BEDFORD, Mass.-(BUSINESS WIRE)-Today at the SNEC 2019 PV Power Expo, silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies Inc. unveiled the first modules to feature the company’s 3D wafers or thin wafers with thick borders.

The prototypes, produced with the company’s strategic partner Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd., mark a major milestone for the Direct Wafer technology and moves 1366 Technologies closer to its goal of reducing silicon utilization during wafer manufacturing to less than 1.5 g/W. With an expected power rating of approximately 360 watts, these modules use 1366’s high-performance, ultra-low-cost 3D Direct Wafer products as their base material.

“Earlier this year, in response to the rapid wafer price decline, 1366 made a strategic decision to accelerate the timeline for the 3D wafer feature. Together with Q CELLS, we’ve met every production target,” said Dr. Adam Lorenz, CTO, 1366 Technologies.

“The most vital metrics in solar are cost and performance, and the 3D wafer feature allows innovative manufacturers like Q CELLS to deliver the industry’s best price performance ratio.”

The 3D wafers, produced at 1366’s demonstration factory, were assembled into Q.ANTUM DUO prototype modules at the Center for Technology Innovation and Quality in Thalheim, Germany.

“Q CELLS relentless pursuit of innovation is driven by our commitment to deliver the most value to our customers,” said Ji Weon Jeong, CTO of Q CELLS. “Thin wafers that are compatible with existing automation and equipment have long been an industry goal but are beyond the capabilities of mainstream wafer technologies. The continuous effort for technological innovation will play a role in Q CELLS’s continued industry leadership.”

Its Direct Wafer® technology replaces a decades-old solar manufacturing process to make a superior class of silicon wafers, the building blocks of solar panels.