Vikram Solar taps teamtechnik for module expansion

On the first day of Renewable Energy India (REI) trade show, Vikram Solar has announced a deal that will see it source 1.5 GW of stringing and tabbing equipment, used for module assembly, from Germany’s teamtechnik. Under the MoU signed today, teamtechnik will also provide Vikram with services relating to the design of its module production lines.

Vikram will invest INR 400 crore ($60.13 million) in the expansion of its module assembly capacity from 500 MW to 2 GW by 2019.

Along with collaboration on production line design and the provision of stringing tools, teamtechnik will also train Vikram managers, process engineers and service technicians. The two companies indicate that they will collaborate on materials research and process optimization – activities Vikram notes will be complimentary to its work with Fraunhofer ISE and German equipment supplier Centrotherm, which is likely working with Vikram on its cell production plans.

"Their [teamtechnik’s] solutions have been shown to facilitate production of highly efficient solar modules while keeping costs particularly low," said Vikram CEO Gyanesh Chaudhary. "Another key factor in our decision was that their production technology can be expanded in order to integrate highly efficient technologies such as PERC and bifacial cells into the production process.”

Teamtechnik launched its twin TT2100 stringer in February of this year. The tool, which essentially couples two stringing lines on one machine frame and loading and unloading platform, can achieve an output of 65 MW per year.

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra attended the signing of the MoU today.

While many Chinese manufacturers have turned away from European suppliers, particularly for module assembly production equipment, Indian manufacturers continue to have an appetite for technology from the EU. Earlier this year Bangalore-based emmvee Solar Systems placed orders with German stringer supplier M10 Industries, a decision largely based, according to the equipment supplier, on its tooling’s ability to deliver higher throughput than Asian suppliers on a given floorspace.