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Guest Klothilde

First Solar (FSLR)

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Guest solarcat

FSLR hit $41 at the high of the day. That's 50%.. in one day... that's a $1.2 BILLION increase in valuation. That's like 10 Renesola's. LOL

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Guest solarcat

Every long solars is being rewarded today. Even bankrupt ones like STP. All solars are up between 10-40% today. Even bankrupt ones. LOL

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Guest eysteinh

20% effiency. 0.6$/watt cost. Bifacial cell. Patented backside passivation. Verified in field tests. New plant to this technology. Production starting next year. C-si type of module. (Needs polysilicon as far as i can tell.)

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Guest Klothilde

Targeting the residential market with this, with first focus on Japan. Will be announcing a major Japanese partner within the next days.

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Guest eysteinh

Patent protection is a way of passivation layer. Hint was its a simplification of the passification layer that makes it have multiple functions. I speculate this is both reflective atributes, emittor attributes and more. Perhaps N-type wafer since previously technology leader worked for sunpower. They usually are n-type based. And also that passivation layer has to be extremly effective if it is a p-type wafer. I therefore belive we are talking a n-type design with a cheap and simple passivation layer that gives high effiency.

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Guest eysteinh

Rec will have around 0.47$/watt at that time. I am sure most of the chinese will have even lower costs. I think the major message to get here is that c-si won more market share. A victory for polysilicon producers imho.

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Guest eysteinh

Details perhaps of the fslr technology? http://www.pv-tech.org/news/tetrasun_completes_us_doe_sunshot_initiative_pv_incubator_for_ccz_monocryst The more I keep reading this is not fanastic new technology, this is First solar putting a positive spin on making an entry into c-si and buying a whole new factory that is rigged towards the high end market of c-si. Yes it is high effiency modules, but at a cost premium compared with what I see form chinese competitors at the time. Good news for poly, bad news for sunpower (first solar is going to compete with them on high powered modules.) Again what I get out of this is a win for c-si market share and polysilicon producers. If the factory is going to be located in USA this should create some more local demand for polysilicon. Also look at how well first solar is leveraging the cash advantage they have. This is good news for FSLR that realized they need to get into the c-si industry.

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Guest redsolar

This could be bad news for Chinese Solar....unless they come up with 20% eff cells before 2014 end. If what Tetra claiming is correct...the efficiency adjusted cost could go well below 50c/w. One thing for sure...you can't bash FSLR for their thin film toxic ...low eff..modules any more. The cash cow has officially entered into the c-Si segment.

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Guest Klothilde

I have mixed feelings about this from witnessing how tech diversifications can also water down focus and resources (Q-Cells, Suntech). On the other hand they do close their offering gap they had for the residential / small commercial segment. We'll have to analyze and speculate over the next days....

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Details perhaps of the fslr technology? http://www.pv-tech.org/news/tetrasun_completes_us_doe_sunshot_initiative_pv_incubator_for_ccz_monocryst The more I keep reading this is not fanastic new technology, this is First solar putting a positive spin on making an entry into c-si and buying a whole new factory that is rigged towards the high end market of c-si. Yes it is high effiency modules, but at a cost premium compared with what I see form chinese competitors at the time. Good news for poly, bad news for sunpower (first solar is going to compete with them on high powered modules.) Again what I get out of this is a win for c-si market share and polysilicon producers. If the factory is going to be located in USA this should create some more local demand for polysilicon. Also look at how well first solar is leveraging the cash advantage they have. This is good news for FSLR that realized they need to get into the c-si industry.

Good analysis... I agree 2 great things for Chinese 11 from FSLR today 1. For the first time in probably years there guidance has a positive effect on sector and not negative. FSLR biggest one day jump EVER 2. Moving into poly shows us that poly is future of solar. Kudos to FSLR on great delivery of news today. Finally....

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Guest solarcat

Polysilicon won, thin film lost. Glad to see that FSLR finally got the memo. That's good news for Chinese solars as all they produce is C-Si. I wonder when will the FSLR write offs for shutting down thin film production will be coming. Probably 2015 or later is my guess. Glad to see FSLR putting their cash to good use.

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Guest redsolar

Given the c-Si industry situation...I think FSLR timing is perfect. They can diversify into c-Si...while sipping the coolaid from the current projects generating positive cash flow. No other company has this comfort zone at this moment. The only catch is...Tetra...has to live up to its hype. If true...FSLR is pure gold.

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Guest Klothilde

FSLR is not saying they are moving away from CdTe. As a matter of fact they spent hours today explaining that they will invest hundreds of millions in the technology and overtake mc-si in efficiency by 2017 and expand their cost advantage. The c-Si move is a diversification move into the high efficiency residential market, for which CdTe is not suitable due to the much higher BOS penalty.

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Guest eysteinh

Klothilde I am not saying FSLR is moving away from CdTe, but you cannot argue that it will increase market share when FSLR is going to produce more C-si moving forward. Since FSLR is THE major CdTe producer it is obvious that the thin film market share will shrink somewhat.

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Guest Klothilde

Oh I wasn't replying to you, I was replying to the statement that FSLR is switching to c-Si. Market share of thin film is insignificant anyhows imo, maybe at 10% (CdTe, CIGS +minute SiTF) in 2012. This however leads to no conclusion as to the prospects of the companies. E.g. whether FS stays alive or disappears will not change the profits of REC noticeably imo.

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For example with a mc-si cell efficiency of 18.5% you get 156mm cells of 4.502 W. 60 Cells will give you 270.1 W and with a CTM of 101% your module will give you 272.8 W. Now at a standard size of 1.65 m2 this equates to a module efficiency of 16.5%

Yes but HP cell will be at 19% and mono p 20.5% and mono n at 21% this means for last two 4.99 and 5.11 at 101% is 302.39 and 309W so 18.47% and 18.91% for the module using just cells. Clearly their purchase of silicon based maker of cells is the statement of diversification in the direction which is far superior than CdTe. N type is to be at 23% (it is already Super Mono cells from Comtec) First Solar is becoming a second company using copper instead of silver (SPWR is the first). Huge saving on metalization pastes etc. Someone better get Schott division bought pretty quick or Chinese will be following again technology curve. SEMI recognized that single instance of copper replacing silver as a silver bullet ( I could not help myself) to change the costing.

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Guest Klothilde

Clearly their purchase of silicon based maker of cells is the statement of diversification in the direction which is far superior than CdTe.

Do you mean far more efficient or far superior? If you mean far more efficient than CdTe I agree. If you mean far superior I disagree. Imho superiority in the end means having the lowest efficiency-adjusted cpw (as the master ECD Fan himself said). FS believes they will be clearly superior to their head-on competition mc-Si (or hpmc-Si) by 2016-2017, by having both higher efficiency and lower cpw: post-720-137461384041_thumb.jpg post-720-137461384041_thumb.jpg If I look at the cpw forecast for 2017 of 34-37 cents it is evident that mc-si or hpmc-si will have a hard time beating this. With sustainable poly @$25/kg non-si cost will have to drop to 21-24 cents for mc-Si to match FS. With poly @$20/kg non-si cost will have to drop to 24-27 cents.

First Solar is becoming a second company using copper instead of silver (SPWR is the first). Huge saving on metalization pastes etc. Someone better get Schott division bought pretty quick or Chinese will be following again technology curve. SEMI recognized that single instance of copper replacing silver as a silver bullet ( I could not help myself) to change the costing.

Fraunhofer already bought the Schott patents, and apparently they are keen on keeping the know-how in Europe: “Of course we are concentrating on the licensing and implementation of property rights with German and European industry partners.” http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/press-and-media/press-releases/presseinformationen-2013/fraunhofer-ise-acquires-patent-portfolio-from-schott-solar

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Guest greensolar

$2.06/watt So if they go with FSLR module they will need twice as much land/labour.

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Guest Klothilde

I think I should have posted this Fred in the YGE section because I think FSLR will not be interested in winning it. They have a pipeline of projects with GM >25% to work through and it would be a waste of resources... Let YGE and CSIQ bid for it, take it in at zero GM, and say goodbye to their equity :)

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Interesting as GCL normally EPC for those guys, whcih still puts YGE on the map. do not be such sourpuss Klothilde

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Guest Klothilde

So what will FSLR do after they work through their pipeline to get projects?

They'll develop further projects or the'll bid for EPC projects and will win them at an attractive margin. FSLR still has 6-8 quarters of projects to chew through at good margins, and this will give them plenty of time to increase their cost advantage and wait for prices to return to rational levels.

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Guest Klothilde

FSLR claimed an average module efficiency of 12.9% in 12Q4 but the average module efficiency derived from their datasheets is only around 12.2%. What's worse, their most efficient module, the FS-392, has a nameplate power of 92.5W and therefore only 12.8% nameplate efficiency. So what's up with this disconnect? I've shot a question at the FSLR IR team a few months back on this but have not heard back from them. My current explanation goes as follows: I assume the reported average module conversion efficiency corresponds to the flash wattages measured at the end of the productions lines. These wattages then get adjusted downwards by a few percentage points to account for the initial degradation of 4-7% that is expected in the field during the first 3 years(as reported in this FS white paper on p.3). This explanation seems pretty straightforward to me, however I'm keen on a confirmation. It would mean that the practical efficiency of FSLR modules is actually 5% below what they report in their ER calls. The reason I'm keen on understanding this is to accurately determine the BOS penalty for FSLR modules relative to c-Si. Any thoughts welcome.

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