One of the many highlights of working at Applied Materials is collaborating with extremely innovative, talented and passionate people who are changing the world as we know it. One in particular is our very own Dr. Charlie Gay – also known as “Doctor Solar.”
I’m delighted to congratulate Charlie on his election to the National Academy of Engineering – the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer in the United States – for his seminal contributions to the development of the global solar photovoltaic (PV) industry.
Solar installations are rocketing worldwide as solar electricity becomes cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels – it’s already happened in 105 countries. This is the tipping point where economics takes over from altruism and solar PV becomes a serious part of the global energy mix.
The steady drop in cost-per-watt is great news for the end user and is enabled by simultaneous increases in cell efficiency and lower manufacturing costs.
If you’re a cell manufacturer, though, dropping prices are a double-edged sword: strong demand is good, but you must continuously lower costs by improving your manufacturing processes in order to be profitable.
So, in a fiercely competitive industry, how is this done?
After the jump, we’ll look at a great example of how cell manufacturers can boost profitability using an emerging technique called “double printing”.