The aim of the project, says Oerlikon, is to further enhance performance and decrease costs of thin film silicon PV modules within the next three years. It will also reportedly look at equipment for the modules, in relation to reduced material use, and improved environmentally-friendly production processes.
Furthermore, the company says that the project tackles the major influences on Micromorph module efficiency and production cost by assessing the influences of glass, gas, transparent conductive oxide (TCO) and silicon deposition as part of the production process.
Started on September 1, project PEPPERs total investment amounts to 16.7 million, of which 9.4 million are financed by the European Commission.
The members of the project, in addition to Oerlikon, are the Photovoltaics Laboratory of the Institute of Microengineering at EPFL (IMT-Neuchâtel, Switzerland), the Universities of Northumbria (UK) and Patras (Greece), Bosch Solar Thin Film (Germany, module production), Heliosphera (Greece, module production) and Linde (Germany, gas supply).
I am very pleased that Oerlikon Solars research efforts are being recognized through this project selected for a FP7 grant by the DG Energy of the European Commission, said Dr. Juerg Henz, CEO Oerlikon Solar.
Driving down costs while raising the efficiency is key to economically viable solar power. With this impressive consortium of experienced research and industry leaders we will continue our path in making thin film silicon the competitive, clean and sustainable energy source of tomorrow.