T-Solar Global S.A. announced today that it has begun volume production of the world's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) modules using a SunFab™ Thin Film Line supplied by Applied Materials, Inc. The solar panels, sized at 5.7m2, are ideally suited for large scale solar farm applications where installation costs can be reduced by about 20% over smaller scale panels. The SunFab line and modules produced by T-Solar have been awarded Intercert Certification, verifying achievement of all manufacturing, module efficiency and yield specifications.
“Our fully certified, higher-value solar panels will provide us with a significant opportunity to serve the expanding European market for large commercial buildings and solar farm applications,” said Juan Laso, general manager of T-Solar and president of the Photovoltaic Enterprise Association (AEF). “We’ve invested in what we believe is the best technology and equipment to manufacture solar panels that will allow us to continuously drive down the cost of solar energy generation.”
T-Solar is expected to annually produce 700,000m2 of PV panels with the potential to generate up to 45 megawatts equivalent module production per year with the SunFab line. T-Solar plans to eventually expand the line by 40% and expects to gain further production efficiencies and reduced material costs.
T-Solar and Applied Materials have also entered into a multiyear service agreement that guarantees fixed maintenance costs and is aimed at driving constant improvement in line output. The SunFab Performance Service™ program is designed to foster a strong, long-term alliance between the companies, who are both committed to continuously improving factory uptime, product quality and yield.
“We are pleased to be able to work with T-Solar to enable their success,” said Dr. Randhir Thakur, senior vice president and general manager, SunFab Thin Film Solar and Display Business Group at Applied Materials. “Our collaborative work on this line is yet another step toward unleashing the power of thin film PV technology to dramatically reduce the cost of solar energy.”
T-Solar’s SunFab line will also receive ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and EMAS certification for quality management and environmental production management, and meets OSHA’s European safety and health standards. In addition, T-Solar is a member of PV Cycle, the European association committed to PV waste management and recycling.