According to the annual report of AO Concern “Energomer,” the “Monocrystal” group of companies (the only European manufacturer of pastes for solar cell metallization, part of the industrial holding “Energomer”) plans to double its market share of aluminum paste in China by 2023. The report was published on Thursday.
“In the solar energy paste market, the dominant technology continues to be PERC, which uses aluminum paste in the design of solar cells, while two alternative technologies, TOPCon and PIBC, are also developing. This year, we intend to double our share of aluminum paste for solar cells produced using the PERC technology in the Chinese market,” the report states.
The report also highlights that in 2022, the design of solar cells based on PERC technology required paste manufacturers to develop new products. “Our Chinese platform was able to quickly respond to market demand by developing a relevant product based on a new formulation. Shipments of this innovative line of aluminum paste tripled,” the company explains.
In addition, at the “Monocrystal PV” production site in China, the company is developing capabilities for the development of silver pastes for solar cells using TOPCon technology, which utilizes silver pastes with 2-4% aluminum content. The company expects that by 2025, the share of solar cells produced using this technology will account for at least 50% of the Chinese market. However, the market for the PIBC technology, based on the use of aluminum and silver pastes, is currently awaiting improvements in solar cell design and equipment adaptation, the report specifies.
The report also mentions that in 2022, the “Monocrystal Paste” production site in Stavropol actively collaborated with the largest Russian manufacturer of solar cells and modules. “A fundamentally new silver paste was developed for their needs, which allowed us to replace a Japanese competitor in the supply chain and increase shipments of this product six-fold. As a result of the proactive actions of our paste production sites, the revenue from this business segment increased by 30% and amounted to $18.5 million,” the report states.
The report also reveals that the “Monocrystal” group has started supplying pre-production batches of sapphire substrates for micro LEDs, which are essential in the production of electronics, television panels, and mobile devices. This move will provide a competitive advantage when micro LEDs become a mass product.
As major LED manufacturers prepare for the mass production of micro LEDs in 2024, they have announced plans to expand their epitaxy capacities on 6- and 8-inch sapphire substrates. “Monocrystal” is currently the only manufacturer guaranteeing the supply of mass quantities of 8-inch substrates with unparalleled quality. The company has established relationships with all consumers of sapphire substrates for micro LEDs, passed qualifications, and has already started supplying pre-production batches, according to the report.
The report also highlights that the company produces mini LEDs, which are used by leading global electronics brands in their devices. Currently, mini LEDs are used for backlighting in over a hundred models of various displays and gadgets. Shipments of large-diameter substrates for mini and micro LEDs tripled over the past year.
The report also notes that the company annually invests 5-10% of its revenue in the development of its own technologies for growing and processing synthetic sapphire. In the reporting period, more than 600 million rubles were allocated to the creation of new products, including 8-inch sapphire substrates for micro/mini LEDs.
The “Monocrystal” group of companies produces synthetic sapphires for light-emitting diodes and mobile electronics, as well as metallization pastes for solar energy.
Learn more about “Aluminium, copper, nickel, lithium: highlights of 2022 and forecasts for 2023“!