MERRIMACK, N.H., March 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GT Advanced Technologies Inc., (Nasdaq:GTAT), today announced an innovative cell metallization and interconnect technology that is expected to provide substantial savings in both the manufacture and installation of solar modules. Marketed under the name Merlin™, a key component of the new technology includes a flexible grid that replaces the three silver bus bars. The novel attributes of Merlin technology are expected to significantly reduce the amount of expensive silver paste while improving panel efficiency. The resulting modules are expected to be more reliable and durable and enable form factors that are lighter and easier to handle resulting in lower shipment and installations costs.
"We are very excited about the progress we are making in developing what we believe will be a true game-changing technology to lower the cost of solar modules," said Tom Gutierrez, GT's president and CEO. "Our Merlin technology uses mature, proven manufacturing processes to produce the flexible grids and we are confident that we can scale grid production to meet the requirements of the solar industry. Our Merlin technology is expected to fundamentally change the way modules will be manufactured, shipped and installed in the future."
GT's patented Merlin technology easily integrates into existing cell and module manufacturing lines with simple changes to the screen used for patterning segmented fingers onto the solar cell. The segmented fingers are thinner and produce less shading than conventional fingers. The combination of the flexible grid and the segmented fingers results in lower resistive losses thereby increasing cell and module efficiency. Additionally, the on-cell and cell-to-cell interconnect features of the grid make the module substantially more resilient when subjected to temperature cycling and mechanical flexing. Merlin technology will enable customers to design highly reliable, lightweight, lower cost modules that are less expensive to install.
"Over the last several years, we have been reviewing PV systems at a number of solar farms to gain a better understanding of performance over time," said Govindasamy Tamizhmani, Ph.D., president of TUV Rheinland PTL, a leading provider of safety testing, performance testing and market certification for the photovoltaic marketplace. "A number of key issues have been identified, including solder bond failures, hot spots and ribbon-to-ribbon solder bond failures. I am quite excited regarding the Merlin technology developed by GT Advanced Technologies as it goes a long way to minimize or eliminate these issues."
New Merlin Technology to Be Featured at GT's New Product and Technology Briefing
The company will provide additional detail on its new Merlin solar module metallization and interconnect technology at its New Product and Technology Briefing tomorrow March 14, 2014. The event will begin at 8:30 am ET and will be webcast on a live and archived basis. A link to the webcast is available at http://investor.gtat.com/.
About GT Advanced Technologies Inc.
GT Advanced Technologies Inc. is a leading diversified technology company producing advanced materials and innovative crystal growth equipment for the global consumer electronics, power electronics, solar and LED industries. Its technical innovations accelerate the use of advanced materials, enabling a new generation of products across this diversified set of global markets. For additional information about GT Advanced Technologies, please visit www.gtat.com.
Certain of the information in this press release relates to the Company's future expectations, plans, products and prospects for its business and industry that constitute "forward-looking statements" for the purposes of the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to: the Company's innovative cell metallization and interconnect technology is expected to provide substantial savings in both the manufacture and installation of solar modules; the novel attributes of Merlin technology are expected to significantly reduce the amount of expensive silver paste while improving panel efficiency; the resulting modules are expected to be more reliable and durable and enable form factors that are lighter and easier to handle resulting in lower shipment and installations costs; the Company believes this technology will be a true game-changing technology to lower the cost of solar modules; the Company is confident that it can scale grid production to meet the requirements of the solar industry; the technology is expected to fundamentally change the way modules will be manufactured, shipped and installed in the future; the characteristics and performance benefits of the Merlin technology; Merlin technology will enable customers to design highly reliable, lightweight, lower cost modules that are less expensive to install; the Company will be able successfully develop the new metallization and interconnect technology; the ability of the Company to successfully market and sell the metallization and interconnect technology to customers; the ability of the Company to achieve the technical development milestones including the ability to manufacture the flexible grids at volume; and the ability of the Company to develop an attachment tool that attaches the grids to the cells.These forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the Company's control, which could cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the statements. Factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements include: the Company not being able to commercialize its technology under development; the Company's products not performing as expected; the Company's products not having the expected impact on its industry;; the Company's ability to complete development of and commercialize any new products; the impact of continued decreased demand and/or excess capacity in the markets for the output of the Company's equipment; general economic conditions and the tightening credit markets having an adverse impact on demand for the Company's products; limited sales of PV and other equipment products; the possibility that changes in government incentives may reduce demand for polysilicon and solar products, which would, in turn, reduce demand for our equipment; technological changes could render existing or proposed products or technologies obsolete; the Company may be unable to protect its intellectual property rights; competition from other manufacturers may increase; exchange rate fluctuations and conditions in the credit markets and economy may reduce demand for the Company's products and various other risks as outlined in GT Advanced Technologies Inc.'s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the statements under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013. Statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important factors. The statements in this press release represent GT Advanced Technologies Inc.'s expectations and beliefs as of the date of this press release. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause these expectations and beliefs to change. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Source:GT Advanced Technologies