Leading solar cell manufacturer expands production with Oerlikon’s SOLARIS

A leading European crystalline solar cell manufacturer places for the first time a large order for multiple SOLARIS systems.

TheSOLARIS, which offers various advantages with its revolutionary coatingtechnology was introduced to the market just a few weeks ago. Thecustomer will use the SOLARIS from Oerlikon Systems to significantlyincrease their production capacity in North America. The system is setfor delivery during the coming year.

“Our original strategy ofoffering a compact, cost-effective platform with single wafer handlingis proving to be a very popular solution with Photovoltaic (PV)manufacturer,” says Andreas Dill, Head of Oerlikon Systems.

Sofar the core competence of Oerlikon Systems was mainly on Semiconductorand Coating Technologies. After the realignment, the focus is nowdiversifying into the promising nanotechnology applications. With thissignificant order for SOLARIS the Business Unit has made an importantinroad into the PV crystalline cell manufacturing industry.

Oerlikonhas with this success established itself as pivotal in the PV industryas a technology and equipment manufacturer: with Oerlikon Solar for theThin-Film technology and with Oerlikon Systems for the crystallinetechnology.

“Both processes complement one another with theirrespective fields of application. For the Oerlikon Group the advantageand benefit is to be represented in both growth markets with itsleading technology,” says Thomas Babacan, Chief Operating Officer atOerlikon.

Low ‘cost of ownership’
SOLARISwas designed for front and backside coating of crystalline siliconsolar cells using clean PVD sputtering technology. Its multi-layercapability allows passivation and SiN coating on the front side as wellas coating of the backside with various materials. Its very smallfootprint (3.3 x 2.2 m) and easy integration into existing productionlines give SOLARIS a remarkably low ‘cost of ownership’.

“Forthis client, the SOLARIS production solution provides a big step towardcost-effective production of solar cells. Ultimately, it will help PVtechnology – and the industry – achieve grid parity,” explains AndreasDill, Head of Oerlikon Systems.

Counting on innovation
TheSOLARIS order was preceded by thorough evaluation tests, where thesystem’s flexibility and reliably high output compared favorably withindustry standard SiN coating solutions.

“In going fromconcept to fully functional systems in only 24 months, our developmentand assembly teams drew from the innovative talent across the OerlikonGroup to get the new SOLARIS system to market quickly,” adds OerlikonCOO Thomas Babacan.

The current success in the PV market isonly the start for SOLARIS. In fact, the Oerlikon development teams arefinalizing further mass-production solutions for touch screen panels,thermoelectric devices, and generators or thin film batteries (for thenewest energy storage solutions).