Taiwan thin-film manufacturers set for rapid growth


By Mark Osborne, Photovoltaics International

The continued tight supply and high cost of polysilicon, coinciding with the growth in demand for solar energy, has been a key catalyst for the rapid adoption of thin-film technologies in just the last two years. Although the technology has in development for over 15 years, it is only now that thin film has emerged as a viable low cost-per-watt alternative to conventional crystalline silicon cells. Taiwan, a powerhouse in the electronics and microelectronics industries, is also turning its attention to photovoltaics. Playing catch-up is something at which the Taiwanese have proven to be very effective, with a growing emphasis on thin film as a means to become another major centre and net exporter.

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The second edition of Photovoltaics International was published in November 2008. It includes the cost benefits of conversion of used 200mm semiconductor fabs for the PV industry by CH2M Hill in Fab & Facilities, in-line plasma-chemical etching from Fraunhofer IWS in Cell Processing and NREL presents design criteria for back- and front-sheet materials in PV Modules.

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