By Isabella Kaminski
Shipments of ReneSola’s new solar technology began in June. The company claims to have already shipped around 54.8 MW of Virtus wafers and 20 MW of Virtus modules to European customers. Virtus modules are made using Virtus wafers.
According to ReneSola, Virtus wafer production is now operating at an annual capacity of 900 MW with a target of reaching 1.8 GW by the end of 2011.
ReneSola sells a higher grade V-Grade Virtus wafer, which it claims achieves cell conversion efficiency rates of 17.5-18.2%, as well as a lower grade M-Grade Virtus wafer, which it claims achieves cell conversion efficiency rates of 16.7-17.0%. The Virtus modules can generate up to 250 W of power.
The 54.8 MW shipment total comprised approximately 22.7 MW of V-Grade Virtus wafers and 32.1 MW of M-Grade Virtus wafers.
ReneSola is currently applying for 10 patents related to the Virtus wafer and module, and is also applying for trademark protection in several countries.
Xianshou Li, CEO of ReneSola, says: "The Virtus wafer's high conversion efficiency and relatively low cost has attracted a wealth of interest among cell manufacturing companies. Our V-Grade Virtus wafer, which achieves a conversion efficiency rate more than 1% higher than the industry standard, has proved a worthy substitute for monocrystalline wafers with its low cost, while our M-Grade Virtus wafer's conversion efficiency is superior to the average multicrystalline wafer by up to 0.5%.
"We've started initial shipments to our top European customers, some of whom have already requested additional shipments, and we have received excellent feedback. We plan to purchase additional manufacturing equipment to increase our Virtus wafer capacity towards 1.8 GW by the end of 2011, at which time we expect the Virtus wafer to have replaced all our other multicrystalline wafers. We will also discontinue approximately 200 MW of monocrystalline wafer production, increasing our focus on multicrystalline wafers and boosting our core wafer business and growing module business."