VLSI Research ranks Top 10 PV Manufacturing Equipment Suppliers for 2008

Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) leads the pack on revenues.
Oerlikon Solar customers rule actual amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film module production.

In Top 10 Suppliers of PV Manufacturing Equipment Worldwide for 2008, VLSI Research Inc. named Applied Materials the number one worldwide PV (Photovoltaic) equipment supplier for 2008 with $797 million in estimated revenues for both crystalline silicon equipment and SunFab thin film production lines.

Now, just since Oerlikon Solar, a business unit of OC Oerlikon Corporation AG (VTX:OERL), was named number one in VLSI Research’s The Top 5 Turnkey PV Manufacturing Line Suppliers for 2008 on June 4, 2009, Oerlikon’s revenue was revised down from $664 million to $552 million to take the number two 2008 worldwide spot.

However, comparing actual thin film module production tells a different story. The Oerlikon Solar Panel Counter claims 963067 modules (“panels”) have been manufactured by their customers as of today. At Intersolar 2009, I learned Applied Materials SunFab customers had cumulative production of about 300000 quarter sized modules. Without knowing the module mix from Oerlikon customers and guessing an average module power of 80 to 85 Wp (Watt-peak), this translates to 77.0 to 81.9 MWp (MegaWatt-peak) of cumulative production.

As shown above, GT Solar International, Inc. (NASDAQ:SOLR) placed third followed by German firms Gebr. Schmid GmbH + Co. and centrotherm photovoltaics AG (ETR:CTN) ranking fourth and fifth respectively.

Please vote in the new sidebar PV POLL: Is Upgraded Metallurgical (UMG) Silicon dead?

This is Part 2 of what I call the PV unholy trinity poll series.
In Part 1, I asked:
Is CPV (Concentrator PhotoVoltaics) dead?
The final results are
here. I suspect active voting by CPV advocates contributed to the lopsided results!

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