Oerlikon Solar launched today the new production line “ThinFab” for manufacturing thin film silicon modules, which will achieve record breaking production costs of € 0.50 per Watt peak (Wp).
Furthermore, Oerlikon Solar developed a new champion Micromorph® lab cell in cooperation with Corning Incorporated with 11.9 percent stabilized efficiency confirmed by the honorable U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The two world records boost the competitiveness of Oerlikon Solar Micromorph® thin film silicon technology and demonstrate its future potential. “Our achievements could become a breakthrough for thin film silicon technology,” says Michael Buscher, Oerlikon Group CEO. “We are proud that our new ThinFab offers a highly competitive production line to the solar market and that we could verify further potential of our technology.”
The new ThinFab incorporates a wide range of improvements ahead of the Oerlikon Solar technology roadmap:
- New generation of the core equipments PECVD, TCO and Laser
- Thinner cell structures with reduced degradation and reduced gas consumption
- Stabilized module efficiency of 10 percent (143 Wp per module)
- New low voltage module design, based on a simplified new backend equipment
The ThinFab reduces the energy payback-time of thin film silicon modules below one year, with the lowest energy consumption for photovoltaic production plants in the industry.
“Our extraordinary competencies are embedded in our new ThinFab and will change the perception of thin film silicon technology. The 10 percent efficiency of our non-toxic, environmentally friendly modules, combined with the lowest production costs ever, provides the solar industry with completely new opportunities. On top of that our new champion cell with 11.9 percent stabilized efficiency demonstrates even further potential of the thin film silicon technology,” states Dr. Jurg Henz, Oerlikon Solar CEO. “Furthermore our technology offers the lowest energy payback time compared to other crystalline technologies and is not based on limited resources.”
Oerlikon Solar’s existing customers can as well benefit from many technical improvements. Oerlikon Solar will gradually introduce upgrade packages, enabling better performance, higher output, and improved efficiencies of their existing production lines.
The Oerlikon Solar ThinFab was presented to the public with the kind support of Robby Naish, who won his first windsurfing world championship in 1977 at the age of 13. Thereafter he led the world championship for 23 years in a row due to his extraordinary competencies and his innovative drive.