“Record breaking”: Oerlikon Solar drives down thin film production costs to €0.50; reports highest lab cell efficiency

07. September 2010 | Research & Development, Products, Industry & Suppliers, EU PVSEC 2010 | By:  Becky Stuart

Swiss company, Oerlikon Solar, has launched a new production line 'ThinFab' for the manufacturing of thin film silicon modules at the EU PVSEC, which is says will achieve "record breaking" production costs of €0.50 per Watt peak (Wp).

Inside Oerlikon Solar's factory

The company has launched a new production line. Image: Oerlikon Solar.

"Our achievements could become a breakthrough for thin film silicon technology," comments Michael Buscher, Oerlikon Group CEO. "We are proud that our new ThinFab offers a highly competitive production line to the solar market and that we could verify further potential of our technology."

According to the company, the new ThinFab incorporates a “wide range” of improvements ahead of the Oerlikon Solar technology roadmap, including new generation of the core equipments PECVD, TCO and Laser, thinner cell structures with reduced degradation and reduced gas consumption, stabilized module efficiency of 10 percent (143 Wp per module), and new low voltage module design, based on a simplified new backend equipment.

The ThinFab reduces the energy payback-time of thin film silicon modules below one year, says the company, with the lowest energy consumption for photovoltaic production plants in the industry.

"Our extraordinary competencies are embedded in our new ThinFab and will change the perception of thin film silicon technology," states Dr. Jurg Henz, Oerlikon Solar CEO. "The 10 percent efficiency of our non-toxic, environmentally friendly modules, combined with the lowest production costs ever, provides the solar industry with completely new opportunities.

"On top of that our new champion cell with 11.9 percent stabilized efficiency demonstrates even further potential of the thin film silicon technology. Furthermore, our technology offers the lowest energy payback time compared to other crystalline technologies and is not based on limited resources."

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