Delivering a game-changing innovation for solar panel manufacturers
At Leading Edge, we’re driving down the cost and carbon footprint of the solar industry with our breakthrough single-crystal silicon wafer process.
Our mission is to be the high performance alternative to the current standard wafer manufacturers at globally competitive pricing.
Leading Edge driving down solar costs by developing next-generation high efficiency solar wafer technologies that help reduce manufacturing emissions. Customers purchasing our wafers will leverage one of the biggest breakthroughs in crystal growth technology in over 70 years, and drive a manufacturing revolution.
Low-cost solar energy is critical for a sustainable and globally accessible energy mix. In the last decade, over $50 billion of subsidies has explosively scaled commodity solar panel manufacturing – making solar energy competitive today with fossil energy generation. However, the cost reductions from this scaling are winding down and the capital that fueled this original expansion has been exhausted. Large solar manufacturers now compete on market share and marginal improvements on mature technologies. The industry’s momentum and high capital intensity deters new entrants from challenging the status quo and driving costs lower. Until now.
At Leading Edge Equipment Technologies, we have built a drop-in wafer manufacturing technology – compatible with existing cell manufacturing lines – that reduces the most cost, capital, and carbon-intensive step of solar panel manufacturing by up to 40 percent: the production of a silicon wafer. Today, the solar industry uses a seven-step process to make wafers, wire-sawing and processing large silicon bricks grown from large, energy-intensive furnaces. This process wastes over half of the silicon ingot, consumes diamond-coated wire, and constitutes over 80 percent of the panel’s final carbon footprint. Leading Edge has developed a two-steps process that directly makes single-crystal silicon wafers without the excessive waste, and using only one-third of the energy per furnace. Even more critically, Leading Edge wafers have the superior quality to enable a “drop-in” up to five percent power increase with commodity solar panel technology. By enabling low cost and higher efficiency, Leading Edge’s breakthrough Floating Silicon Method™ technology gives customers a true double-win.
Empowering Solar Panel Manufacturers
Leading Edge serves cell and panel manufacturers who want technology that provides a critical advantage over the status quo and competition. We work with strategic partners who are ready to lead solar cell and panel manufacturing into a new age. We operate in markets across the globe. If you’re an established manufacturer looking to partner with us to take advantage of next generation technology at your company, please reach out.
Our Partners & Investors
Annual solar panel demand has reached $30 billon per year and is projected to grow ten percent year-over-year through 2030. Over 95 percent of solar panels use silicon wafers made from traditional seven-step commodity manufacturing technologies, driving GHG emissions from solar wafer manufacturing that are projected to exceed 1 gigaton/year by 2030. Supported by the world’s leading investors and partners for solar energy technologies, Leading Edge is uniquely positioned to cut the cost and carbon emissions of the solar wafer industry by 50 percent.
Leading Edge was spun out of Applied Materials to leverage decades of crystal growth research and development. Combining the discipline of a tier one equipment manufacturer with the speed and innovation of a new venture, Leading Edge is proud to work with the manufacturing ecosystem to realize unprecedented change in this space.