NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Aurora Solar Technologies Inc. (“Aurora”) (“Company”) (TSX.V:ACU) (OTCBB:AACTF) (FSE:A82), a leader in inline measurement and control technology for the photovoltaic manufacturing industry, is pleased to announce that is has received a volume order from a confidential customer in the People’s Republic of China for multiple Decima™ Gemini systems and Veritas™ wafer and process mapping software. The Decima and Veritas products will be integrated into new high-efficiency bifacial cell production lines, and the output from these lines will compete at the top end of the market. Aurora’s products will be used to facilitate their line ramp-up and ongoing production with the highest possible yield. Aurora was awarded this order because of the capability of our products to deliver real-time and accurate high-resolution measurements spanning the full front and rear surfaces of the cells.
“In November 2016, Aurora secured its first major commercial order from LG Electronics (which shipped in January, 2017 and are in operation), followed a few months later by a large commercial order from the world’s largest solar cell manufacturer. Now with our first major volume order in China, Aurora has achieved a record backlog in sales with 17 high-end Decima measurement units and 9 Veritas process visualization systems shipping by the end of the summer,” said Michael Heaven, Aurora’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “These top-tier customers provide an exceptional showcase for our technology in the advanced solar cell manufacturing space and we expect these deliverables will accelerate our success in China and around the world,” he continued.
Recent Success in Asia
With the significant reduction of solar energy prices and the challenges of fossil fuel pollution facing countries like China and India, a transition to renewable energy sources is a strategic focus of these governments. In 2016, the global production of solar modules was approximately 77 gigawatts and Solar Media Ltd., is predicting the supply will continue to grow to just under 83 gigawatts in 2017 and 88 gigawatts in 2018, with over half of this supply being monocrystalline PERC by 2018. Approximately 85 percent of this production is in Asia.
Over the past year, Aurora has significantly ramped up its Asian presence. The Company has established a dynamic agent network, added a Director of Sales and an office in Beijing, and has built a superior application engineering team to drive adoption of Aurora’s technology with quality-conscious manufacturers. In April, the Company demonstrated its technology to several of the top Asian solar cell manufacturers at the International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference and Exhibition in Shanghai, China and we are actively pursuing a number of sales opportunities as a result of these demonstrations.
Why the Industry Pivot to Bifacial and Monocrystalline PERC?
The solar cell manufacturing industry is seeing a significant investment in Bifacial and Monocrystalline PERC cell production. These new technologies are designed to improve the efficiency, and therefore the selling price, of solar cells. However, they require tighter production control due to the need to make the most of higher-cost materials and more complex processing requirements.
Bifacial cells generate 8 to 25 percent more power than traditional one-sided cells by using both direct and reflected light incident on both their upper and lower surfaces. The industry predicts significant growth in the production of bifacial cells over the next 10 years with global production increasing to 30-40% by 2027 (ITRPV 2017). Because of certain material properties inherent to bifacial cell designs, Aurora’s patented Decima infrared measurement technology is the only non-destructive method capable of characterizing and monitoring the bifacial production process. When combined with our Veritas visualization software, this provides process engineers and operators with real-time data that can help shorten the start-up time for new bifacial lines and maximize ongoing yield and throughput.
Monocrystalline PERC cells combine the efficiency advantages of single-crystal silicon wafers with a rear-side chemical coating that reduces “surface recombination” – an unwanted effect that impairs the power-generating capability of the cell. Because monocrystalline wafers are expensive and supply-constrained, manufacturers of PERC cells are motivated to ensure that their production processes have minimal variation and low-efficiency cells are not produced. Each cell must perform well and sell at a price commensurate with the higher material costs. Aurora’s products are the most accurate and repeatable tools used to optimize and maintain PERC production equipment performance.
About Aurora Solar Technologies:
Aurora’s mission is to deliver exceptional results to the photovoltaic industry through measurement and control of critical processes during solar cell manufacturing.
We measure and map the results of critical cell fabrication processes, providing real-time visualization of material properties and true production tool performance. Our products provide process engineers and production-line operators with the means to rapidly detect and correct process excursions, material faults, limit variations, and optimize processes, thereby eliminating yield-reducing and profit-killing product variation.
We are creating the standard for quality control systems for the global photovoltaic industry.
Headquartered in North Vancouver, Canada, and founded by experienced leaders in process measurement, semiconductor manufacturing and industrial automation, the Company’s shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and trade under the symbol “ACU”. The Company was formerly “ACT Aurora Control Technologies”. For more information, Aurora’s website is located at www.aurorasolartech.com.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Some statements in this news release contain forwardlooking information. These statements address future events and conditions and, as such, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the statements. The Company does not assume the obligation to update any forwardlooking statement.
CONTACT: For further information contact: Michael Heaven, P.Eng., MBA President & Chief Executive Officer Aurora Solar Technologies Inc. Phone: +1 (778) 241-5000 [email protected] Investor Relations contact: Nina Lafleur Phone: +1 (604) 679-9964 [email protected]