Meets Important PV Module Certification Standards
Tested modules pass IEC 61215, 61730 and UL1703 tests; Merlin remains on track for initial shipments in 2014 and commercial release in early 2015
MERRIMACK, N.H., Aug. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GT Advanced Technologies Inc., (Nasdaq:GTAT), today announced that solar modules incorporating its new Merlin™ metallization and interconnect technology have successfully met the requirements of several important PV industry certification standards, including IEC 61215, IEC 61730-1 and -2, as well as UL1703. The certification testing was performed by RETC (Renewable Energy Test Center), an independent certification testing provider. Conformance to the certification standards was verified by the Canadian Standards Association and TUV-Sud. The results confirm that cells and modules incorporating Merlin's novel approach to metallization and module interconnect meet the performance, safety and quality requirements outlined by the IEC 61215, 61730-1, -2 and UL1703 tests. The tests are designed to determine long-term reliability of silicon-based modules.
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"Meeting these industry standard reliability criteria is an important milestone as we move toward commercial availability of our Merlin metallization and interconnect technology," said Venkatesan Murali, senior vice president and general manager of advanced systems development at GT. "Going forward, we plan to continue reliability testing these modules to failure to validate that the Merlin-based modules are substantially more robust by design than what is required."
In addition to the silver reduction and efficiency improvement at the module level, Merlin metallization and interconnect technology improves the reliability and durability of modules. Merlin allows panel manufacturers to offer custom solar module form factors in addition to their traditional offerings. These new offerings are expected to play a role in improving costs across the solar value chain.
"We are in active discussions with select lead customers who continue to validate the unique value proposition of Merlin as it is substantially differentiated from the traditional three busbar-based modules as well as the various flavors of multi-wire busbar solutions," continued Murali. "Our comprehensive testing of Merlin goes beyond what is traditionally required for such a product. We are taking this approach in order to ensure a smooth and seamless integration into our customers' manufacturing lines when we roll this out in 2015."
The company estimates that if Merlin achieved a market penetration in the eight to twenty percent range by 2018 it could represent a $400 million to $1 billion business. The company has already begun shipping sample quantities of Merlin grids to its lead customers and remains on track to commercially release Merlin in early 2015.
IEC 61215 and 61730-1, -2 and UL1703 standards have been established to determine the viability of module designs as an indicator of their long-term performance in the field. The tests have been designed to simulate and accelerate real-world conditions that modules will undergo over the lifetime of the module when installed in the field. The tests focus on key areas such as diagnostic, electrical, performance, thermal, irradiance, environmental, mechanical and safety tests.
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: Merlin metallization and interconnect technology remains on track for initial shipments in 2014 and commercial release in early 2015; the Company is moving toward commercial availability of its Merlin metallization and interconnect technology; going forward, the Company plans to continue reliability testing these modules to failure to validate that the Merlin-based modules are substantially more robust by design than what is required; the expected performance metrics, characteristics and the benefits of the Merlin metallization and interconnect technology in commercial use; Merlin allows panel manufacturers to offer custom solar module form factors in addition to their traditional offerings; the new Merlin offerings are expected play a role in improving costs across the solar value chain; customers will continue to validate the Merlin technology; the Company is undertaking certain steps in order to ensure a smooth and seamless integration of Merlin into customers' manufacturing lines when it is rolled out in 2015; the Company estimates that if Merlin achieved a market penetration in the eight to twenty percent range by 2018 it could represent a $400 million to $1 billion business; the company remains on track to commercially release Merlin in early 2015; and the Company will be able to complete its remaining development milestones successfully launch its Merlin technology and do so within the time frame expected by the Company. 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 (including Merlin) (and commercialize within the anticipated timeframe); customers and other parties not satisfying any conditions necessary to complete a contract; the Company's products not performing as expected; the Company's products not having the expected impact on its industry; markets not meeting expected revenue growth; and the Company's ability to complete development of and commercialize any new products. Other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements include: the impact of continued decreased demand and/or excess capacity in the markets for the output of the Company's equipment and technology (including solar equipment, products and technology); 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 the Company's equipment, products and technology; 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 quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 29, 2014. 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.
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Source:GT Advanced Technologies