The Linde Group said that thin film start-up Malibu, a joint venture between energy company E.ON, and Schüco that uses Applied Materials ‘SunFab’ technology, will employ Linde’s fluorine technology at its 40MW facility in Osterweddingen, Germany. Linde won the “Green Solar Manufacturing” Cell Award for the technology at a ceremony held last week during Intersolar in Munich.
Malibu will be the world’s first thin-film solar module factory that completely eliminates the use of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), a greenhouse gas with a significant global warming potential, from the manufacturing process.
“Not only does the F2 cleaning process eliminate a major source of potential greenhouse gas emissions for our thin-film solar panels, it also speeds our processing and uses less material,” noted Konrad Kaiser, General Manager of Malibu. “This improves the overall sustainability of our product by reducing both environmental impact and manufacturing costs.”
Dean O’Connor, Head of Market Development and Technology at Linde Gases Division, said: “Linde and Malibu have clearly demonstrated their leadership and foresight in helping the thin-film PV industry to reach a watershed moment. Green energy will only be truly green when the entire supply and manufacturing chain works together to minimise environmental impact.”
In 2008, Linde and Malibu established their Joint Development Programme for the development of advanced material technology to improve cell efficiency, throughput and yield. F2 cleaning is the first of a number of material-based processes to emerge from their collaboration.
Caption: Linde Electronics’ Ian Travis, General Manager, Fluorine and Eleni Despotou, Policy Director and Deputy Secretary General of EPIA at the Cell Award ceremony at Intersolar Munich.