Due to strong demand for its solar modules, Sunfilm AG announced today that it has awarded Applied Materials Inc. a contract for a second Applied SunFab(TM) Thin Film Line.
This second production line will be installed next to Sunfilm's first line in Grossroehrsdorf, near Dresden, Germany. Sunfilm's first Applied SunFab Line, ordered last year, is expected to begin initial production runs this July, with the second line scheduled for start up approximately one year later. This will bring Sunfilm's annual capacity at this site to over 120MWp.
With these production lines, Sunfilm is setting a new benchmark for the solar industry by manufacturing the world's first tandem junction, silicon thin film photovoltaic modules using 5.7m2 glass panels. These ultra-large substrates also offer the flexibility to produce finished solar modules of half and quarter size, depending on customer preferences.
"Developing cost-effective solar technology is critical for the future, and we must continue to find new ways to improve module performance in order to make solar energy more affordable for the end users," said Dr. Sven Hansen, chairman of Sunfilm's Supervisory Board. "Our first Applied SunFab Line is making excellent progress towards this goal."
"Sunfilm's lines will be a first in the industry, demonstrating the significant advantages of scale by applying large area nanomanufacturing technology and tandem junction efficiency to reduce cost," said Dr. Mark Pinto, senior vice president and general manager of Applied's Energy and Environmental Solutions Group. "Sunfilm's commitment to a second line affirms the readiness of 5.7m2 tandem junction technology for manufacturing."
Applied Materials' SunFab Thin Film Line features tandem junction cell technology that combines amorphous and microcrystalline layers to absorb both the shorter and longer wavelengths of sunlight. These tandem junction cells deliver significantly higher conversion efficiencies at a competitive cost per watt relative to single junction technologies. By combining tandem technology with ultra-large 5.7m2 substrates and volume manufacturing, Sunfilm expects to substantially reduce the cost of solar electricity.
Posted May 13th,2008