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Oerlikon Solar announces 2nd generation of ThinFabTM for the production of thin film silicon modules

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2nd generation ThinFabTM sets industry record: Capex reduced to $ 1/Wp with lowest Cost of Production at $ 0.5/Wp

Trübbach (Switzerland), 19 December 2011

Oerlikon Solar’s 2nd generation ThinFabTM resets the standard for low cost, high quality solar module manufacturing. The new design allows a capital expenditure (Capex) reduction of more than 20 %. The estimated price for the complete end-to-end production line is just $ 1/Wp including engineering support and performance guarantees. The production line enables customers to produce high quality thin film silicon modules for cost of around $ 0.5/Wp (€ 0.35/Wp), a new record-low in the solar industry.

Key improvements in the 2nd generation ThinFabTM include increased manufacturing line output, guaranteed higher module efficiency and new narrow-gap reactor design for silicon deposition.

The new generation of the ThinFabTM retains all the advantages of Oerlikon Solar’s thin film technology which represents the best in the industry:

  • Energy efficiency: Compared to other solar manufacturing processes, the production of Oerlikon thin film silicon modules requires the least amount of energy. The “energy payback time” with Oerlikon technology is less than one year.
  • Practical benefits: Thin film silicon modules gain advantages under real operational conditions, e.g. high temperatures, where the efficiency of crystalline solar cells declines significantly.
  • Environmentally friendly: Thin film silicon modules do not contain toxic additives like Cadmium.
  • Sustainability: Oerlikon’s solar technology has further potential to increase efficiency and productivity, demonstrated by Oerlikon’s record cell.

The new ThinFab™ will be officially launched at the World Future Energy Summit 2012 (WFES) in Abu Dhabi at the Oerlikon Solar booth in the Swiss Pavilion/7200 from 16–19 January 2012. At the same time, Oerlikon Solar will also announce a new high efficiency record thin film silicon cell – a result of Oerlikon Solar’s leading thin film silicon R&D capabilities and a clear indicator of the sustainable long-term competitiveness of Oerlikon Solar’s Micromorph® thin film silicon technology.

About Oerlikon
Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) is a leading high-tech industrial group specializing in machine and plant engineering. The Company is a provider of innovative industrial solutions and cutting-edge technologies for textile manufacturing, drive, vacuum, thin film, coating, and advanced nanotechnology. A Swiss company with a tradition going back over 100 years, Oerlikon is a global player with more than 17,000 employees at over 150 locations in 38 countries and sales of CHF 3.6 billion in 2010. The Company invested in 2010 CHF 239 million in R&D, with over 1 200 specialists working on future products and services. In most areas, the operative businesses rank either first or second in their respective global markets.

About Oerlikon Solar
Oerlikon Solar designs and manufactures field-proven equipment and turnkey manufacturing lines for the mass production of environmentally sustainable thin film silicon solar modules. With its amorphous and high-efficiency Micromorph® tandem technology, Oerlikon has dramatically increased the efficiency of thin film silicon and created innovative turnkey manufacturing solutions for thin film PV, enabling new entrants in the fast-growing, global PV manufacturing business. Oerlikon Solar leads the thin film solar equipment sector with 15 customers in production in seven countries, and more than 5 million modules and 450 MW of capacity produced worldwide.

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