What will happen at the PV Manufacturing Stage?

Expert Interview – May 02, 2023

PV Manufacturing in Europe is a hot topic of the PV industry and on Intersolar Europe 2023. That is why on the world´s leading exhibition on solar power, this year the PV Manufacturing Stage, hosted by our partner, the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), will be happening. We talked to Dr. Puzant Baliozian, Project Manager, VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment, about what visitors can expect from the event. Find the event program here .

1. The PV Manufacturing Stage is happening for the first time this year at Intersolar Europe. What role does PV manufacturing currently play in the VDMA's assessment?

This year the VDMA sector group Photovoltaic Equipment is hosting for the first time a 3-day PV Manufacturing Stage. As the title indicates this event is dedicated to bringing forward the latest highlights in the field of solar manufacturing by experts and pioneers of the industry. The topic of manufacturing and production technology shows to be more and more important with the increase of need for cost-effective PV products to cover the demand for solar global installation expansion, also in Europe. In 2022 the PV shipment volume is calculated to be around 294 GW. Demand projections show the inevitable further expansion of the production capacity to serve the market.

2. What can participants expect at this year's PV Manufacturing Stage? Which topics will be in focus in 2023?

The PV Manufacturing Stage covers numerous highly-relevant technological topics in a total of 8 planned sessions. It brings expert speakers from leading solar wafer, cell, and module manufacturers together with solar equipment manufacturers to talk about the advancements in their technologies, processes, and roadmaps. There will be presentations about cell and module technologies and “made in Europe” cutting-edge technology equipment for the manufacturing of those products. Leading global GW-scale solar manufacturers will present their recent business scenarios.

We will be having discussions about the latest trends and the future of European PV Manufacturing and its supply chain. Characterization and measurement techniques for wafers, cells, and modules also have a share on stage in addition to integrated photovoltaics, for example for buildings and vehicles. Young companies and start-ups will show their creative solutions in tackling highly-relevant energy transition topics with novel concepts and technologies. So, we are quite confident to say that we cover a large segment of the PV production technology topics of the present and the future.

3. What technological innovations in products and mechanical engineering will we see at the PV Manufacturing Stage?

We will have an eye on the transition of the prevalence of PERC technology for modules to the gradual increase of market share for solar modules with passivated contacts (i.e, TOPCon and SHJ) and advanced IBC cell structures, that attain higher efficiency. Additionally, with clear indications of extremely high efficiencies for perovskite-silicon tandem cells, company products and roadmaps work towards bringing the technology to mass production, which we will also discuss.

We will see how machine and equipment manufacturers offer highly innovative solutions for production lines with record high industrial throughput values for low total cost of ownership values. Members of European R&D institutes that are known to be at the forefront of solar technology innovation will give us insights on their solutions and how they can find their way to European production lines with strong collaborations with equipment manufacturers.

4. Rebuilding PV production in Europe is currently a focus of industry and politics. How does this reflect in the program of the PV Manufacturing Stage?

With the efforts being placed to re-establish European production of the entire value chain technological questions still play a role. In other words, answering the question: what are the technologies and solutions that will contribute to this expansion? Additionally, what is required from the European political climate, in order to enhance local cost-competitive manufacturing. We have a dedicated a session entitled: “Latest technology trends and the future of European PV Manufacturing and its supply chain” that deals with the topic also from an industry politics point of view.

5. Why should the audience at Intersolar Europe 2023 not miss the PV Manufacturing Stage??

The presentations and discussions will provide a huge insight to the most important techno-economic topics of the field. Knowledge will be spread directly from the leaders of the solar technology companies and institutes, that have contributed immensely to offering products for the Terrawatt+ global installation capacity and will still continue to do so. I invite Intersolar Europe visitors to attend the PV Manufacturing Stage sessions of VDMA PV Equipment. We are very much looking forward to hosting this event.

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