Canadian Solar Inc. (CSI) announced the official opening of its new PV Cell Research Center. The new center is located in the company’s solar cell Fab II in Suzhou and consolidates all of the company’s R&D facilities in one place. The purpose of the center is to improve the efficiency and production yield of both regular polysilicon cells and our proprietary solar grade e-cells. CSI has been actively investigating several high efficiency solar cell structures, including selective emitter, N-type and back-contact cells.
The company has also signed research partnership contracts with DuPont, University of Toronto and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The partnership with DuPont will focus on improving our solar grade cells. The research center is the only provincially accredited PV cell research center in Jiangsu Province. It is currently staffed by 20 scientists, engineers and technicians. The center will ultimately have a staff of 38. The 1500 M2 facility will cost a total of USD $10 million, with the bulk of the expenditures paid in 2008.
Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO stated, "CSI is now executing a four-year cell efficiency research program that will lead to better products and lower costs. Both the solar-grade cells for our e-Modules and regular silicon cells can benefit from this research. The program objective is to significantly improve our cell conversion efficiency. Our goal is to bring our average cell efficiency for polysilicon monocrystalline cells to 18.5% and solar grade cells to 15.5% within 12 months. In this effort, we are proud to partner with some of the world’s leading R&D organizations including DuPont, University of Toronto and Shanghai Jiao Tong University and look forward to jointly exploring new materials and manufacturing methods in order to better our efficiency and product development."