Roll-out of GT’s Merlin technology nears with certifications

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The commercial roll-out of GT Advanced Technologies’ Merlin metallisation and interconnection technology has moved a step closer with the securing of three key certifications.

GTAT said Merlin now conformed to the various performance, safety and quality standards enshrined in the IEC 61215, IEC 61730-1 and -2 and UL1703 standards, which determine the long-term reliability of silicon-based modules.

Certification testing carried out by the Renewable Energy Test Center and verified Canadian Standards Association and TUV-Sud.

“Meeting these industry standard reliability criteria is an important milestone as we move toward commercial availability of our Merlin metallisation and interconnect technology,” said Venkatesan Murali, senior vice president and general manager of advanced systems development at GT. “Going forward, we plan to continue reliability testing these modules to failure to validate that the Merlin-based modules are substantially more robust by design than what is required.”

When GT first revealed Merlin, it heralded the technology as “game-changing”. By replacing traditional busbars with a mesh, and thereby eliminating the tabbing and stringing process, GT claims the technology will reduce silver content by 80% and overall costs by 10%. Improved module reliability and durability are two other claims made of Merlin.

GT has revealed it is already in talks with companies over commercial roll-out of the technology.

Murali added: “We are in active discussions with select lead customers who continue to validate the unique value proposition of Merlin as it is substantially differentiated from the traditional three busbar-based modules as well as the various flavours of multi-wire busbar solutions.

“Our comprehensive testing of Merlin goes beyond what is traditionally required for such a product. We are taking this approach in order to ensure a smooth and seamless integration into our customers' manufacturing lines when we roll this out in 2015.”

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