Volume 45, Issue 10 - October 2010


company news
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 industry.

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 solar marketplace.”

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 www.solarglazingmag.com. 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.

Visit the Solar Glazing subscription center for a free subscription at http://www.glass.com/subcenter.php to sign up for a free subscription.

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