With its bifacial solar panel production facility up and running in Italy, EGP claims it is the world’s first company to produce PV panels using HJT technology on an industrial scale. Pictured is Enel’s Brazilian solar power plant Ituverava. (Photo Credit: Enel SpA)
- EGP’s 3SUN fab in Catania, Italy has completed its technological conversion project
- The fab has now turned from a silicon thin-film production facility into producing bifacial crystalline silicon panels combining amorphous and crystalline silicon
- The €80 million fab now has 200 MW annual production capacity and the ability to generate 1,400 solar panels a day
Technological Conversion Of Enel's 3SUN Factory In Italy Begins; New Assembly Line With 80 MW Annual Bifacial Panel Production Capacity To Start In Q2/2018
(20. March 2018)
The renewables arm of Italy’s Enel, Enel Green Power (EGP) has officially inaugurated its new production line to manufacture bifacial solar PV cells and modules using heterojunction (HJT) technology at its 3SUN factory in Catania, Italy. With this, EGP says the technological conversion project for 3SUN 2.0 fab has completed.
In March 2018, the company started the technological conversion process of the 3SUN fab, converting its silicon thin-film facility into producing bifacial crystalline silicon panels to be completed in three stages (see Enel Starts Bifacial PV Panel Production). The cell line is based on Meyer Burger’s HJT technology solution and equipment.
Now, the fully automated La Fabbrica del Sole or The Sun Factory has an annual production capacity of 200 MW that can roll out 1,400 bifacial solar panels per day combining amorphous and crystalline silicon, that add up to about 500,000 modules annually on a 24×7 basis, 365 days a year.
Enel estimates the working life of these bifacial solar panels with a nominal power of 400 W to last more than 35 years. Their power conversion efficiency exceeds 20.5% and the target is to achieve more than 28% efficiency over the next five years.
The turnaround for the fab was carried out with an investment of about €80 million ($88.7 million) and was funded partly by the European research and innovation program, the Region of Sicily, Italian Ministry of Economic Development and incentives for Smart Factory 4.0 development.
“We are the first company in the world to produce photovoltaic panels based on the innovative bifacial “HJT” hetero-junction technology, on an industrial scale,” said 3SUN head Antonello Irace. “We hope to be a driving force for the entire industry and, by promoting innovation in photovoltaic technology, we want to turn solar energy into a pragmatic solution of clean energy wherever the sun shines.”
However, several other companies are active in the field of HJT as well, as outlined in the TaiyangNews report on Heterojunction Solar Technology 2019.