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Posted: October 13, 2008
Signet Solar Begins Volume Production of its Large Area Silicon Thin Film Solar PV Modules in Germany
(Nanowerk News) Signet Solar, a global manufacturer of thin film silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced that it has begun volume production at its manufacturing facility in Mochau, Germany, after receiving Final Acceptance Test (FAT) certification from SGS Germany GmbH, one of Europe's leading providers of certifications, accreditations and approvals. Applied Materials, Inc., a leading provider of nanomanufacturing technology solutions and supplier of the SunFab(TM) production line to Signet, hailed the FAT approval as a significant step in the industrialization of solar photovoltaics.
"Commencing volume production just 15 months after breaking ground has validated our strategy to bring rapidly scalable and affordable thin film silicon PV technology to market with proven equipment set and mainstream materials. Signet's technology and manufacturing platform provides both gigawatt scale and low cost, leading to grid parity," said Rajeeva Lahri, CEO of Signet Solar. "We are delighted to work with Applied Materials in this endeavor to make silicon thin film solar PV an affordable energy source for the mass market."
Applied Materials is a leader in solar photovoltaic manufacturing systems and technology and is the only supplier that can deliver a fully integrated production line capable of producing large 5.7m square meter PV modules. In May of 2008, Signet Solar fabricated the first 5.7 square meter thin film solar PV module at its factory near Dresden--a record setting ten months from the start of construction. Leveraging Applied Materials' proven equipment and PV technology expertise as the platform technology, Signet Solar's engineering team has met all throughput, uptime and line yield specifications just seven months after installing the SunFab line.
"We congratulate Signet on their management of such a fast and successful ramp," said Mike Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials. "Working together our teams have achieved this important industry milestone. As the first production panels start to roll off the line we are demonstrating a strong new capability to scale solar production to meet the world's demand for cost-effective, clean electricity."
Signet has produced over 2,000 solar PV modules during its pilot production period and expects to now ramp to full production capacity of 20 MW per year. Signet plans to continue to increase capacity at the German facility to reach up to 130 MW by the end of 2009. Through partnerships with Applied Materials, solar PV solution providers and energy producers, Signet is working to become the global leader in thin film photovoltaic module production and delivery. The applications of Signet Solar products include: solar farms, large commercial installations, building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), and remote habitation.
About Signet Solar
Signet Solar, Inc. is a global company established in 2006 to bring Clean Affordable Renewable Energy(TM) to people and countries worldwide. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, the company has been founded to design, develop, manufacture and market thin film silicon photovoltaic modules. For more information please visit www.signetsolar.com.
Signet Solar and Clean Affordable Renewable Energy are trademarks of Signet Solar, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
About Applied Materials
Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) is the global leader in Nanomanufacturing Technology(TM) solutions with a broad portfolio of innovative equipment, services and software products for the fabrication of semiconductor chips, flat panel displays, solar photovoltaic cells, flexible electronics and energy efficient glass. At Applied Materials, we apply Nanomanufacturing Technology to improve the way people live. Learn more at www.appliedmaterials.com.