Oerlikon Solar breaks two solar world records

The supplier of end-to-end manufacturing lines for the mass production of thin-film silicon solar modules, Oerlikon Solar, has launched the new “ThinFab” production line, which it claims will achieve record breaking production costs of €0.50 per Watt peak (Wp). Oerlikon Solar has also announced that it has developed a new Micromorph® lab cell in cooperation with Corning Incorporated with a world record breaking 11.9% stabilised efficiency rate, confirmed by NREL.

”Our achievements could become a breakthrough for thin-film silicon technology,” says Michael Buscher, Oerlikon Group CEO. “We are proud that our new ThinFab offers a highly competitive production line to the solar market and that we could verify further potential of our technology.”

The new ThinFab incorporates a wide range of improvements ahead of the Oerlikon Solar technology roadmap including: a new generation of the core equipments PECVD, TCO and Laser, thinner cell structures with reduced degradation and reduced gas consumption, stabilised module efficiency of 10% (143 Wp per module), and new low voltage module design, based on a simplified new backend equipment.

Less than one-year energy payback

According to Oerlikon Solar, these advances enable ThinFab to reduce the energy payback-time of thin-film silicon modules below one year, with the lowest energy consumption for photovoltaic production plants in the industry.

“Our extraordinary competencies are embedded in our new ThinFab and will change the perception of thin-film silicon technology. The 10% efficiency of our non-toxic, environmentally friendly modules, combined with the lowest production costs ever, provides the solar industry with completely new opportunities. On top of that our new champion cell with 11.9% stabilised efficiency demonstrates even further potential of the thin-film silicon technology”, states Dr. Jurg Henz, Oerlikon Solar CEO. Furthermore “our technology offers the lowest energy payback time compared to other crystalline technologies and is not based on limited resources”.

Oerlikon Solar’s existing customers can as well benefit from many technical improvements. Oerlikon Solar will gradually introduce upgrade packages, enabling better performance, higher output, and improved efficiencies of their existing production lines.

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Oerlikon Solar


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