Product Briefing Outline: Oerlikon Solar has introduced its next generation ‘Amorph High Performance’ thin film technology. Oerlikon Solar has claimed a major leap forward in panel performance by achieving more than 7% stabilized efficiency that has enabled a 16% increase in panel power output. The company said that more than 500,000 panels of the new technology have been produced. ‘Amorph High Performance’ fab capacity is also claimed to be up by more than 50% without an increase in fab cost. This has significantly raised economic viability for this high growth PV technology. Oerlikon has already been granted the requisite master certificates from TÜV.
Problem: A key driver is the need to increase the efficiency of amorphous thin film panels as a key effort of reducing the cost per watt. As a low cost production method, emphasis is required on improving cell efficiencies while retaining low cost high volume manufacturing processes.
Solution: The new a-Si panel utilizes an advanced Oerlikon Solar Zinc Oxide TCO layer, which significantly increases the performance characteristics of the panel through better light trapping properties. The importance of optimizing the panel design from a system viewpoint is being demonstrated in this generation of the technology. How the various layers in the panel interact with each other can have a profound effect on the system performance. Optimization of the process elements in the end to end fabrication system have resulted in considerable increase in the plant throughput capability. Experience with the first generation amorphous end-to-end lines has lead to important yield, line uptime and TACT time optimization. All together these improvements have resulted in a 50% increase in the output capacity of the line, without an increase in the total capital cost.
Applications: 1.4 m2 thin film panel
Platform: TÜV Rhineland has certified Oerlikon Solar’s ‘Amorph High Performance’ thin film silicon modules. All Module Performance (IEC 61646:2008) and Module Safety (IEC 61730-1:2004/61730-2:2004) criteria were satisfied. Issued as a Master Certificate, it allows Oerlikon Solar to offer all end-to-end production line customers a reduced time-to-market. This is the second certification within the year.
Availability: November 2008 onwards.