Solar, Utility Scale

Video: Nanosolar Completes Panel Assembly Factory, Production Set to Ramp Up

Nanosolar this week revealed the completion of its European panel-assembly factory. Located in Luckenwalde near Berlin, the fully-automated factory processes Nanosolar cells into finished Nanosolar panels using high-throughput manufacturing techniques and tooling developed by Nanosolar and its partners.

The panel factory is automated to sustain a production rate of one panel every ten seconds, or an annual capacity of 640 megawatts (MW) when operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nanosolar also announced that serial production in its 1-gigawatt (GW) San Jose, California, cell production factory began earlier this year.

“Getting to the point of serial production with the unusual cost reduction involved in our technology is an accomplishment due to the incredible work and perseverance of our team,” said Martin Roscheisen, CEO of Nanosolar.

Production is presently set at approximately 1 MW per month. As Nanosolar’s customers attain project financing from commercial banks for the new panel product, the company will increase its monthly production rate to deliver on its contractual customer commitments totaling US $4.1 billion to date.

The company says the Nanosolar Utility Panel is the industry’s first solar electricity panel specifically designed and developed for utility-scale solar power system deployment. Through its innovative product design, the panel effectively eliminates the “balance-of-system penalty” that medium-efficient thin panels have conventionally carried relative to higher-efficiency (yet far more expensive) silicon panels.

Electrically, the company says it is the industry’s highest-current thin panel, by as much as a factor of six. It is also the industry’s first photovoltaic module certified by TUV for a system voltage of 1500V, or 50% higher than the previously highest certified.

The printed-CIGS-on-metal-foil cell stack and process produces efficient cells, which, earlier this year, were independently verified to be as efficient as 16.4% by NREL.

The company selected the manufacturing sites in California and in Germany in 2006 and shipped its first commercial panels in December of 2007. The 1-GW production tool in California was brought online in June of 2008.

To hear more about Nanosolar’s technology and the company’s planned production ramp up, play the video below.