Applied Materials Inc. has introduced its Applied SunFab Thin Film Line, the world's first integrated production line for manufacturing thin film silicon solar modules using 5.7 square meter (m2) glass panels.
The Applied SunFab Thin Film Line can be configured with single or tandem junction technology and is designed to produce enough solar modules in a year to generate up to 75 MW of electrical power, the company says.
These ultra-large substrates, sized at 2.2m x 2.6m, are four times bigger than today's largest thin film solar production panels. Using 5.7m2 panels, the SunFab Line can reduce the cost of utility-scale and building-integrated photovoltaic 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," says 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," he adds.