Linde Nippon Sanso (LNS), a company of The Linde Group, has signed an exclusive contract with Malibu GmbH and Co. KG in Bielefeld, Germany, to supply all of the gases needed to make photovoltaic modules. The long term contract comprises over-the-fence supply of nitrogen (N2), hydrogen (H2), silane (SiH4), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), argon (Ar), and helium (He). The turnkey installation includes a complete gas distribution network and gas leak detection system. LNS will also provide on-site gas and chemical management services.
Additionally, Linde and Malibu have entered into a Joint Development Programme for the development of advanced gas technology to improve cell efficiency, throughput and yield. Malibu is a joint venture between energy service provider E.ON and Schüco, a major worldwide provider of building envelope systems.
"This contract shall prove to be strategically invaluable for Linde's fast growing Photovoltaic business", said Dr. Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. "The joint development programme will allow us to further develop our gas technology and to contribute to reducing the cost per watt in solar cell production", added Andreas Günther, president of Linde Nippon Sanso.
Using the innovative thin-film technology, Malibu will initially construct a 40 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic module production line in Osterweddingen, Germany, incorporating multi-layer cell technology for increased efficiency. As the plant is scheduled to increase in size, Linde will add N2, H2 and fluorine (F2) on-site plants.