-large substrates, sized at 2.2m x 2.6m, are four times bigger than today’s largest thin film solar production panels. This line defines a new standard for the industry that can be replicated by customers around the globe to rapidly establish solar panel manufacturing capacity and achieve the lowest production cost per watt to drive down the cost of solar electricity.