Sharp widens thin-film solar cell expansion plans

November 30, 2007 – Sharp plans to spend about 22B yen (US $200M) to greatly increase annual capacity of thin-film solar cells at its Katsuragi plant in Nara Prefecture from 15MW to 160MW by Oct. 2008.

Sharp started mass production of tandem thin-film solar cells in Sept. 2005, incorporating a tandem-junction structure of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon. Now the company is working on a triple-junction structure of two amorphous layers and a microcrystalline layer, which it says achieves module conversion efficiency of about 10%.

The investment in the Katsuragi facility is in addition to recently announced plans to build a new site in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, to produce thin-film cells in fiscal 2009.


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