Oerlikon Solar’s ‘Micromorph’ technology tops 11% efficiency



With amorphous silicon-based thin film technologies under pressure to boost conversion efficiencies to remain competitive with both CdTe and crystalline-based technologies, Oerlikon Solar has claimed that its own pilot production line has now seen full-size ‘Micromorph’ modules (1.4 m2) produce 151 Watts initial power, equivalent to 11% percent initial power conversion efficiency. According to the company, this is a new efficiency record for the technology.

“This achievement clearly demonstrates Oerlikon Solar’s technical leadership and is another key milestone on our path to grid parity”, stated Jeannine Sargent, CEO of Oerlikon Solar.

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Oerlikon Solar has a production cost target of US$ 0.70 per Watt peak by the end of 2010. The company said that its focus on process optimization and integration of a proprietary process to deposit high-quality transparent conducting oxide (TCO) on the front and back surfaces was a key to the efficiency gains.

“We successfully implemented several modifications of key processes of our end-to-end production line, leading to the increase in initial power output and efficiency,” emphasized Dr. Juerg Henz, Head of Thin Film Engineering and Operations at Oerlikon Solar. “We are confident that our ability to repeatedly achieve record results can be transferred into mass production soon.”

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