Described as the first of its kind, the companies say the production facility, which will be located in the Netherlands, is scheduled to start operations in the first quarter of 2012. Initial capacity is expected to be 80 megawatts (MW), but the companies have already said they plan to ramp that up to 500 MW in the Netherlands, and to 2.5 gigawatts (GWs) globally.
Roth & Rau and Day4 Energy have said they will be combining technologies, with the aim of creating the "next generation" of crystalline silicon solar modules through increased cell efficiency and temperature performance.
Specifically, they say that Roth & Rau’s PV cell and hetero-junction technology-based turnkey manufacturing line will be combined with Day4’s PV cell, module and production technologies. This, they explain, will ensure the delivery to ABV of "an advanced PV technology, superior in terms of both cost and performance".
The parties involved say the objective is to reduce costs and achieve the "highest possible" efficiency by minimizing production steps through the integration of wafer, cell and module production.
Roth & Rau says that hetero-junction technology solar cells offer an efficiency potential of more than 20 percent while delivering "favorable" manufacturing costs. It adds that at this years EU PVSEC European Solar Conference in Valencia, it presented results of 21 percent cell efficiency achieved. "Having demonstrated the significant potential of hetero-junction technology, Roth & Rau is moving rapidly towards mass production," said a statement issued by the company.
The company went on to say that it is excited about the potential of bringing together hetero-junction and Day 4 Energy’s "innovative" contacting technology. This combination, it says, will further enhance the module efficiency of hetero-junction based solar cells, and lead to "significant" cost reductions in the cell process.
"Aligning two of the best PV technologies available is important from a technical standpoint. However, equally important is that we are demonstrating a unique business approach, allowing our organizations to work together and create an industry breakthrough," comments Dietmar Roth, CEO of Roth & Rau. "We are able to create advanced and highly efficient solar products, streamline production capabilities and provide manufacturers a pipeline of future technologies ensuring they continue to produce some of the most advanced solar products available on the market."
Professor Leonid B. Rubin, Day4 Energy’s vice president and chief technology officer adds: The Day4 cell interconnection technology secures PV cell high efficiency at the module level and minimizes cell-to-module energy losses. In addition, Day4’s low temperature module production technology provides a unique opportunity to manufacture PV modules with temperature sensitive PV cells."
"The combination of these two technologies, along with the necessary manufacturing equipment, all in an optimized package has the potential to produce one of the most efficient, lowest cost solar modules available in our industry. With Roth & Rau and Day4 Energy, we have a strong partnership in solar technology to bring costs down substantially through the application of state-of-the art technology," concludes Mr. Jac Hanssen, CEO of Alinement.