Webinar: Opportunities in the Turbulent Photovoltaic Equipment Market


Webinar: Opportunities in the Turbulent Photovoltaic Equipment Market


December 13, 2012
1:00pm EST, 10:00am PST
Cost:  Complimentary

In this webinar series brought to you by SEMI PV Group and Lux Research, we take a look at production equipment which is the backbone of the PV industry; and the pain the equipment sector is suffering because of overcapacity. The 2012 global capacity utilization is at 55% for crystalline silicon (x-Si) module production, 70% for cadmium telluride (CdTe) and 80% for copper indium gallium (di) selenide (CIGS). Under these market conditions there are almost no expected capacity expansions in the near term. The overcapacity has driven average selling price (ASP) for modules significantly lower, resulting in hyper competition in the PV industry, where almost all PV companies recognize the importance of product differentiation while still reducing costs. These market conditions present an opportunity for equipment manufacturers to differentiate their offerings through enabling lower production costs and higher efficiency cells and modules. In this webinar, Fatima Toor of Lux Research will discuss these factors now evident in this landscape: 

  • Monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) ingot growth using Czochralski (CZ) pullers is too costly, wafer slicing wastes too much silicon, standard cell designs lose 10% to 12% of absolute efficiency from their highest efficiency potential and module manufacturing remains unnecessarily labor intensive. The opportunity for improvement is glaringly obvious in terms of manufacturing processes and equipment to improve cell efficiencies and reduce production costs.
  • Copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film technologies rely on custom equipment due to the importance of process parameters for each individual process step. However, equipment innovation will drive higher efficiencies and reduced production costs for these thin-film PV technologies.
  • Idle capacity within PV companies allows them to upgrade polysilicon, ingot, wafer, cell and module lines, assuming appropriate cash balances. These upgrades will enable long-term survival of the key PV industry manufacturers since they will be able to differentiate their products from standard offerings. Those that sit idle while their equipment idles are sealing their fate.


Fatima Toor, Ph.D.
Analyst, Lux Research

Fatima Toor is an Analyst on the Lux Research Intelligence team leading the Solar Components Intelligence service. She and her team help clients – Innovation 1000 corporations, leading institutional investors, utilities, and public policy makers – make better strategic decisions and monitor the ever changing global solar market. Fatima is frequently quoted in the press, and has been cited globally in publications such as PV Magazine, Solar Industry Magazine, and Chemical and Engineering News on solar innovation and market trends.

Prior to joining Lux Research, Fatima was a postdoctoral researcher in the Silicon Materials and Devices group at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). While at NREL, Fatima improved on the previous best efficiency of nanoporous black x-Si solar cells, a technology that was patented and licensed by a solar industry manufacturer. During her undergraduate years, Fatima interned for two summers at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Laboratory working in a Class 100 cleanroom on process optimization of x-Si microelectronics fabrication and nanoimprint lithography.

Fatima obtained her Ph.D.  and M.A. in electrical engineering  from Princeton University where she developed cutting edge III-V-based quantum cascade lasers for environmental and medical sensing. While at Princeton, she also minored in physics and Science Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She received her B.S. degree with a double major in engineering sciences and physics from Smith College. Fatima is a member of Sigma Xi, APS, IEEE and OSA. Fatima has published in many peer-reviewed scientific journals, presented at various scientific conferences and received several awards for academic excellence.