GT Advanced Technologies Inc., (NASDAQ: GTAT), announced that it has begun final production testing for its new DSS MonoCast™ ingot growth technology with Korea-based PV manufacturer Nexolon. The program will allow GT to validate and optimize MonoCast product performance in an actual PV wafer production environment and to finalize product specifications prior to the commencement of volume shipments. GT expects to begin taking orders for its new MonoCast systems in October. Initial lead time for commercial deliveries is expected to be three months.
“GT has already installed a Beta version of its DSS MonoCast upgrade at Nexolon’s Iksan, Korea, manufacturing facility. Final production testing of the technology is expected to demonstrate the stability and performance of the MonoCast system and validate its readiness for volume production,” said Tom Gutierrez, GT Advanced Technologies’ president and CEO. “The breakthrough MonoCast material yield and higher cell efficiency results we have reported with our technology development partners, and our reputation for delivering production-ready products that perform as promised has created significant customer interest.”
In April, GT announced that the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education had achieved cell efficiencies of greater than 19 percent with cells processed on GT’s MonoCast wafers using the Center’s advanced cell architecture.
“We continue to focus our product development on innovative technologies that improve material quality for greater cell efficiency and lower overall manufacturing costs,” said Vikram Singh, GT Advanced Technologies’ vice president and general manager of its photovoltaic business unit. “MonoCast will also be offered as an upgrade to the more than 3,100 DSS units in the field today. In addition to delivering cost efficient MonoCast materials that produce solar cells with higher efficiency than cells made from traditional multicrystalline wafers, the upgrade automates more of the crystal growth process through advanced thermal process control features resulting in more repeatable run-to-run control.”