CSEM inaugurates new facilities at its photovoltaic laboratory in Switzerland

The research organisation has added a new cleanroom, module testing and production laboratories in Neuchâtel

The PV-Centre has been extended with the addition of a cleanroom, module testing and production laboratories

The Swiss research and development centre for electronics and microtechnology (CSEM) has unveiled new facilities at its photovoltaic laboratory (PV-centre) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

The existing infrastructure has been extended with the addition of a cleanroom, module testing, and production laboratories covering more than 1,000m2. This will allow researchers to continue work begun three years ago and explore different avenues to develop solar energy.

The addition of the 500m2 cleanroom and the 600m2 PV module testing and production laboratories means that the PV-Centre is now fully operational.

The 50 people who work there, now in optimal working conditions, will be able to improve and test various photovoltaic technologies and expand their scope of applications.

Work in the cleanroom where photovoltaic cells are produced

‘These new infrastructures are unique in Switzerland. With them, we will be able to help Swiss companies increase their competitiveness,’ said Christophe Ballif, PV-Centre Director. ‘Although solar energy is enjoying rapid growth, it is still far from being used to its full potential – in association with everyday objects, for example.’

The PV-Centre was inaugurated three years ago and has rapidly forged itself a reputation that extends beyond Swiss borders. It works to improve the performance of silicon cells using heterojunction technology (HJT) and has developed white and coloured panels, a world first that has been a hit with architects.

‘In the array of technologies developed by CSEM, photovoltaics are given special focus,’ said Mario El-Khoury, CSEM’s CEO. ‘As this becomes more widespread, the world can dream of a cleaner future, where quality of life is maintained. This aspiration is a core value for our company.'

The work of Ballif and his team aims to boost the appeal of solar energy, an undertaking that will help the Swiss Confederation hit its energy targets. The Federal Council fully appreciates this, which is why it provides the Centre with financial support.

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