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Press releases (07/26/07) Oerlikon Solar lands another major order

CMC orders turnkey 40 MWp production plant for thin film solar modules

  •  World's first end-to-end thin film solar production solution
  •  40 MWp annual production
  •  First major order in Asia (Taiwan)
  •  Option of upgrading to next Oerlikon technology generation of "Micromorph Tandem"

Trübbach/SG, 26 July 2007- Oerlikon Solar announced it has signed a contract with CMC (Taiwan) for the supply of a 40 MWp thin film solar cell production plant. With this order a further respected company commits itself to the technology of the thin film solar global market leader. First components will be shipped this year and start of production is planned for mid 2008. "With this major order, we will be the world's first company to supply a fully automated production line for thin film solar modules with integrated test systems," explains Dr Uwe Krüger CEO of Oerlikon. The contract also includes the option to enlarge capacity and upgrading to Oerlikon´s next technology generation of Micromoph Tandem.

The modern Oerlikon Solar high-tech production line enables the manufacture of silicon thin film modules at an expected annual output of approximately 40MWp. The turnkey end-to-end plant embraces the entire production process from glass purification to testing of the finished solar modules. Also included in the contract is a service package for commissioning the process equipment and for getting production up to speed. A new feature of the supply deal is implementation of the entire metrology system for quality control, the "back end" of module production as well as the recently released TCO technology.

This innovative TCO layers play a central role in thin film solar modules of silicon for two reasons. Firstly, they have to show exceptional electrical conductivity in order to transport the solar electricity with as little resistance as possible; secondly, this film traps the light and passes it through the photoactive silicon layer. The optical absorption of the TCO layer must be low, the so-called light-trapping potential as high as possible. Ultimately, these factors determine the performance of the solar modules and directly reduce the cost per watt peak. Until now, there has been no supplier of a TCO plant on the global market. This means that Oerlikon Solar has reached a further important milestone in the development of its product portfolio according to plan and continues to build on its leading market position.

As a long-term customer, CMC is fully aware and has appreciated Oerlikon's outstanding quality and know-how for many years. "In our opinion, Oerlikon Solar is the absolute leader in thin film solar technology and at present is the only supplier of mature production plants for thin film solar modules. Our decision was therefore clear - we are going with the market and technology leader," explains Bob Wang, Chairman of CMC.

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