Oerlikon Solar, the
world's leading supplier of thin film silicon photovoltaic (PV) production
equipment, today announced that it has achieved a new record efficiency level
for commercial thin film silicon PV modules. Recent test results from Oerlikon
Solar's pilot production line in Switzerland show that full-size Micromorph
modules (1.4 m2) have 151 Watts initial power, or 11 percent initial power conversion
efficiency. This result sets a new industry record for production thin film
silicon modules. Oerlikon Solar was able to consistently reproduce modules with
similar record results, demonstrating a stable and scalable process. "This
achievement clearly demonstrates Oerlikon Solar's technical leadership
and is another key milestone on our path to grid parity", stated Jeannine
Sargent, CEO of Oerlikon Solar. Oerlikon Solar has previously announced an ambitious
production cost target of USD 0.70 per Watt peak and is on track to achieve
this target by end of 2010. Increased module efficiency and power are key contributors
to this goal.
The excellent performance of the record modules demonstrates the advantage
of Oerlikon Solar's end to end manufacturing solution. Oerlikon Solar's
advanced PV technologies and process integration know-how result in an optimized
manufacturing solution that is able to achieve higher conversion efficiencies
and lower cost of ownership. An example of this technology optimization is Oerlikon
Solar's integration of a proprietary process to deposit high-quality transparent
conducting oxide (TCO) on the front and back surfaces of the active thin film
silicon junction. This TCO is engineered to optimize the performance of the
Micromorph technology by improving light transmittance and light scattering,
resulting in maximum efficiency and electricity output.
Success through best in class technology
Oerlikon Solar is the world leader in silicon-based thin film solar technology
and end-to-end manufacturing solutions with 10 established customers in operation
or ramp up worldwide representing 600 MWp of yearly production capacity, enough
to power 480,000 households. This record panel is the latest result of this
ongoing development program and reinforces Oerlikon Solar's role as a
technology and market leader.
Oerlikon Solar's end-to-end solution as key enabler
"We successfully implemented several modifications of key processes of
our end-to-end production line, leading to the increase in initial power output
and efficiency," emphasized Dr. Juerg Henz, Head of Thin Film Engineering
and Operations at Oerlikon Solar. "We are confident that our ability to
repeatedly achieve record results can be transferred into mass production soon."
Low Cost, High Performance Technology
Oerlikon Solar's IEC certified Micromorph® technology significantly
boosts solar cell efficiency by adding a second microcrystalline absorber to
the amorphous silicon (a-Si) layer. This layer converts the energy of the red
and near-infrared spectrum, facilitating efficiency increases of up to 50 percent.
The Micromorph technology also bolsters overall module power, enabling a growing
number of PV module manufacturers around the globe to produce cost-effective
high-performance thin film silicon solar modules.
"Just one more milestone in Oerlikon Solar's mission to make Solar
Power economically viable."