Meyer Burger is partnering with Florida-based SolarTech Universal LLC, which will employ the Swiss engineering group’s SmartWire Connection Technology (SWCT) in its module line for the U.S. market.
SolarTech Universal’s annual production capacity of the module production line exceeds 80 MW. Delivery of the systems by Meyer Burger as well as the start of production by SolarTech is planned for second quarter 2015.
"We strongly believe in this new technology, and could not have picked a better partner than Meyer Burger for our module production line," said Boris Rosenstein, SolarTech Universal’s president and CEO.
SmartWire Connection Technology
In comparison to conventional busbar cell technology, Meyer Burgers SmartWire Connection Technology delivers an increased energy benefit of up to 3% for solar cells following encapsulation in the module. This is made possible by a dense contact matrix of up to 2,660 contact points on the solar cell. In contrast to standard busbar technology, where each finger routes the electrical currents to a busbar, the SWCT connects all fingers together directly on the surface of the cell. The fingers are electrically connected in a close grid that prevents micro cracks and cell breaks from negatively impacting the module performance over the entire module lifetime, according to Meyer Burger.
Through the elimination of the busbars in SmartWire Connection Technology, up to 80% less silver is used in the production of the cells. Meyer Burger adds that the significantly reduced use of silver in combination with the thinner fingers on the cells results in a reduction in production costs of as much as $7 per module. SWCT is compatible to all silicon cell technologies and can also be used in the next generation of finger metallization technology.
Meyer Burger received its first order for SWCT in July for a PV module line in Poland to opened in collaboration with Hanplast and Freevolt and which will have an annual capacity of 80 MW.