Silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies today announced that Japan’s IHI Corporation, through its wholly-owned subsidiary IHI Plant Construction Co., Ltd (IPC), has begun construction on a 500 kW solar installation that will feature more than 120,000 wafers made with 1366’s Direct Wafer® process. The array, located in the Japanese prefecture Hyōgo and consisting of IEC-certified modules fabricated by a Tier 1 manufacturer in China, is the world’s first commercial installation to include the Company’s wafers. 1366 managed the module procurement to support this project with IHI Group.
“This commercial array builds on the many successes we’ve had at test sites around the world and clearly demonstrates our ability to run the Direct Wafer process at scale. We’re incredibly proud that IHI Group selected our technology for this project. This installation, coupled with our recent performance records, drives home what makes our manufacturing technology so revolutionary: we have the ability to deliver a better product at a dramatically lower cost,” said Frank van Mierlo, CEO, 1366 Technologies.
The installation underscores the broad appeal of the Company’s Direct Wafer technology downstream, where customers are seeking advanced, high-quality systems with lower technology costs. 1366’s highly efficient manufacturing process enables faster energy payback for the modules and uses safe, earth-abundant raw materials appropriate for addressing the world’s energy needs at a terawatt scale. IPC received delivery of the modules on March 3 and the new array is expected to be commissioned before the end of Q2 2017.
1366 Technologies’ Direct Wafer Technology
1366 Technologies’ Direct Wafer process forms multicrystalline wafers directly from molten silicon instead of today’s multi-step, energy- and capital-intensive process. The result is a uniformly better wafer, created at one-half the cost. The technology also has the enormous benefit of being a “drop-in” replacement for the majority of the photovoltaics market, making it seamless for cell and panel manufacturers to readily adopt the technology without adding a single new piece of equipment.