Oerlikon Solar’s customer Baoding Tianwei Solar Films Ltd. (Tianwei) placed an upgrade order to increase its production capacity of thin film silicon solar modules from 46 megawatts (MW) amorphous technology to 75 MW Micromorph technology.
(July 15, 2010) — Oerlikon Solar’s customer Baoding Tianwei Solar Films Ltd. (Tianwei) placed an upgrade order to increase its production capacity of thin film silicon solar modules from 46 megawatts (MW) amorphous technology to 75 MW Micromorph technology.
“We chose to invest in Oerlikon Solar’s Micromorph technology because Micromorph enables 30% higher module power than other thin film silicon technologies, and offers lower module manufacturing costs,” says Ma Wenxue, General Manager of Tianwei. “This upgrade from Tianwei, demonstrates the competitiveness and innovative advantage of our thin film silicon technology. We will continue to consistently implement our technology roadmap to further strengthen our position in the solar market,” says Michael Buscher, CEO of Oerlikon Group.
Tianwei’s capacity expansion comes at a time when the global photovoltaic market (PV) is growing faster than ever. Analyst firm iSuppli predicts the worldwide PV market will surpass 13 gigawatts (GW) in 2010, which is almost twice the size of the market in 2009. The growth is occurring despite reduction of government incentives in key markets, which demonstrates the competitiveness of low-cost crystalline and low-cost thin film technology. Oerlikon Solar’s manufacturing solutions provide its customers with a production cost that is comparable to industry cost leaders so that these customers are positioned to offer competitive cost of electricity ($/kWh), and capitalize on the accelerating market growth that will occur as PV energy reaches grid parity.
Over the past years, Oerlikon Solar has made impressive progress on its technology roadmap as it looks to drive down the cost of solar technology. It has achieved more than 50 percent reduction in cost of ownership since 2008. The company is on track to achieve $0.70/W by the end of 2010 with further reduction potential in order to position solar power to be directly competitive with other renewable energy sources, and even conventional energy in growing portions of world energy markets.
“Oerlikon Solar has an established track record of providing the lowest cost of ownership, fastest time to deployment, and the highest reliability in the thin film solar market. With Oerlikon Solar as our continued partner, we trust to reach completion of our planned capacity expansion projects on schedule enabling us to provide higher-quality products with superior module efficiency resulting in lowest cost of electricity. The upgrade will start in January 2011 and will be finalized and ready for mass production by March 2011,” states Ma from Tianwei.
“In the competitive solar manufacturer’s environment, it is a very strong endorsement for Oerlikon Solar to have a customer like Tianwei continue to invest in our cadmium-free, non-toxic thin film silicon technology,” says Jurg Henz, CEO of Oerlikon Solar.
In this video, Chris O’Brien, Oerlikon Solar, discusses the good news and bad news about solar system costs, and what photovoltaics equipment suppliers are doing to reduce costs. Oerlikon Solar has introduced a new generation of deposition equipment for thin film silicon solar panels and made changes to its module design.
Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) is a leading high-tech industrial group specializing in machine and plant engineering. Oerlikon Solar designs and manufactures field-proven equipment and end-to-end manufacturing lines for the mass production of environmentally sustainable thin film silicon solar modules.