September 17, 2009 - Samsung Electronics is planting its flag in the solar PV space with a new R&D/test facility for crystalline silicon (c-Si) cells and eyeing to sit atop the global solar cell market by 2015, according to local reports.
At the company's recent opening of the c-Si facility in Giheung, Korea (cited by reports as a 300MW pilot line), a company spokesperson hinted at achieved conversion efficiencies in the (notably wide and unclear) 15%-20% range, noted the Korea Herald. The paper also said that the company is investigating thin-film cells as well, and that an impressive 85% of the line's tooling was sourced from domestic suppliers.
Samsung feels its manufacturing capabilities in semiconductors/memory and TFT-LCD display gives it a lower barrier to entry the solar PV market. Likewise, domestic rival LG Display said in June it would spend 50 billion won (US $40M) to build a thin-film solar cell production line, eyeing commercial production of 14%-efficient cells by 2012.