Evergreen Solar Advances String Ribbon Technology

December 15, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Evergreen Solar Inc. (Marlboro, MA), a developer, marketer and manufacturer of photovoltaic (solar power) products, announced that it has developed the latest advancement in its proprietary String Ribbon™ technology for manufacturing solar cells that involves simultaneously growing two silicon ribbons, rather than one, from each crystal growth furnace. The company expects this development to more than double the output of its crystal growth furnaces.

"This important milestone reinforces Evergreen's position as a leading technical innovator in the solar industry," remarked Evergreen Solar President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Farber. "We have taken our unique core technology, originally developed at MIT, and expanded and improved it. Doubling the throughput of each furnace leverages capital cost, floorspace, energy consumption, labor and consumables, which are expected to have an important impact on reducing costs. Coupled with our other innovative production techniques, we are making measurable progress towards our goal of establishing Evergreen as a leading force in the world market for solar power."

String Ribbon can yield over twice as many solar cells per pound of silicon as conventional methods. The company expects to introduce double ribbon into production in late 2003 with new furnaces as well as retrofitting existing furnaces. Evergreen Solar has filed a patent for the process.