September 6, 2007 Solar panel manufacturing is a costly process and is a major reason for solar electricity being so expensive to set up and maintain. In what it describes as a world first, Applied Materials has introduced an integrated production line for manufacturing solar modules using 5.7m² glass panels. The ultra-large substrates, sized at 2.2m x 2.6m ,are designed to achieve low production cost per watt and drive down the cost of solar electricity installations by around 20%.
The Applied SunFab Thin Film Line is designed to produce enough solar modules in a year to generate up to 75 megawatts of electrical power. Using the 5.7m² panels (four times bigger than today’s conventional thin film solar production panels) the company state that SunFab Line can reduce the cost of system installations by more than 20%.
“We’ve built on our years of experience in semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing to create the solar industry’s first standardized thin film solution for making solar modules using cost-efficient, ultra-large glass panels,” said Dr. Mark Pinto, senior vice president, chief technology officer and general manager of Applied’s Energy and Environmental Solutions group. “With this state-of-the-art thin film production line and Applied’s global service capabilities, we are well-positioned to accelerate the growth of the solar market by providing an unprecedented 'cost per watt' through standardization, scale and efficiency.”
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning