Centrotherm photovoltaics AG (Blaubeuren, Germany) reports that it has received around EUR 30 million (USD 40 million) in orders from solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturers since the beginning of 2014.
These include orders for diffusion, anti-reflective coating and conveyor furnaces for firing and sintering metal contacts in the production of high-efficiency PV cells. Centrotherm estimates that it currently has an order book around EUR 62 million (USD 84 million) in the single equipment segment of its photovoltaics business.
The global PV equipment industry saw two very difficult years in 2012 and 2013, with orders collapsing due to excess PV production capacity, which produced a glut of modules. However, towards the end of 2013, Centrotherm and other PV equipment makers began to report a trickle of new orders.
Centrotherm says that it is anticipating greater demand for its new low-pressure diffusion furnaces, and notes that an 800 MW mass-production line in Southeast Asia was recently completely equipped with these furnaces.