Swiss PV equipment supplier Meyer Burger has entered into a strategic partnership with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) to supply its high performance Heterojunction (HJT) cell coating equipment and other PV tooling hardware.
An initial order of CHF 12 million ($12.3 million) has already been placed by CEA, and the ongoing collaboration will also see Meyer Burger supply its innovative SmartWire Connection technology (SWCT), its high capacity cell testing equipment, as well as its next-generation bifacial encapsulation technology and equipment. Delivery is scheduled to begin towards the end of this year.
CEA is replacing its existing solar manufacturing test equipment and technology, and has selected Meyer Burger as not only a technology partner but also to work alongside its Institute of Laboratories for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials (LITEN) to carry out joint research on the next generation of future-oriented high-performance solar technologies, including HJT and SWCT.
The initial tool order will be utilized for further research and development at the CEA laboratory, and will undertake marathon research tests with the ultimate aim of identifying and verifying new HJT production features and capabilities, as well as tangible developments in SWCT cell and module production technologies.
In collaborating with CEA, as well as the companys earlier ventures with the Centre Suisse dElectronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM), Meyer Burger is working ever-closer with PV research bodies in Europe, examining new ways to build high efficiency technologies that can be easily translated into industrially applicable procedures and processes.
According to Meyer Burger, this collaborative process has already begun at the companys competence center for cell and surface coating technologies in Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Switzerland.