SUN kicks off the 14-million-euro Ampere Project

EGP Press release: The project aims to set up a production line at 3SUN’s Catania factory that can manufacture high-efficiency bi-facial heterojunction silicon photovoltaic modules.

The project aims to set up a  production line at 3SUN’s Catania factory that can manufacture high-efficiency bi-facial heterojunction silicon photovoltaic modules.

EGP Press release
EGP Press release

th/19th, 2017 - The kick-off meeting of AMPERE ‑ Automated Photovoltaic cell and Module industrial Production to regain and secure European Renewable Energy market - was held in Catania at the headquarters of the project coordinator,  3SUN,   with representatives of all the partners involved.

The project is funded by the Horizon 2020 European research and innovation programme, LCE-09-2016-2017, aimed at increasing the competitiveness of European photovoltaic industries.
The AMPERE consortium includes all major European research centres and leading photovoltaic companies and is coordinated by 3SUN, the photovoltaic module manufacturer owned by Enel Green Power.

AMPERE seeks to develop a fully automated pilot line for the production of modules based on an innovative high-efficiency technology. The new bi-facial, heterojunction modules, which use amorphous and crystalline silicon, ensure high efficiency and production levels, as well as low deterioration levels. The first of these new modules will be produced in the first part of 2018, before swiftly ramping up production to 240 MWp in 2019.

The funding for the AMPERE consortium amounts to 14 million euros (of which 8.3 million for 3SUN and 0.5 million for Enel Green Power) for the acquisition and installation of automated equipment at the 3SUN facility demonstrating  a production line capable of manufacturing heterojunction cells and modules and, at a later stage, to expand the production capacity of the factory. The funds will also finance the group and the materials required for project research and development.

The aforementioned funding is linked to another grant of 14.1 million euros, which is currently being evaluated by Italy’s national agency for attracting investment and enterprise development, Invitalia. This funding has already been appropriated by the Ministry for Economic Development and the Region of Sicily. The 14.1 million euros are intended to finance orders for production equipment and the plants for the technological conversion of the 3SUN facility from the outset of the project, which initially involves the assembly of photovoltaic cells for the production of bi-facial modules.

The photovoltaic cells, with a capacity to convert nearly one-quarter of solar radiation into electricity will be developed by applying innovative manufacturing processes.
Production will be digitised through the implementation of high-level automation, which includes line controls to ensure high productivity at lower costs.