Massachusetts-based 1366 Technologies and South Korea-based Hanwha Q CELLS have entered into a supply agreement in which 1366 will supply up to 700 MW of wafers using its proprietary Direct Wafer technology to Hanwha Q CELLS over a five-year period.
The companies say this deal follows a year-long strategic partnership and collaborative R&D efforts to commercialize 1366’s Direct Wafer technology with Hanwha Q CELLS’ Q.ANTUM cell technology. 1366 will supply the wafers from its planned U.S. manufacturing facility in New York, which is scheduled to be online in 2017.
1366 Technologies’ Direct Wafer technology forms multicrystalline wafers directly from molten silicon instead of using a multi-step process. The company says this “drop in” technology saves on energy and capital equipment and would work with most existing lines.
This agreement follows months of technical collaboration between the two companies during which a series of performance records for the Direct Wafer technology were achieved. Last year, the partners jointly reached a maximum efficiency of 19.1% using Direct Wafer products in Hanwha Q CELLS’ Q.ANTUM cell, as independently verified by the Fraunhofer ISE.
“We are pleased with the progress we have made together during the past year and excited about the potential of 1366’s Direct Wafer products with Hanwha’s cell and module technologies to deliver further cost reductions and [levelized cost of energy] competitiveness to standard multi-crystalline wafer-based modules,” comments Seong-woo Nam, CEO of Hanwha Q CELLS.
The 700 MW supply agreement is contingent on 1366 meeting certain terms and conditions related to its wafer qualification and timing of delivery as agreed by both parties.