Focussing its research capabilities on the thin-film sector, LG Display is looking to the future of solar energy with its recent investment of 50 billion won ($40 million) in a pilot line and testing facility for solar cells. The pilot line will be built in LG’s Paju display complex in Korea later this year, while an outdoor test power generation facility will also be constructed at the site.
The pilot line will enable the testing and research of thin-film solar cell efficiencies, with the company aiming to achieve an increase in the current energy conversion efficiency rate of 8% to 12% by 2010. Commercialization, planned for 2012, will occur when the research facility has raised the cells’ efficiency to 14%, enabling the manufacturing cost to be lowered to less than US$1 per watt.
LG Display’s target market in this phase will be commercial applications buildings and public displays, graduating to solar cells for mobile displays, automobiles, and eventually to supplying cells for such extreme environments as offshore PV power stations.