The technology group The Linde Group has been awarded a long-term contract to supply all the gases for next-generation thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module production at Masdar's manufacturing site in Erfurt, Germany. Under the turnkey contract, Linde will provide a complete gas storage and distribution system, as well as on-site gas management services. Linde will also supply nitrogen (N2), hydrogen (H2), silane (SiH4) and chamber cleaning gases, as well as argon (Ar) and helium (He).
Masdar PV is a fully-owned subsidiary of Masdar, Abu Dhabi's multi-faceted future energy initiative, instigated from and wholly-owned by the Mubadala Development Company. The company is currently investing approximately 200 million US dollars (around 150 million euro) in the photovoltaic plant in Ichtershausen near Erfurt. A further 400 million US dollars (300 million euro) is being invested in the second plant in Taweelah near Abu Dhabi. Together, the two plants will have a target annual production capacity of 210 MWp (megawatt peak). The plants will produce 5.7 m² PV modules, which have an excellent cost-benefit ratio. Because they use the latest tandem technology (a-Si/a-Si), these modules are up to 10 percent more efficient than conventional a-Si (amorphous silicon) modules.
"Masdar's goal to become a world leader in renewable energy resonates strongly with our own corporate philosophy. We look forward to acting as Masdar's technology partner on this journey," said Dr Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. "This collaboration reinforces Linde's commitment to the rapid development of sustainable energy, not only in the field of PV, but also in hydrogen, carbon capture & storage and biofuels."
"Linde has an outstanding reputation among PV manufacturers for the development of gas technology," said Dr Rainer Gegenwart, CEO of Masdar PV GmbH. "Our company deals exclusively with strong, experienced partners with whom we can explore new areas such as the enhancement of environmental protection. Therefore, Linde is a key partner for us in this project."
Linde has established a leading position in gases supply to thin-film silicon solar module manufacturers, in key markets including Germany, Spain, Italy, China, Taiwan and India. To date, Linde has partnered customers on projects with a target capacity of more than 1GWp (gigawatt peak).