French Systovi is increasing the annual capacity of its module factory in Carquefou, France. pv-lehti France spoke with the company’s CEO Paul Toulouse about European production and competition from Asia.
Systovi has inaugurated a new assembly line in Carquefou near Nantes in France. It invested 1.5 million euros ($1.59 million) to double its generation capacity from 40 MW to 80 MW.
“In addition to this increase in capacity, our goal is to produce higher power boards,” Systov CEO Paul Toulouse said. pv-lehti France.
The new line enables the production of the latest Optymo series of Systovi panels, based on M10 cells with a power of up to 400 W. The new modules, mainly aimed at the roof market, have a size of 114 mm x 176 mm and weigh 22 kg.
“Contrary to the market trend, which is moving towards thinner and thinner aluminum frames, especially for transport cost reasons, we have decided to keep the 4 cm thick aluminum frame,” said Toulouse. “This gives the panel better handling and better durability over time.”
The company has continued to automate its production processes, especially in the soldering phase. “We have also strengthened quality control, as electroluminescence inspection is now carried out before lamination, which allows the identification of possible welding defects and micro-cracks in the upstream cells,” said Toulouse.
Thanks to continuous improvement in sourcing from its suppliers, Systovi claims the carbon footprint of its new module is around 23.8 CO2 eq/kWh.
“This balance sheet should come down again next summer as we welcome a new laminator to our site,” he added. This furnace, which melts the different layers at 154 C to create a laminate, improves energy efficiency.
Through these investments, the company hopes to contribute to efforts to move the solar electricity supply chain to France.
“Today, however, we have several races,” said Toulouse. “Chinese manufacturers are heavily subsidized and sell at low prices that are completely decoupled from their production costs. Instead, the US has announced significant financial support for local production through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Finally, India has launched a Production Incentive Program (PLI) to encourage domestic solar panels manufacturing, up to 100 GW/year.