Applied Materials has taken an important step toward industrialization of the global solar industry with the recent opening of their state-of-the-art solar research and demonstration facility in Xian, China.
The new Solar Technology Centre, which the company claim is the largest non-government solar energy research facility in the world will closely simulate customer fabrication environments.
The completed facility consists of laboratory and office buildings covering more than 400,000 square feet and contains an entire Applied SunFab™ thin film manufacturing line and a complete crystalline silicon pilot process. The total investment in the multi-phase project is more than $250 million dollars and includes a solar technology center for R&D, engineering, product demonstration, testing and training for crystalline silicon and thin film solar module manufacturing equipment and processes.
"We believe this technology center will provide important contributions to driving down the cost of solar around the world," stated Mark Pinto, senior vice president, general manager, Energy and Environmental Solutions and Applied's chief technology officer. "In addition to housing Applied's state-of-the-art research into solar manufacturing techniques, customers, and potential customers from around the world will be able to work side-by-side with our technologists to reduce their time to market and improve factory productivity and cell efficiency."
Employees at the center will work closely with local suppliers to test and qualify new materials and tools and evaluate potential new cost saving technologies.
Xian is located in the Shaanxi province in northwest China and is a growing center of energy technology excellence in China. The local province boasts more than 40 colleges and universities and Xian is recognized as one of the leading high-technology research areas in the country.
Applied has worked closely with local governments, contributed to research and awarded 166 university scholarships since 2005 through an R&D fund with the Xian Municipal Science and Technology Commission and Xian High Tech Park.
For more attend Printed Electronics & Photovoltaics USA 2009.
Source and image: Applied Materials