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Posted: November 27, 2009

Leading Solar Cell Manufacturer Expands Production with Oerlikon's SOLARIS

(Nanowerk News) A leading European crystalline solar cell manufacturer places for the first time a large order for multiple SOLARIS systems. The SOLARIS, which offers various advantages with its revolutionary coating technology was introduced to the market just a few weeks ago. The customer will use the SOLARIS from Oerlikon Systems to significantly increase their production capacity in North America. The system is set for delivery during the coming year.
“Our original strategy of offering a compact, cost-effective platform with single wafer handling is proving to be a very popular solution with Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer,” says Andreas Dill, Head of Oerlikon Systems.
Oerlikon solaris
Solaris
So far the core competence of Oerlikon Systems was mainly on Semiconductor and Coating Technologies. After the realignment, the focus is now diversifying into the promising nanotechnology applications. With this significant order for SOLARIS the Business Unit has made an important inroad into the PV crystalline cell manufacturing industry. Oerlikon has with this success established itself as pivotal in the PV industry as a technology and equipment manufacturer: with Oerlikon Solar for the Thin-Film technology and with Oerlikon Systems for the crystalline technology. “Both processes complement one another with their respective fields of application. For the Oerlikon Group the advantage and benefit is to be represented in both growth markets with its leading technology,” says Thomas Babacan, Chief Operating Officer at Oerlikon.
Low ‘cost of ownership’
SOLARIS was designed for front and backside coating of crystalline silicon solar cells using clean PVD sputtering technology. Its multi-layer capability allows passivation and SiN coating on the front side as well as coating of the backside with various materials. Its very small footprint (3.3 x 2.2 m) and easy integration into existing production lines give SOLARIS a remarkably low ‘cost of ownership’.
“For this client, the SOLARIS production solution provides a big step toward cost-effective production of solar cells. Ultimately, it will help PV technology – and the industry – achieve grid parity,” explains Andreas Dill, Head of Oerlikon Systems.
Counting on innovation
The SOLARIS order was preceded by thorough evaluation tests, where the system’s flexibility and reliably high output compared favorably with industry standard SiN coating solutions. “In going from concept to fully functional systems in only 24 months, our development and assembly teams drew from the innovative talent across the Oerlikon Group to get the new SOLARIS system to market quickly,” adds Oerlikon COO Thomas Babacan. The current success in the PV market is only the start for SOLARIS. In fact, the Oerlikon development teams are finalizing further mass-production solutions for touch screen panels, thermoelectric devices, and generators or thin film batteries (for the newest energy storage solutions).
Oerlikon – Enabling High Technology
Oerlikon is one of the world’s leading international high-tech industrial groups specializing in machine and plant engineering. The company is a leader in the field of industrial solutions and innovative technologies for textile manufacture, thin-film solar and thin-film coating, drive, precision and vacuum systems. With roots in Switzerland and a long tradition stretching back 100 years, Oerlikon is a global player with a workforce of more than 16000 at 158 locations in 37 different countries. The company’s sales amounted to CHF 4.8 billion in 2008 and it ranks either first or second in the respective global market.
Source: Oerlikon (press release)

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