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C Sun Manufacturing: Monocrystalline-Like Equipment to Spur Popularity of High-Efficiency Solar Products

published: 2011-11-14 17:47

The global solar market faces a drastic change in 2011: the market has been under undersupply over the recent years, but lately, oversupply starts to hover around. What will the future unfold has become the focus of the solar industry. EnergyTrend conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Webber Wang, the President of C Sun Mfg., in which Wang shed some light on the development of the solar market and explained how the equipment suppliers can manage through the severe economic situation.

C Sun’s Etching Machine for Monocrystalline Takes up 90% Market Share in China

Wang stated that with 45 years of history in the making, C Sun is engaged in professional R&D and supplies assorted industries, such as PCB, FPD, LED, shoe, printing, and semiconductor, with manufacturing equipment. The company’s revenue in 1H11 totaled NT$ 24.19 billion, which indicated its financial strength. With optical and thermal core technologies, C Sun has entered the solar equipment market. The company’s clients are mainly from China and Taiwan and it possesses large market share in the monocrystalline sector.

C Sun’s major products are polysilicon crystal growth furnace and etching machine. The capacity of polysilicon crystal growth furnace improved from 450kg to 650kg, while the electricity consumption is 5-10% less than those of other crystal growth furnaces in the market. The company mainly receives orders for crystal growth furnace from Taiwanese polysilicon suppliers. Moreover, as opposed to the common wet process in the industry, the company’s plasma etching machine adopts dry process, able to manufacture 600 wafers in one process. C Sun’s etching machine owns over 90% of market share in China with the total shipment exceeding 300 units.

Monocrystalline Equipment Market Has Reached Saturation; Monocrystalline-Like Equipment Market Prospects Looking Up

Wang pointed out that when C Sun first developed crystal growth technologies, the company noticed that the monocrystalline equipment market has reached saturation. Considering monocrystalline products’ high unit cost, for equipment suppliers, the technology maturity and the market scale should be made priorities. At present, the silicon wafer market is under a serious oversupply, and the conversion efficiency is the most important factor for cell makers to take into account when purchasing. By fine tuning the equipment, the conversion efficiency can be increased by 0.1-0.3%, which is limited improvement. In regards to the conversion efficiency, the threshold in 2010 was 16.5% and 16.8% in 2011. However, Wang believed above 16.8% is the bottleneck for the industry; C Sun believe products with high conversion efficiency will become the mainstream in the future. For that reason, the company is optimistic about the prospects of monocrystalline-like products taking over the polysilicon market.

Wang stressed that with C Sun’s solutions, which are an improvement compared to the polysilicon equipment, crystal growth plants are able to smoothly complete the transmission from polysilicon products to monocrystalline-like products, with the conversion efficiency improved by 1% compared to the average rate. Wang pointed out that C Sun is making plans to break into the monocrystalline-like market, and will launch monocrystalline-like products in 1Q12 at the soonest. C Sun’s solutions for monocrystalline-like equipment and crystal growth have a leg up on on its competitors.

Technology Strength is the Key to Profit

In light of the horrid economic situation, most solar makers are not planning on expansion. But Wang believed that the solar industry should place the emphasis on how to gain profit with technology strength. The pursuit of higher conversion efficiency will be the dominant trend. It is estimated that there are 1,000 crystal growth furnaces in Taiwan and 2000-3000 in China. Targeting at the prospects of crystal growth market, C Sun will put more accent on monocrystalline-like products, in the hope of helping the clients outperform in the competition.

Currently, C Sun’s solar business accounts for 5-7% of the total revenue, and Wang hoped to increase it to 10% in 2012.

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