Prototype Production Line For Back-Contacted Solar Cells

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back-contacted photovoltaic solar cells

As part of their ongoing technology partnership, AT&S and Solland Solar will build a prototype line for photovoltaic modules with Sunweb back-contacted solar cells. The construction of the prototype line marks a significant milestone on the road to commercial availability later in 2010.

The overall goal of the technology partnership between AT&S and Solland Solar is to jointly develop and put into industrial production the innovative back-contact module technology for Sunweb cells. The technology uses processes and materials that are standard in the printed circuit board industry but are not yet applied in photovoltaics. Solland Solar’s Sunweb concept enables best in class module efficiency for multi-crystalline silicon solar cells with beautiful visual appearance and low production cost.

In the first year of the partnership, Solland Solar’s basic idea of the Sunweb back-contacted solar cell was combined with new interconnection and switching technology from AT&S. All components and production processes have been developed accordingly for use in volume production. Extensive tests have been successfully completed, establishing that the project satisfies all the necessary reliability, safety, and performance requirements.

The next phase in the project, the construction of a joint prototype production line at AT&S’s Leoben-Hinterberg plant in Austria, is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2010, and will incorporate the results achieved during the last year into the industrial production process. Additional objectives include further optimisation of the production process and certification under IEC 61215 and IEC 61730. Selected reference projects are being implemented in parallel, to highlight the cost effectiveness of the new technology and its advantages in practical operation.

The groundbreaking innovative module concept offers ample scope for further developments to increase efficiency and lower cost of solar energy. AT&S and Solland Solar are working intensively together to exploit this potential.

Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik Aktiengesellschaft (AT&S) is a European market leader and one of the world’s strongest-performing printed circuit board manufacturers. AT&S is especially well positioned in the high-tech market segment for HDI microvia printed circuit boards, which are chiefly used in mobile devices. The Group is also highly successful in the automotive and industrial and medical technology sectors. As a vigorous and growing international enterprise, AT&S has a global presence, with three production facilities in Austria (Leoben, Fehring, Klagenfurt) and one each in India (Nanjangud), China (Shanghai), and Korea (Ansan, near Seoul).

Solland Solar is the leading Dutch-German solar technology company developing and producing solar cells and modules. With its patented Sunweb concept Solland is leading the solar industry and paving the way towards grid parity. Solland Solar is a 100% subsidiary of Delta, the Dutch utility company.

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