22 Aug 2007
An LCD panel and solar cell plant are to be located on a single site as Sharp invests in its top performing technologies.
Sharp has announced plans to combine two of its strongest growing technologies on a single site in Japan. In what the company dubs an "industrial park for the 21st century", the site will house a tenth-generation LCD glass panel production facility and what is claimed to be the world's largest thin-film solar cell plant.
Sharp plans to invest 380 billion YEN on the LCD facility alone. The 1.27 million square-meter park will be located in Sakai city, near Osaka.
"The glass coating technology is the same for both LCD panel and thin-film solar cell production," said Sharp in a statement. "There will be production advantages from combined utilization of materials and machines. The park will also have room for suppliers to support the entire production process."
According to Sharp, the LCD panel plant will be the first of its kind to manufacture tenth generation mother glasses which measure a massive 8.7 m2 (2850x3050 mm). From a single glass substrate, Sharp says it will produce six 60 inch, eight 50 inch or fifteen 40 inch panels for LCD TVs.
At the start of operations, in March 2010 initial capacity will be 36000 substrates per month, although this will ramp up to 72000 substrates per month.
The solar cell plant will produce polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar cells as well as thin-film solar cells. Mass production of these solar cells is scheduled to begin in March 2010 with a planned production volume of 1000 megawatts per year.