Saturday, March 3, 2012

A-Si Bye Bye

It is not surprising that amorphous silicon no longer commands respect in the photo-voltaic market place, at least for grid connected power applications. See

When Applied Materials and Oerlikon began offering turnkey production lines, doing a little life cycle cost and revenue analysis showed that 95% of the total lifetime net present value of the line went to the supplier of the line as a capital investment in the purchase price. And that assumed that poly-silicon and  x-Si prices stayed high or declined slowly.  If you did a forecast scenario where x-Si pricess dropped to their current levels, that figure rose well above 100%!

The primary achievement of this technology was the marketing and selling process used to put this kind of deal over on the solar investors caught up in the tulip craze!

A-Si still holds the record for highest ratio of investor losses suffered versus monies paid to the inventors/developers of the technology. Just look at the example of ECD and "Ovonics" for a business school case. Stan O is still chuckling.

But it looks like the massive investments in CIGS PV module production lines for a product that still costs more than x-Si instead of less will soon compete for that crown, with Solyndra the most publicized candidate firm to make it into the Harvard classroom studies, but there are definitively some other worthy contenders in the race.

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