Moser Baer Thin-film PV Line Ready for Production

Moser Baer announced that its photovoltaic subsidiary is ready to start production of thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) modules at its manufacturing plant in Greater Noida, India. This follows final acceptance test (FAT) certification of Moser Baer Photovoltaic’s SunFab Thin Film Line supplied by Applied Materials Inc. The certification verifies that the SunFab line has met all manufacturing, module efficiency and yield specifications.

This is a milestone for both Moser Baer and Applied Materials representing the start of production of thin film modules by Moser Baer, which was Applied’s first SunFab customer. The 40-megawatt (MW) has the largest thin-film production capacity of any line in India. This single junction SunFab line has demonstrated some of the highest production capacity to date for manufacturing the world’s largest (2.2m x 2.6m) solar modules.

“Moser Baer is pursuing a differentiated strategy in the high growth photovoltaic business and launching production of the SunFab thin film solar module line is of great significance in our effort to bring the solar energy dream to fruition. The thin film line will help us significantly scale up our manufacturing capacity and supply thin film solar modules to our customers. The close relationship we have with Applied has enabled us to quickly ramp up our Greater Noida facility,” said Deepak Puri, chairman and managing director of Moser Baer.

The Applied SunFab line is a fully-integrated PV module production line that delivers solar manufacturing capability using advanced engineering, process equipment, automation and other key supporting technologies. PV modules produced by Applied’s SunFab line have very recently been certified by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), verifying that they meet stringent performance and safety specifications under challenging environmental conditions.

To be awarded certification, the IEC standards subject PV modules to a series of tests designed to simulate years of exposure to sunlight, extreme temperatures, wind and precipitation — factors that can impact long-term reliability. The IEC 61646 standard for thin-film modules tests environmental conditions and power output, while the IEC 61730 standard mandates additional electrical and environmental testing to provide assurance of safe operation of a module throughout its expected lifetime.

The testing and certification of the SunFab modules was conducted by TÜV Saarland of Germany, and covers both single junction and higher-efficiency tandem junction modules in what is currently the most commonly installed size (1.1m x 1.3m). Module manufacturers can produce four panels of this size from each 5.7m² substrate processed by the SunFab line to achieve high production and cost efficiencies. Certification of full size 5.7m² modules, which are best suited for utility-scale applications, is expected in the first half of 2009

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