Air Products announced in recent weeks that it has signed an agreement with Signet Solar Inc. to supply turnkey installation of gas delivery systems and services and related gas needs for a new, thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module production facility in Mochau, Germany.
The newly announced long-term agreement includes the supply of hydrogen, helium, nitrogen and argon, as well as specialty gases such as silane, nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and dopant gases. The new plant is expected to be on-stream as early as the summer of 2008.
Corning Painter, Vice President and General Manager of Electronics for Air Products, commented, “We are delighted to have been selected as the gas supplier to Signet Solar and are confident that our expertise in turnkey gas delivery solutions will be invaluable in the safe and effective start up of Signet’s new facility in Mochau. We look forward to Signet’s success and growing with the company in the future.”
“Our position as one of the leading suppliers of NF3, high purity ammonia, helium and hydrogen combined with our complete supply chain and bulk delivery system expertise in silane, enables us to be the safest and most reliable long-term supplier to the PV market,” added Painter.
Signet Solar’s thin-film PV modules will be manufactured in much the same way as thin-film transistor-liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD) are produced. As one of the largest suppliers to the TFT-LCD industry, Air Products is ideally suited to supply the new facility.
“After an extensive evaluation process we selected Air Products as our long-term gas supplier for our first manufacturing plant in Germany,” said Gunter Ziegenbalg, Managing Director of Signet Solar GmbH.
He continued, “We found Air Products’ offering to best match our need for reliable, safe and high-quality gas supply as well as for an extensive on-site support. We are looking forward to growing the business together as Signet Solar will expand its production capacities worldwide.”
PV modules convert sunlight directly into electricity. When production begins later this year, Signet Solar will be manufacturing the world’s largest PV modules for use in solar power stations, solar panels integrated into buildings, and for free-standing solar plants in areas without electricity.