Production Launch for Cutting Edge Bifacial Photovoltaic Panels

Enel Green Power’s factory in Catania launches a new assembly line for the production of bifacial crystalline silicon panels, which will be followed by the installation of a production line of bifacial HJT panels, the first example of this high-performance technology in the world. A total investment of 100 million euro, including 20 million for the Enel Innovation Lab in Catania.

The conversion project of Enel Green Power’s 3SUN factory kicks off, a project which will make the Catania industrial facility the first worldwide and exclusive manufacturer of HJT bifacial photovoltaic panels, which are based on heterojunction technology. This technology features the junction of two different kinds of silicon, amorphous and crystalline, allowing for particularly high yields.

The technological conversion programme for the 3SUN factory, Europe’s largest photovoltaic panel manufacturing facility, entails an investment of over 80 million euros, partially financed by the European research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 European Call LCE-09-2016-2017, through the Ampere project, by the Ministry of Economic Development and by the Region of Sicily.

The investment for the factory is complement by the 20 million euro investment for the Enel Innovation Lab in Catania, where the company has specialised laboratories that are experimenting innovative renewable energy technologies.

The contribution of the Catania facility is providing Enel Green Power with a decisive competitive advantage, as it is the only integrated renewable player that can rely on an internal factory for the manufacturing of solar panels to satisfy part of its needs in projects all over the world.

The technological leap entailed by the new photovoltaic panel is significant, with efficiency rising from the 10% yield of the previous model to around 18% for the 2018-model bifacial panel, and about 20% for bifacial HJT panels from 2019 onwards. In 2018 maximum power will reach 360 W per panel and from 2019 onwards 395 W per panel, compared to the previous 140W.
The use of bifacial panels allows for solar radiation to be captured even by the panel’s rear surface, increasing energy output by approximately 10-15%. As a result, it is possible to install fewer panels, thus reducing the required footprint.

Moreover, whereas prior panels could only guarantee a 25-year lifespan, the new ones are so robust that they will last more than 30 years, ensuring high performance even in extreme weather conditions.