European-Commission-thin-film-solar-cell-research-project

The PEPPER project aim is to enhance performance and decrease costs of thin film silicon modules within the next 3 years. Additionally, the project will assess and reduce the environmental impact of the overall module production process. Oerlikon Solar leads the PEPPER research project.

(November 8, 2010) — Oerlikon Solar, thin film silicon photovoltaic (PV) production equipment supplier, leads the PEPPER research project that is receiving a grant under the Framework Programme for Research of the European Union, coordinated by the DG Energy of the European Commission. The project aim is to enhance performance and decrease costs of thin film silicon modules within the next 3 years. Additionally, the project will assess and reduce the environmental impact of the overall module production process.

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Project “PEPPER” started in September 2010 with up to EUR 16.7 million, of which EUR 9.4 million are financed by the European Commission – DG Energy. The goal of the project is to demonstrate high-performance processes and equipment for thin film silicon PV modules produced with lower costs, reduced material use, and an even improved environmentally friendly production process. The project tackles the major influences on Oerlikon Solar Micromorph module efficiency and production cost by assessing the influences of glass, gas, transparent conductive oxide (TCO), and silicon deposition as part of the production process.

The members of the project, in addition to Oerlikon Solar, are the Photovoltaics Laboratory of the Institute of Microengineering at EPFL (IMT-Neuchâtel, Switzerland), the Universities of Northumbria (UK) and Patras (Greece), Bosch Solar Thin Film (Germany, module production), Heliosphera (Greece, module production), and Linde (Germany, gas supply).

Having industry and university partners as part of the project transfers new developments and improvements directly into production plants where the full impact on module efficiency and costs can be evaluated. Achieving the goals of this project will further increase the competitiveness of thin film silicon Micromorph technology not only compared to other photovoltaic technologies but also with other energy-generating technologies. “Driving down costs while raising the efficiency is key to economically viable solar power,” said Dr. Juerg Henz, CEO Oerlikon Solar.

Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) is a high-tech industrial group specializing in machine and plant engineering. Oerlikon Solar designs and manufactures field-proven equipment and turnkey manufacturing lines for the mass production of environmentally sustainable thin film silicon solar modules. Learn more at http://www.oerlikon.com/solar/

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