The Role of Equipment in the Photovoltaic Industry

The Role of Equipment in the Photovoltaic Industry      

By Stephan Raithel, SEMI Europe

A turbulent year 2014 comes to an end — and luckily with more and more positive news about the development of the PV industry.  In addition to seeing increasing installations around the globe, we also see the importance of technology and manufacturing of wafers, cells and modules increasing. While, as in any other industry, the pressure is and will remain certainly on margins, we are happy to see the still strong (and eventually stronger) influence of the equipment and material suppliers on PV advancements.  All our recent workshops, standards meetings and PV Forums in Europe, Asia or the U.S. this year came to similar results — regardless of the shape of an industry (emerging or maturing): an intense dialogue between suppliers and manufacturers is needed to keep your products and processes in a “state-of-the-art” level and compete successfully and sustainably on an international level.

SEMI started the preparation of the 2015 edition of the lead guiding document for crystalline silicon manufacturing — the International Technology Roadmap for PV ( With more than 60 leading suppliers and manufacturers as contributors we are much looking forward to the updated version in mid next year. The next edition will feature a focus on equipment throughput, availability (including uptime and downtime), a stronger perspective on BOS parameters as well as a more diversified view on different cell types and technologies. Stay tuned and contact us if you want to be part of the ITRPV teams around the world.

With this, I hope to see you all at one of the upcoming solar exhibitions and conferences throughout the globe –at Intersolar Europe in Munich or Intersolar North America in San Francisco.

The Grid 
December 15, 2014