The Dutch manufacturer of diffusion furnaces Tempress System, a unit of U.S.-based Amtech Group, has received an order for a 200 MW solar cell production line from an undisclosed Chinese manufacturer. According to a press release issued by the Dutch research institute ECN (Energy research Centre of the Netherlands), which is partner of Tempress, the line will be used to produce n-type crystalline solar cells for bifacial modules.
ECN said that the line could be further expanded to 1 GW at a later stage. The equipment will be delivered to the Chinese customer in the next few months.
ECN added that the order is worth millions of euros, without providing a more specific figure.
Tempress and ENC signed an R&D partnership agreement in March 2016. At the time, the two entities said they aimed at improving the phosphorus diffusion process for large silicon solar cells and developing a new solar cell process suitable for n-type silicon.
ECN and Tempress Systems are implementing an ECN technology to reduce electrical losses that arise from the recombination of the light-generated electrons in the solar cell. According to ECN, this technology consists of applying a polysilicon layer between the silicon wafer and the metal contacts that are the main source of these losses. The research institute claims that this layer ensures that electricity is good conducted and, at the same time, losses are lowered.