Photovoltaic manufacturers that are just getting started or are looking to lower their materials costs can follow the road map laid out by Jeff Handelman, Air Products' (NYSE:APD) PV general manager, at this year's Thin Film Solar Europe, May 19-20 in Berlin, Germany.
Jeff's presentation?"From MW to GW: Taking Thin Film PV Large!"?details Air Products' ability to serve the growing silicon thin-film PV industry through its SunSource Solutions,a portfolio of gases, chemicals, equipment, on-site services, and project management that will help provide a faster ramp-up and ability to reach grid parity sooner for manufacturing operations. Air Products' long-standing history serving the semiconductor and thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) industries from their inception to current times is the foundation on which its offerings for PV have been built.
"As thin-film technology takes off and fabs grow ever larger, Air Products' experience serving the semiconductor and especially TFT-LCD industries makes it ideally suited to serve the PV industry," said Handelman. "By putting supply strategies in place early, PV manufacturers can leverage scalability, which is critical for continuous cost savings. This is about blending assets with engineering and technology. We look at each new facility with a plan to drive down costs up-front and over time."
The bulk and on-site supply solutions that are a part of Air Products' SunSource offering could lead to cost savings for PV manufacturers of up to 45%, according to Handelman. "Our SunSource solutions can help get total costs to under $1 per watt by 2012," said Handelman.
Besides gases and materials, Air Products also offers equipment, engineering and turnkey solutions necessary to get a new PV fab up and running quickly and keep it running. This includes Air Products' MEGASYS on-site operations to manage gas and chemical systems, as well as Air Products' reputation as a safety leader in the chemical industry.