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Posted: July 14, 2009
ENN Solar Energy Launches New Silicon Thin Film Solar Modules With Tandem Junction Technology
(Nanowerk News) At the Intersolar North America 2009 convention in San Francisco, ENN Solar Energy Co., Ltd. today announced the launch of new silicon thin film solar products with the innovative "tandem junction" technology. The power output per installed Watt is much higher than that of conventional photovoltaic (PV) cells. The oversized modules can be used for a variety of applications, from utility scale ground mounted solar parks to integrated roof or facade solutions, classic large rooftop installations or solar covered carports and shading structures.
A subsidiary of ENN Group, China's largest privately owned clean energy provider, ENN Solar Energy produces its solar PV modules with sizes up to 5.7m2 using the new tandem junction technology, providing significant cost benefits. With this technology, two layers of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon are applied to the glass substrate. The layer of amorphous silicon absorbs short-wave light, while the other layer absorbs long-wave light. So, the PV products are able to efficiently convert solar energy into electricity even in less than perfect weather conditions, such as low or diffused light and in hot climates. The energy payback time of ENN Solar modules is only half of that for crystalline silicon modules, setting standards for the industry. The company is mass producing its PV modules in order to reach 60 MW production capacity by the end of this year.
ENN Solar Energy, which employs 250 people, including 30 in Research & Development, introduced its new high efficiency solar products to the European market in May at the Intersolar conference in Munich. The company is the brainchild of seven scientists and engineers who earned their Ph.D.s at American universities 20 years ago and worked for large U.S. corporations in the semiconductor, solar and high tech industries. In 2007, they co-founded ENN Solar together with ENN Group, a large, diversified clean energy company with nearly $3 billion in revenue. Manufacturing was ramped up in a record-breaking five months. San Jose, California is home to ENN Solar's North American headquarters.
"ENN Solar is working to become the technology and cost leader in silicon tandem junction thin film module manufacturing," says Dr. Rick Wan, General Manager of ENN Solar Energy. "We constantly are improving the efficiency of the modules, while reducing production costs. Our goal is to dramatically increase the performance of the solar modules, while cutting their cost by at least 30% compared to current price levels. We are working on reaching 10% stabilized conversion efficiency in the next two years."
ENN Solar gathers international expertise. The company's PV modules are produced on the SunFab production line supplied by Applied Materials, Inc., a U.S. company. It is China's first production line for silicon thin film tandem junction PV modules with a surface of 5.7m2. The SunFab line is setting a new standard for the industry, offering very low production costs per Watt. Modules made with SunFab are compliant with the strict requirements of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). In fact, the new modules are the first manufactured in Asia to secure TUV InterCert and IEC certification. Apart from SunFab, ENN Solar uses in its production process the latest international knowledge and technology - KUKA robots from Germany, glass substrates from Japan, and connector boxes from Switzerland.
Founded in 1989, China's ENN Group has about 26,000 employees and more than 40 million customers. The Group uses a long-term "green strategy," focusing increasingly on green energy production. No toxic materials are used in production of the eco-friendly solar modules. In 2007, the company introduced the first pilot method for an emission-free process for converting coal into gas. At ENN's research campus in China, scientists are testing microalgae to clean up the back-end of a uniquely integrated process to extract and use coal more efficiently and cleanly than is possible today. ENN Group is located in Langfang, near Beijing.