EcoSolifer aims for mass HJT solar production with $29.5 million cell line

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Swiss equipment maker, Meyer Burger Technology Ltd will deliver and install the CHF 23 million heterojunction (HJT) cell line at EcoSolifer Ltd’s Hungarian manufacturing facility. Delivery is scheduled for late 2015, with EcoSolifer aiming to bring the first cells out in Q1 2016.

The manufacturer will have an initial capacity of 90 to 100 MW at its Csorna facility, but is aiming to scale up to 500 MW "in the short term." CEO, Ákos Haidegger confidently stated, "the combination of Meyer Burger’s high efficiency bifacial heterojunction cell technology with EcoSolifer’s broad know-how in PV development and industrial scale production capability could trigger an extraordinarily dynamic impulse and influence the entire solar market."

The rest of the CHF 29 million Meyer Burger contract includes integrated cell performance measurement and sorting technology, and a FabEagle MES modular software system for scaleable production management. There is also the option for EcoSolifer to acquire the Swiss company’s SmartWire Connection Technology.

Last February, Meyer Burger and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) joined forces on a 600 kW pilot production facility for high-efficiency PV cells employing HJT in a demo system. HJT technology is said to offer a higher level of efficiency than standard cells and a simpler production process. It also boasts remarkable temperature characteristics and low-cost mass production of PV modules.

In an interview with pv magazine on the back of the inauguration of the pilot line in November, Christophe Ballif, head of the CSEM’s PV-center said that at a 500 MW capacity, it should be possible to achieve a cost per watt of between €0.38-€0.45.

"Of course the final numbers will depend on the location and a number of choice of consumables (glass, polymers)," explained Ballif at the time, adding, "It also depends on the production value, with 22% being rather at the top end of production efficiency. In my view a producer could start near 21% in average and bring that up to 21.5%-22% after going through line optimization. With excellent wafer quality there is even space for 1 to 1.5% more."

In a statement issued today, Meyer Burger said that on the back of this order, EcoSolifer will become "the first major industrial heterojunction cell producer worldwide." pv magazine has contacted EcoSolifer for more information on its HJT endeavors.