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Sun Well Solar's Facility Outperforms with Oerlikon Solar's Thin Film Technology

Published on February 19, 2009 at 6:31 PM

Oerlikon Solar and Sun Well Solar, a subsidiary of CMC Magnetics, announced today that the ramp-up of the 40 MW amorphous thin film silicon production line has been completed one month ahead of schedule. The installation includes the innovative Oerlikon Solar LPCVD TCO front and back contact technology, which has clearly proven its capability in mass production over the last 6 months. Average module power production yields exceeded contractual targets. The Sun Well IEC certification was accomplished in October 2008. The completion of the Sun Well production ramp-up marks the first successful "end-to-end" installation of a thin film silicon production line within the PV industry.

Every 50 seconds a PV module leaves the Sun Well Solar manufacturing line, resulting in more than 1,250 panels or 110 kW produced per day. At this stage of the emerging and quickly growing thin film silicon PV industry this output is equivalent to about 10% of the world’s module production, making Sun Well one of the largest in Asia. Oerlikon Solar and Sun Well have already announced plans to expand Sun Well’s production capacity in the future.

“Our decision to utilize Oerlikon Solar technology has been impressively confirmed by the timely completion of our first thin film production line”, said Bob Wong, Chairman of CMC Magnetics group. “Especially in this challenging market environment, the performance of our production has to be the most cost competitive in the industry.”

Success through cooperation

Experienced Sun Well engineers were very helpful in resolving critical issues during the ramp up with Oerlikon Solar specialists. Together, the project team was able to achieve all important milestones.

“This was our first end-to-end project and a very visible test of both our technology and our execution capability”, said Jeannine Sargent, CEO of Oerlikon Solar. “The teams exceeded all expectations. I am very proud of their work. Through their efforts we are demonstrating to customers that we can deliver on our promises.”

On this project Oerlikon Solar has implemented a special high performance front and back contact method in its production lines. A Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition (LPCVD) process is used to generate a transparent and conductive Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) layer which is superior to conventional methods. The light transmission and scattering properties of this layer are very important for the efficiency, with which the solar module can convert sun light into electric power. The excellent performance of the Sun Well PV modules and the outstanding line productivity clearly demonstrate Oerlikon Solar’s TCO technology mass production is mature and ready for the scale that the industry will demand.

“Just one more milestone in Oerlikon Solar’s mission to make solar power economically viable.”

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