Advent Solar retooling for larger wafers

[Milano, Italia]

Production and manufacturing layoffs temporary?

When I checked my Google alerts this morning, the headline Advent Solar announces layoffs by Jeff Maher caught my immediate attention. I was planning to include photos of their back contact, Emitter Wrap-Through (EWT) solar cells and modules (Italiano) in my Exhibition roundup.

Since Advent Solar is exhibiting here at the 22nd EU PVSEC, it was easy enough to walk over to their stand and get the straight scoop. Per a company spokesperson, the layoff is related to Advent’s decision to retool their 25MWp (MegaWatt-peak) solar cell production line from 125mm to 156mm silicon wafers. Per Rob Day in Advent Solar, SV Solar, TrafficCast, Cyber-Rain and other news, the recent $70 Million in Series D Funding will also be used to expand capacity to about 70MWp. I presume this implies additional lines will be installed while the first line is retooled for 156mm wafers?

It appears Advent started with 125mm wafers because that was what they were able to procure in this rough polysilicon and silicon wafer sourcing environment. And it sounds like the 25MWp capacity was not fully ramped with 125mm wafers anyway.

Even though I saw the Advent solar modules last year in Dresden, I am finding the multicrystalline blue solar cells striking without the front side metal contacts. An Advent spokesperson claimed Italian customers and exhibition visitors are giving the modules rave reviews for aesthetics.

The 23rd EU PVSEC and Exhibition will be held next year, 2008, in Valencia, Spain. No date has been set yet, but late September has been tipped because of various European vacations and holidays. Perhaps I will get to celebrate Labor Day next year.


  1. Anonymous says:

    the truth is a little different..advent does not have a process and they are using retooling as an excuse to buy time…

  2. Anonymous says:

    a local company ran some test on their wafers to try find out why they were bubbling. Again Retool is an excuse their current process does not work. They are in deep trouble.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I can only assume that the last 2 commenters were former employees because they hit the proverbial nail on the head. They are absolutely right. Retooling is an excuse. They will soon be history and deservedly so.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What support can be provided to back these claims of product inconsistancies? In other words, why should I beleive these other postings? And if there was a problem with their modules, why will they “be history?” I imagine that any problem can be fixed with enough time and research… and Advent Solar has the funding to do so.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad Advent Solar is going down the drain. They have a good product and a great technology but the company is run by arrogant people.

  6. frogkiller says:

    People being laid-off so quickly sure sounds to me as a tanglible and real proof that something is terrible wrong at Advent Solar, Inc.
    I predict this company to dissapear in less than 2 years and/or be acquired by a larger corporation.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Im not going to say that everbody is right, cause there not And I feel that I have a little more insight then others here. It has been said by other posters here that they don’t have a process that’s not true but you might want to look into that fact that every company has a supplier and since im on that end I know where they are going better then others. I know of the blanket orders and projected numbers that currently are not being met but will in a short, short amount of time. Personally im buying stock. Now shouldn’t you think about that? I know the numbers and I also know there product. Not just heresay.

  8. Anonymous says:

    you can’t buy stock!

  9. Anonymous says:

    To the person asking for support for some of these negative comments: Do yesterday’s layoffs show you that we know what we’re talking about? I frankly don’t care what you choose to believe. Facts are facts and it is not our job to provide you with research. Do your own .

  10. Anonymous says:

    You can’t compete with China. The big players get the scilicon. China has hundreds of solar cell factories. Also the idea of people working, shopping, and living walking distance to where they work is already being done. You guessed it China. I suggest Advent find other substrates to use.

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