Air Liquide unveils new solar R&D lab

A spokesperson tells pv magazine that over €1 million has been invested in the crystalline silicon pilot line, located on Plateau de Saclay, near Paris.

Since April, scientists have reportedly been working on the line, which includes 6 different equipment types: wet-bench, LP-PECVD reactor, screen printing, drying furnace and firing furnace. "An optical and electrical characterization lab allows the performance evaluation of solar cells produced in-house," continued the spokesperson.

The equipment for the pilot line came from Canada-based Sixtron, which Air Liquide acquired last year. In addition to its coating technology, Sixtron also has dedicated equipment for crystalline solar cell manufacturing and characterization lines.

Air Liquide supplies its gases to 16 photovoltaic manufacturers, including Yingli Solar, Suntech, JA Solar, Bosch, First Solar, REC, Sharp, Hanwha SolarOne, Q. Cells and LDK.