Major solar panel order for Dutch machine builder Tempress

Thursday March 2, 2017 09:54

Long-term alliance with ECN reaps its rewards

Tempress Systems has secured an order worth millions of euros from a Chinese solar panel manufacturer whose name has not been disclosed. Based in Vaassen, machine builder Tempress will begin shipping the solar cell manufacturing machines to China in the next few months. 

The equipment will be used to manufacture highly efficient n-type crystalline silicon solar cells. The end product is a bifacial solar panel that generates solar power on both sides. “This is the result of years of fruitful collaboration between ECN and Tempress”, says Paul Wyers, solar energy director at ECN. “Initially, the production line will have a capacity of more than 200 megawatt peak. The plan is for this to be increased at a later stage to 1 gigawatt peak”. In the Netherlands, solar energy systems with a capacity of 1 gigawatt peak would provide sufficient green energy to power around 250,000 households. 

What are the advantages of bifacial solar panels? Wyers explains: “Instead of black or white film on their back, these kinds of solar panels have a glass plate or transparent film. Diffuse and reflected light is converted almost as efficiently into solar power as light that falls on the front of the panel. The improvement in performance – depending on the location and substrate – can be as high as 30% compared to conventional solar panels”. 

The fact that a major Chinese manufacturer intends to make large-scale investments in this innovation is positive news for the Dutch solar panel industry. Wyers: “With this move, Tempress and ECN are achieving a key objective of Dutch national energy targets: the export of Dutch knowledge and technology abroad. Previously, the market focus was on a panel's nominal capacity.  There is now greater interest in the energy yield per watt peak and real innovation. Further optimisation will ensure that this bifacial solar cell technology remains of interest to a global market. ECN and Tempress are keen to continue to play a decisive role in this.” 

More info
For further information about this news report, please contact Paul Wyers, solar energy director at ECN

Category: Corporate, Solar Energy