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Breaking Barriers: Silevo VP of Business Development and Marketing Chris Beitel on progress towards 24% PV cell efficiency

Silevo VP of Business Development and Marketing Chris Beitel
Silevo VP of Business Development and Marketing Chris Beitel

Christopher Beitel is vice president of business development and marketing at Silevo, and is responsible for sales and marketing, market strategy, and a key partner network to enable industry leading solar system installation cost and performance with the company. Beitel brought extensive experience in business commercialization to Silevo, having grown multiple products at Applied Materials, Inc. into billion dollar product lines.

Solar Server: Congratulations on Silevo's recent achievement of 22.1% cell efficiency with your Triex technology. Can you describe some of the steps that were taken to reach this milestone?

Chris Beitel:
Silevo has continued to execute on its roadmap for efficiency gains. Silevo’s hybrid device, called tunneling junction, leverages several different materials that enable efficiency increases. In moving above 22% conversion efficiency, Silevo has further optimized its proprietary tunneling oxide layer (oxide films are leveraged in the semiconductor microelectronics) to further boost open circuit voltages (Voc) above 725mV.

Solar Server: We last spoke with you in April 2012. Since that time, what progress has been made with Silevo's technology, and specifically your company's roadmap towards 24% efficiency?

Chris Beitel:
Since April of last year, Silevo has demonstrated a technology transfer from its pilot research and development facility in Fremont, CA to its first mass production facility in Asia. The mass production line is currently building production cells above 21% efficiency and executing on an approximate 300MW customer backlog.

Silevo’s Fremont facility continues to focus on process improvement to enable 24% efficiency over the next several years. These process improvement consists of further optimization of its tunneling oxide layer, improvement in the doped amorphous silicon layers used to form the emitter, as well as resistivity and transmission improvement of the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) layers.

Solar Server: What is the current status of your manufacturing facility in Hangzhou, China?

Chris Beitel:
Our 32MW production facility is on-line and shipping committed product to customers.

Solar Server: What is next for Silevo?

Chris Beitel:
Silevo is focused on capacity expansion and will look to put an additional 200MW of production capacity online over the next year. With this level of run-rate, the company would then plan an offering on the public markets to then further scale the business to >1GW of capacity in 2015. In parallel, Silevo will continue to improve product performance (24% efficiency) to further extend Silevo’s best-in-class performance to cost ratio solar modules.