Applied Materials Shifts Its Solar Tech Focus from Thin
Film to c-Si
Although thin film has in recent years
been lauded as the solar cell technology of the future, Applied Materials
Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., announced in July that it will be restructuring
its Energy and Environmental Solutions (EES) segment to shift its focus
from thin film to crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar technology. The restructuring
plan is expected to decrease annual operating expenses by at least $100
million on an annualized basis.
As part of the restructuring, the company will discontinue sales to new
customers of its SunFab fully-integrated lines for manufacturing thin
film solar panels and will offer individual tools for sale to thin film
solar manufacturers, including chemical vapor deposition and physical
vapor deposition equipment. R&D efforts to improve thin film panel
efficiency and high-productivity deposition will continue, according to
information from the company. The company also will support existing SunFab
customers with services, upgrades and capacity increases. Applied’s solar
R&D center in Xi’an, China, will concentrate on advancing its c-Si
solar and other technologies.
“Led by Mark Pinto, EES will focus on our industry-leading crystalline
silicon solar business and on pursuing other opportunities in advanced
energy technologies like LED lighting,” says Mike Splinter, chairperson
and chief executive officer.
The company also plans to divest its low-E architectural glass coating
products, while continuing development activities in emerging technologies
such as “smart” electrochromic glass.
The cost of implementing the EES restructuring plan is expected to be
in the range of approximately $375 million to $425 million and is expected
to impact between 400 to 500 positions globally. A number of affected
employees may transfer to other groups or functions within the company.
PPG Forms Solar Performance Group
PPG Industries in Pittsburgh has announced the formation of the PPG Solar
Performance Group, which will focus on the continuous development and
commercialization of glass and coatings technologies for the solar power
Scott Follett, global director, Patrick Kelly, solar segment manager –
North America/European Union, and leading PPG and development professionals
will lead a team dedicated to solar product and technology development,
sales, manufacturing and technical support.
“The formation of the PPG Solar Performance Group demonstrates PPG’s commitment
to creating innovative products that serve markets with tremendous growth
potential,” Follett says. “We have worked closely with customers to ensure
that these products increase power-generation efficiency, and the PPG
Solar Performance Group will help to grow the products’ position in the
The PPG Solar Performance Group will leverage the expertise of the entire
corporation to develop durable, “green” lead-free protective coatings,
adhesives and sealants. Follett says the company’s proficiency in glass
handling and fabrication also will enable the group to provide customers
with complete solar solutions.
The PPG Solar Performance Group is headquartered at the PPG Glass Business
and Discovery Center in Harmar, Pa.
Premier Issue of Solar Glazing Now Available
The premier issue of Solar Glazing magazine is now available online at
The first edition of this new publication from Key Communications Inc.,
publisher of USGlass magazine, features information and insight into glass’
role in the solar energy industry. Among the features in this issue are
one-on-one interviews with industry experts and a review of recent research
on building integrated photovoltaics. The new publication also includes
previews of two upcoming industry events, as well as lots of product information.
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