By Konstantin Konrad, Project Manager & Senior Scientist, Fraunhofer IPA; Fabian Boettinger, Project Manager, Fraunhofer IPA; Joachim Seidelmann, Cleanroom Manufacturing Department, Fraunhofer IPA
Owing to the huge demand for photovoltaic products, the market is still very attractive for investments in production facilities. Nevertheless, the increasing number of competing photovoltaic manufacturers and the decrease in governmental subsidies require substantial and continuous cost reductions. Whilst existing facilities can save costs by enhancing cell efficiency, optimizing production processes or reducing material costs and other resources, for new manufacturing sites there is a great potential in making efficient use of economies of scale. This also holds true - to some extent – for expanding existing fabs. This paper presents the logistics behind and the benefits of implementing economy of scale in a PV manufacturing facility.