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Solamet®: Return of the Innovation Leader to the Center Stage of Photovoltaic Metallization

published: 2022-03-28 18:21

In 2021, the photovoltaic industry endured a tough year full of "uncertainties". The epidemic situation continued to affect the global logistics, while the price volatility of supply chain and the energy consumption restrictions and mandates were causing great disturbance to the growth and development of the industry. As we entered into 2022, many of these "uncertainties" will become "certain".

In this context, most authoritative consulting firms predict that the global photovoltaic newly installed capacity will reach more than 200GW in 2022.  In addition, the transition from p-type to n-type cell technology is another highly anticipated event this year for the industry.

New solar cell technology transitions are always inseparable from the support of critical enabling materials.  In the past decade, metallization paste is the key enabling material leading industrial adoption of novel solar cell architectures and innovations in process technologies, resulting in the continuous improvements in solar cells efficiency and reductions in manufacturing costs.  For the transition from p-type to n-type cell technology platform, the role of the metallization paste is more important than ever, and may even become the key to success.

In the development history of photovoltaic metallization, DuPont Solamet® has launched many revolutionary technologies and products, earned and played the role of "Mr Key" again and again.

On July 1, 2021, a Chinese consortium company, Jiangsu Suote Electronic Materials Co., Ltd. completed the acquisition of the Solamet® Photovoltaic Metallization business from DuPont and welcomed the Solamet® business into an exciting new chapter.

"Through more proactive customer connections and services, we are restoring market confidence and returning to the center stage." Solamet® President, Qian Chu said, "With the completion of the M&A and the blessing of industrial capital and industry resources, Solamet® will be ushered with new exciting developments.  We have organized and improved the company's market strategy, intellectual property strategy, operations, product developments, customer service, product quality and other aspects.  Our customers have already clearly felt the many positive changes of the new Solamet® business."

Return of “Mr Key”

Solamet®, during the course of more than 30 years of innovation and development, has made possible the industrialization of p-BSF, p-PERC and different types of n-type cell technologies through series of revolutionary technologies and products, including the globally well-recognized and awarded proprietary lead tellurium glass frit technology,

At photovoltaic industry’s critical moment for the large-scale transition from p-type to n-type cell technology, Solamet® Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Qijie Guo, said, "Solamet® is committed to develop innovative solutions to enable the industrialization of advanced cell technologies through material technology innovation, and to lead in improving solar cell efficiency and reducing cost.  The new Solamet® will inherit the innovation genes of DuPont Solamet®.  We will take advantage of our strong technology expertise and intellectual property portfolios, and increase global R&D investment and facility upgrades to accelerate the continuous improvement of p-PERC products to boost sales volume, strengthen the technology advantages of next-generation n-type solar cell technologies, seize the opportunity in the industrial strategic switch to n-type technology platform, and once again use innovative product to lead the industry in new technology transformations.”

As described by Dr. Guo, Solamet ® plans to further increase investments in their R&D centers in Shanghai and Taiwan,to establish the capability to support larger wafer platforms, and to ready the global R&D and technology team for the next generation of solar cell technology.

Solamet® is one of the main suppliers for leading nameplates in the photovoltaic cell and module producers, such as Jinko, JA Solar, Aiko, and Hanwha.  For n-type cell technology, Solamet® has been providing a total metallization package for many industry-leading n-TOPCon enterprises.

In the field of low temperature metallization solutions, Solamet® is a long-standing brand that supplies low-temperature silver paste with highly innovative and differentiated features.  For back-contact cell technology, Solamet® also has a proprietary exclusive metallization technology solution that can simultaneously form low-resistance ohmic contacts to both the n+ and p+ regions.

"After the completion of the M&A, we have also made numerous improvements to the technology team structure and operations, to speed up the pace in new product development, product improvements, and customer technical responses.  We are confident that Solamet® will once again use innovative products to respond to the expectations of the industry," Said Dr. Guo.

Strengthen the Global Reach

As a highly recognized and reputable global brand in the photovoltaic industry, serving the customers globally has always been a top priority for Solamet® business development.  With the continuous concentration of the photovoltaic industry chain in China, Solamet® is an unrivaled supplier of metallization solutions that continuously commit to deploy R&D, technology, marketing and sales resources around the world.

Over the past ten years, the overseas photovoltaic industry has been staying relatively advanced in solar cell technology innovations, including the LDE process for p-BSF and the industrialization of p-PERC, as well as the exploration in R&D and industrialization of high-efficiency n-type solar cells technology.   Behind the scene of each new technology transformation, the presence and support of Solamet® is indispensable.

Large-scale utilization of photovoltaic power is becoming common around the world, however, with the uncertainty in international political and trade environments, the overseas cell production capacity still accounts for a considerable portion of the market and keeps growing.  Solamet® with its global presence has traditional advantage in the overseas market.

Since the completion of the acquisition, Solamet® has completed facility upgrade of the Taiwan R&D center, and plans to further increase investment to support overseas customers upgrade to larger sized wafers and next generation cell technologies.  Meanwhile, in order to reduce the concerns of the oversea cell makers regarding the safety and regulatory aspects of metallization paste supply chain, the new Solamet® is actively evaluating the feasibility of re-opening its paste production capability in Taiwan, thereby enhancing the confidence of the cell makers in their long-term investment and development in the oversea markets.

Kaien Chang, APEC Vice President of Technology of Solamet®, said: "We will synergize and coordinate our R&D, technology and sales resources in China mainland, Taiwan region, India, Southeast Asia and US, to accelerate our customer reach and response speed. We will continue to serve customers all around the world with high-quality products backed with global intellectual property protection.  Solamet® is dedicated to continue strengthen its global influence and brand reputation"

The photovoltaic industry plays an increasingly important role in the historical progress toward global carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. To continuously promote the development of the photovoltaic industry, which is driven by technological innovations to improve efficiency and reduce cost, every single link in the industrial chain needs to break through the cycles by innovations. In this regard, Solamet ® is expected to continue to play the role of “Mr Key” for metallization technologies.

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