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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Multi-megawatt upscaling of silicon and thin film solar cell and module manufacture


To meet the needs for carbon dioxide reduction in Europe and to meet the energy needs of the Worlds Poorest People large scale photovoltaic manufacturing plants need to be established in Europe. A factory capable of producing 500 Mwp p.a. is considered essential in the 'power for the World' initiative. This is about 100 times larger than the largest PV factory at present in Europe.Many questions must be addressed to realise this scale of manufacture. The chosen technology is silicon based as the major worldwide production technology. A network of 10 major proposers has been assembled to study each step in the high volume manufacture of silicon modules from basic feedstocks to final environmental impact. The study has been broken down into 7 sub-tasks each of which has 3 or 4 contributing proposers with a sub-task leader. Each sub task will review current technology,look at any bottlenecks or materials availability limitations. The study will recommend how each manufacturing step can be performed at the 500 Mwp p.a. level the cost of the necessary equipment and the cost of product. The study will identify unknowns to be resolved by R&D study in the 4th framework programme. The study will look at the effect of scaling to project the final if module costs at 10, 50, 100 and 500 Mwp p.a. throughput. The study will direct the process optimisation necessary to achieve the target for the year 2000 of 1 ECU/module Watt at STC.


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EU contribution
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United Kingdom

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Participants (10)