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Posted: January 19, 2010

Oerlikon Solar Showcases Leading Thin Film PV Technology

(Nanowerk News) Oerlikon Solar today announced it will be presenting its technology at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. Oerlikon Solar leads the thin film silicon solar equipment sector with nearly half a gigawatt of production equipment ramped globally and more than 1 million panels produced by its customers to date. With the company’s Micromorph® factories, Oerlikon Solar plans to reach production costs at grid parity by the end of this year, making solar energy cost equal to fossil fuel-generated energy in many locations. Hence the company is well on track to offer its customers an advanced fab design capable of producing modules for $0.70/W by that time.
“Oerlikon Solar’s goal is to make solar power economically viable around the world,” said Jürg Henz, CEO of Oerlikon Solar. “We see Abu Dhabi as a key market in helping us reach that goal and commend the United Arab Emirates for their commitment in helping bring thin film PV manufacturing to the forefront.”
Abu Dhabi Takes Strong Steps in Clean Energy
While Abu Dhabi sits on 90 percent of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) proven oil reserves, the province is keen on finding new sources of revenues beyond oil. In April 2006, Abu Dhabi made a bold and historic decision to embrace renewable and sustainable energy solutions. Over the past year, government policies were introduced in many regions, including the United Arab Emirates, which were intended to accelerate investment in solar PV systems and solar PV manufacturing as part of economic stimulus programs. Abu Dhabi aims to generate seven percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.
Think Thin!
Oerlikon Solar is willing to address this important growth market by offering attractive PV module production solutions. The company’s thin film silicon solar technology offers advantages over traditional crystalline silicon and other thin film PV technologies including higher energy yield, better performance at high temperatures, no polysilicon price risk and zero toxicity issues. At the same time, it provides long-term competitive advantages compared with other solar technologies due to long-term efficiency gain opportunities. For example, in the past 12 months, Oerlikon Solar significantly drove down module costs by around 25 percent, raising efficiency and improving the productivity of its lines from 60 MW in 2008 to 100 MW in 2009 without additional equipment. The company is on track to deliver another 30% cost reduction by end of 2010, enabling customers to offer solar electricity at grid-competitive prices in many parts of the world.
Certified Swiss Excellence
Oerlikon Solar is the first thin film silicon technology provider to have IEC/TÜV Rheinland master certification for its entire family of thin film silicon solar technologies, including both Amorphous and Micromorph®. The certification ensures that modules produced by Oerlikon Solar’s customers are manufactured to the highest quality standards and can endure the most challenging real world environmental conditions.
As a global leader in thin film silicon PV technology, Oerlikon Solar provides its customers with unparalleled experience in both installing and ramping up PV module factories, using its highly competitive amorphous and high-efficiency Micromorph® end-to-end production lines.
About Oerlikon Solar
Oerlikon Solar offers field proven equipment and end-to-end manufacturing lines for the mass production of thin film silicon solar modules. Engineered to reduce device cost and maximize productivity, its end-to-end solutions are fully automated, high yield, high uptime, and low maintenance.
The production lines are complete systems, yet modular and upgradeable in both throughput and process technology. As a global leader in thin film PV technology, the company provides its customers with extensive experience in both amorphous and high-efficiency Micromorph® tandem technology. Coated with non toxic thin film silicon, these PV panels are a cost effective alternative to traditional PV technologies and are expected to outpace future cost reductions in existing technologies.
Oerlikon Solar is ranked “global number one solar turnkey line supplier” by VLSI and has been named winner of the 2009 CELL AWARD for the “best technical product for thin film module manufacturing” as well as winner of the 2009 Solar Industry Award.
Oerlikon Solar is headquartered in Switzerland, has over 750 employees in 13 locations world wide and maintains sales and service centers in the USA, Europe and China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Japan.
Source: Oerlikon Solar (press release)
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