Info
Info
News Article

First Solar To Acquire Silicon Cell Manufacturer TetraSun

Tetrasun's high-efficiency, low-cost mono-crystalline silicon solar cells cell technology complements First Solar's CdTe thin-film expertise. It offers an optimal solution for distributed generation and high energy density applications
First Solar is acquiring TetraSun, a solar photovoltaic (PV) technology startup.

Tetrasun has developed a break-through cell architecture capable of conversion efficiencies exceeding 21 percent with commercial-scale manufacturing costs comparable to conventional multicrystalline silicon solar cells.

First Solar signed a definitive agreement to acquire TetraSun from JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation and other investors, including TetraSun management.

Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, were not disclosed.

First Solar and JX Nippon Oil & Energy have also entered into discussions on an agreement to distribute the technology in Japan.



Tetrasun monocrystalline silicon solar module

TetraSun's core technology is a proprietary cell architecture which breaks the historical tie between high-efficiency and high-cost.

Compared to other high-efficiency crystalline silicon cells, TetraSun's advanced cell design is simpler and optimised for manufacturing, requiring fewer process steps with wider tolerances. The design enables high-volume production with higher yields using readily available equipment.

Cost-effectiveness is further enhanced by using large-format (156 mm) n-type wafers and eliminating the need for expensive silver and transparent conductive oxide. The technology also benefits from a low temperature coefficient of power, which produces superior energy yields in hot climates compared to typical silicon PV modules.

First Solar tentatively plans to begin commercial-scale manufacturing of the new technology in the second half of 2014.

"This breakthrough technology will unlock the half of the PV market which favours high-efficiency solutions, which has been unserved by First Solar to date," says Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. "This new capability to meet the needs of customers with distributed generation applications, coupled with our leading CadTel offering which remains the benchmark for utility-scale systems, gives us a unique end-to-end suite of solutions to serve the full spectrum of commercial applications."

"We are proud to join the First Solar team, which brings global reach, financial strength and a proven track record scaling disruptive technologies," comments Denis De Ceuster, CEO of TetraSun. "This is a game-changing technology, and with First Solar we have the freedom to continue our blank-canvas approach, unconstrained by pre-existing designs or production equipment, and backed by the strongest balance sheet in the industry."

"JX Nippon Oil & Energy was among the first to recognise the potential of this technology, and we are very pleased to continue working with this leading energy company to bring this product to market," says Jim Hughes. "Japan is an important market with unique energy challenges, and we believe this new technology is well-suited to help them meet their energy needs."

All fourteen of TetraSun's associates will join First Solar and continue to be based in San Jose, California. The technical team brings First Solar significant expertise in silicon PV R&D and a track record of innovation at companies like SunPower and Fraunhofer ISE, where they earned world-records for silicon cell efficiency.



AngelTech Live III: Join us on 12 April 2021!

AngelTech Live III will be broadcast on 12 April 2021, 10am BST, rebroadcast on 14 April (10am CTT) and 16 April (10am PST) and will feature online versions of the market-leading physical events: CS International and PIC International PLUS a brand new Silicon Semiconductor International Track!

Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.

2021 is no different. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. We shall consider a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.

We shall also look at microLEDs, a display with many wonderful attributes, identifying processes for handling the mass transfer of tiny emitters that hold the key to commercialisation of this technology.

We shall also discuss electrification of transportation, underpinned by wide bandgap power electronics and supported by blue lasers that are ideal for processing copper.

Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.

Having attracted 1500 delegates over the last 2 online summits, the 3rd event promises to be even bigger and better – with 3 interactive sessions over 1 day and will once again prove to be a key event across the semiconductor and photonic integrated circuits calendar.

So make sure you sign up today and discover the latest cutting edge developments across the compound semiconductor and integrated photonics value chain.

REGISTER FOR FREE

VIEW SESSIONS

Info
×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
X
Info
X
Info
{taasPodcastNotification}
Live Event