ASE Americas, Inc. leads the way toward a cleaner and safer environment with its high quality, solar powered modules. Established as an innovative company, ASE Americas has positioned itself to be the module supplier of choice for those applications which demand the utmost in safety, reliability and performance such as utility, military and telecommunications. Our proprietary crystal growth technology incorporates high material utilization with an environmentally benign manufacturing process to create a high quality, low cost product. From the world’s largest commercial solar panel to individual solar cells used in module assembly plants around the world, ASE Americas is reinventing the way electricity is created and used.
ASE Americas’ long-term business philosophy entails developing close customer alliances to assure that our products satisfy the needs of the market. We listen carefully to utilities and system integrators when designing modules. We develop strong partnerships with system designers to serve the needs of the end user. We work with developers to reduce costs and improve the reliability, flexibility, and convenience of our products. We build customer relationships through our commitment to quality and price competitiveness, as well as our ability to adapt to new market requirements. We pride ourselves on building high quality modules, especially for applications that require long lifetime, safety, and reliability. In addition to manufacturing modules, ASE Americas supplies solar cells and module laminates to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
ASE’s origins date back to 1974 when Tyco Laboratories and Mobil Corporation joined forces to begin developing advanced silicon solar cells. Although Mobil Solar Energy Corporation began selling around the world in 1981, by 1986 a strategic decision was made to focus exclusively on the U.S. utility market. In 1994, Mobil Oil Corporation decided to leave the the photovoltaic industry and in July of that same year, ASE GmbH of Germany acquired 100% of Mobil’s technology and assets.
Today, the company is in full manufacturing, employing over 160, many of whom worked for Mobil Solar. ASE Americas reached a company milestone in 1995 by breaking the 1 MW per year production rate. In 1996, we were the fastest growing manufacturer, increasing our production over 50%, ending the year having shipped 3 MW.
ASE Americas’ technology is based on a patented method called Edge-Defined, Film-Fed Growth (EFG)– a process used to pull crystalline silicon tubes from growth furnaces. Silicon pellets are melted in furnaces at 1410 degrees C. From the molten material, hollow, eight-sided tubes are grown to a height of more than 16 feet before they are removed from the furnace. Operators use lasers to cut the cells into four inch squares, which are processed to make electrically active cells. Cells are then sealed in a clear encapsulant material developed by ASE Americas and are assembled into modules. Glass on both front and back protects the modules from moisture and breakage. The result is a long-lasting, durable product that can withstand harsh environmental conditions when placed in the field.
Much of ASE Americas’ production line is automated, beginning with the crystal growth operation. The company has continually introduced improvements in manufacturing technology to increase solar cell and module efficiency. Throughout cell processing and module manufacturing, ASE Americas has replaced most batch processes with more efficient continuous processing. Instead of “wet” processing found in the semiconductor industry, ASE Americas uses environmentally benign procedures, ensuring a product safe for the environment.