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Posted: August 9, 2010
Astronergy Jump Starts Expansion with New Thin Film Silicon Equipment from Oerlikon Solar
(Nanowerk News) Astronergy and Oerlikon Solar jointly announced a follow-up purchase agreement for Oerlikon Solar's thin film equipment. With this order, Astronergy will increase its production capacity from 30 megawatts (MW) today to 75 MW in 2011. The purchase is a key element in the expansion plan of Astronergy's thin film solar photovoltaic (PV) modules of up to 400 MW within the near future. "We are committed to taking the thin film route as a direction for growth," said Dr. Liyou Yang, Astronergy CEO. "We are pleased to see that we can contribute with our technology to a continuous increase of the thin film silicon market," states Dr. Michael Buscher, CEO of Oerlikon.
As the first large-scale manufacturer of high-efficiency, tandem-junction Amorphous and Micromorph® thin film modules in mainland China, Astronergy has been able to offer its products to customers in varied regions for a wide variety of applications, including a facade at its headquarters in Hangzhou.
"By focusing our efforts on thin film products and diligently working to strengthen our core competencies, we will maintain our reputation as a firstclass PV enterprise. We are highly confident that continued collaboration will enable both of our companies to extend our leadership in the thin film solar industry," said Dr. Liyou Lang, CEO of Astronergy.
The expanded capacity will incorporate new module materials and the latest innovations in thin film technology into the production process. The agreement details an expansion plan that will bring Astronergy's total thin film module capacity to at least 75 MW by early 2011, the first phase of a 400 MW thin film expansion plan.
"We let our customers benefit from technology innovations that lead to cost reductions. By continuously doing so, we help them stay on track on their cost and technology roadmaps. Astronergy represents another milestone on our way to demonstrating that thin film silicon technology leads to the lowest module production cost per watt," said Jurg Henz, CEO of Oerlikon Solar.
Founded in 2006, Astronergy is a trusted provider of monocrystalline and polycrystalline PV modules. It is also the first Chinese company, and one of the first companies worldwide, to bring mass production of a-Si/µc-Si thin film to the market. Astronergy has one of the most complete PV product lines in mainland China. For more information, please visit Astronergy's website: www.astronergy.com
Oerlikon is a leading high-tech industrial group specializing in machine and plant engineering. The Company is a provider of innovative industrial solutions and cutting-edge technologies for textile manufacturing, thin-film coating, drive, vacuum, solar energy systems and advanced nanotechnology. A Swiss company with a tradition going back 150 years, Oerlikon is a global player with around 16,000 employees at over 150 locations in 36 countries and sales of CHF 2.9 billion in 2009. The Company invests more than CHF 200 million annually in R&D, with over 1,200 specialists working on future products and services. The operative businesses rank either first or second in their respective global markets.
About Oerlikon Solar
Oerlikon Solar designs and manufactures field-proven equipment and end-to-end manufacturing lines for the mass production of environmentally sustainable thin film silicon solar modules. With its amorphous and high-efficiency Micromorph® tandem technology, Oerlikon has dramatically increased the efficiency of thin film silicon and created innovative end-to-end manufacturing solutions for thin film PV, enabling new entrants in the fast-growing, global PV manufacturing business. Oerlikon Solar leads the thin film solar equipment sector with 12 factories in production in seven countries, more than 2.5 million modules produced and 450 MW of capacity produced worldwide.
Oerlikon Solar has Micromorph® patents dating back to 1993, was the first to integrate the high-efficiency Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) layer, and the first to commercialize the high-efficiency Micromorph® process and support the majority of its customers in migrating to it. To date it is the only proven end-to-end Micromorph® solution available on the market, offering lowest cost of electricity $/kWh, and proving highest future cost reduction potential.
Oerlikon Solar thin film silicon modules are produced with non-toxic materials, and they are ideal for semi-transparent glass and other building-integrated PV (BIPV) applications. Thin film modules perform well in diffuse or lower light, and are best suited for high temperature climates. Its production lines are complete systems, yet modular and upgradeable, so customers have the capability to scale up rapidly with the latest technology to meet fast-growing demand for solar PV, demand that will accelerate as the cost of PV energy approaches grid parity.