By Tom Cheyney, Senior Contributig Editor - USA, Photovotaics International
Although the entire solar manufacturing industry, from raw materials to finished modules, has enjoyed strong double-digit growth rates over the past several years, few sectors have soared like the amorphous-silicon thin-film photovoltaic equipment space. Much of this prodigious multibillion-dollar booking activity can be attributed to the acceptance of the turnkey production packages offered by the likes of Applied Materials, Oerlikon and Ulvac. These suppliers’ plug-and-play, standard toolset solutions are attractive to companies seeking to get into the TFPV module business on a fast track and then scale up their capacities in multimegawatt chunks to achieve grid-competitive cost-per-manufactured-watt metrics.
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