By Roland Wertz, Group Manager, Fraunhofer IPA; Fabian Böttinger, Project Manager for Factory Planning and Optimization in Photovoltaics and Related Industries, Fraunhofer IPA; Christian Fischmann, Project Manager, Fraunhofer IPA; Tim Giesen, Project Manager for Photovoltaic-Related Automation, Fraunhofer IPA; Marcus Michen, Project Leader for Factory Optimization and Data Analysis, Fraunhofer IPA
Although the different roadmaps for PV vary somewhat from each other, the bottom line always remains the same: exponential growth is predicted over the next 5 –10 years. The latest cell technologies meet the demand for grid parity even in central Europe and PV will therefore continue to be the most popular source of renewable energy. In consequence, the whole PV industry has developed from a niche product towards mass production. Every player along the entire value chain is now faced with the need to stay profitable while meeting the ever-increasing demands of the market. Implementing suitable automation can improve competitiveness and thus pave the way to becoming or remaining successful in this turbulent market.