(EnergyAsia, June 4, Wednesday) — China Solar Power (Holdings) Ltd (CSP), a subsidiary of Tano China Capital Management Inc, said it has ventured into the thin film solar cell market in China by partnering with ULVAC Inc of Japan.

Tano is a private equity investment management company focusing on Chinese companies and industries while ULVAC is a solar cell production equipment manufacturer headquartered in Chigasaki, Japan.

CSP said it has selected Yantai, in Shandong province in northwest China as the site of its first manufacturing facilities. The PV Production Lines supplied by ULVAC utilize Generation 5 (G5) sized glass substrates (1100 x 1400 mm) designed for full-scale solar power generation plants. The lines are first of a kind large-sized manufacturing lines to be produced in China for the Chinese and worldwide markets.

CSP said the plant will initially produce modules based on single junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) technology with an annual capacity of about 50 MW. CSP will quickly transition the production lines to produce tandem junction modules with a higher-efficiency rating.

The annual capacity for the line with the higher efficiency module is expected to increase from 50 MW to approximately 64MW in 2010.

The lines will incorporate plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PE-CVD) equipment, laser scribers, sputtering equipment and encapsulation equipment. ULVAC will install and commission the production lines at CSP’s Yantai plant and train CSP’s operations personnel.

ULVAC has invested approximately 3,000 million yen (US$1=105 yen) to set up a new thin film solar cell manufacturing demonstration line utilising G5 size substrates at its Chigasaki headquarters.

ULVAC’s demonstration line can manufacture and evaluate a-Si thin film solar cells as well as a-Si/c Si tandem structure thin film solar cells stacked with c Si films. The latter generates higher power generation efficiency of at least 9%. Since the early 1980s, ULVAC has supplied manufacturing equipment for solar cells largely to domestic Japanese companies.