Korea's largest thin-film solar cell factory will be built by Hyundai Heavy who have teamed up with France's Saint-Gobain.
Under the contract, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Saint-Gobain will each invest 50% of the 220 billion won solar cell factory. Construction will start from December 2010 and is scheduled to be completed by the first half of 2012.
Upon completion, the solar cell factory will have an annual production capacity of 100MW CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenide) solar cells. They hope to increase annual capacity to 400MW by 2015. The new plant will also make Hyundai Heavy the sole Korean company that can produce both thin-film and crystalline solar cells.
Saint-Gobain, a leading glass and construction material producer, will provide high quality glass for the production of CIGS solar cells through its Korean unit, HanGlas. Saint-Gobain is now producing the most efficient thin-film solar cells, which are the fruit of its 30 year-long research and development.
Hyundai Heavy's Chairman Min Keh-sik said "Hyundai Heavy is now writing new chapters in Korea's photovoltaic industry by opening new era of thin-film solar cell."
Image: Hyundai Heavy Industries Chairman Min Keh-sik, left, sits with Compagnie de Saint-Gobain SA Chairman Pierre-Andre de Chalendar, center, after HHI and the French company agreed to build the solar cell plant. Courtesy of Hyundai Heavy Industries.
For more attend: Printed Electronics & Photovoltaics USA 2010 .
Honda, a competitor of Hyundai, sees solar cells as a key enabling technology for road vehicles and has its own solar cell factory printing reel to reel. Electric vehicles are central to the future of on-road vehicles. At the conference Future of Electric Vehicles in San Jose December 7-8, solar powered cars, aircraft etc will be presented by ETH Zurich, IDTechEx, BAE Systems, Clean Power Works etc. and Nissan will present on future electric cars.
A hugely important new application will arrive next year in the form of printed electronics and electrics in vehicles, particularly the new electric vehicles where low weight is particularly critical to get range. At the unique event Future of Electric Vehicles december 7-8 in San Jose, T-Ink, Inc will describe printing replacing copper wiring and overhead instrument clusters in cars where laminated lighting, touch controls etc can be moulded to shape forming a more rugged, lower cost structure with up to 40% weight and space saving. The cost and size of an electric vehicle battery pack is often only 50% cells, the rest being electronics and electrics that will be printed to connect to third generation, smaller batteries such as those form PolyPlus Battery Company and Oxis Energy. Wireless sensors and actuators will also save wiring in future vehciles and gradually be printed themselves as VirginaTech CEHMS will explain at this event.