MILAN, Italy--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Applied Materials, Inc. today introduced its revolutionary Applied SunFab™ Thin Film Line, the world’s first and only integrated production line for manufacturing thin film silicon solar modules using 5.7 square meter (m2) glass panels. These ultra-large substrates, sized at 2.2m x 2.6m, are four times bigger than today’s largest thin film solar production panels. The Applied SunFab Line defines a new standard for the industry that can be replicated by customers around the globe to rapidly establish solar panel manufacturing capacity and achieve the lowest production cost per watt to drive down the cost of solar electricity.
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 megawatts (MW) of electrical power. Using 5.7m2 panels, the SunFab Line can reduce the cost of utility-scale and building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system installations by more than 20%. Applied has already received multiple contracts for its SunFab Thin Film Line from customers in Europe and Asia.
“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.”
The Applied SunFab Line’s smart design can deliver leading-edge solar manufacturing capability, using the world’s most advanced engineering, process equipment, diagnostics, automation and emissions abatement systems. Applied adapted its production-proven CVD(a) and PVD(a) process systems to build the most critical layers of the module, including its market-leading PECVD(a) system that processes 5.7m2 glass substrates for the flat panel display industry. For more information, visit: http://appliedmaterials.com/products/index_pc3.html.
To maximize the performance of its SunFab production line, Applied offers SunFab Service, providing comprehensive integrated support solutions so customers can quickly ramp to volume production and optimize the efficiency and productivity of the line. According to Charlie Gay, vice president and general manager of Applied’s Solar Business Group, “We want to be long-term partners with our customers in driving the overall success of their lines — continuously improving the equipment and processes to achieve optimal efficiency, reliability and uptime.”
Applied Materials will highlight its new Applied SunFab Thin Film Line at the 22nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference in Milan, Italy, from September 3-7, 2007.
Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) is the global leader in Nanomanufacturing Technology™ with a broad portfolio of innovative equipment, service and software products for the fabrication of semiconductor chips, flat panel displays, solar photovoltaic cells, flexible electronics and energy efficient glass. At Applied Materials, we apply Nanomanufacturing Technology to improve the way people live. Learn more at www.appliedmaterials.com.
(a) CVD= chemical vapor deposition; PVD=physical vapor deposition; PECVD=plasma-enhanced CVD