New PV Technology for industry 4.0

ProjectSolar Energy

The PV4Industry4.0 project invests in the further development of process technology for flexible manufacturing of PV modules and an advanced analysis park where the products of the many players in the PV value chain could test their materials/products.

About the project

Flanders/Belgium boasts a diverse and vibrant industrial ecosystem within the Integrated PV sector, encompassing materials, device suppliers, production, and installation companies. It is imperative to establish a technology and analysis platform to support these providers. This platform not only offers technological assistance but also fosters an ecosystem where stakeholders can connect, fostering alignments and partnerships.

Investments in PV4Industry4.0 are pivotal for elevating the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) of these emerging technologies. Such investments serve the entire value chain, reinforcing Flanders’ leading position in the sector. This entails enhancing process technologies for flexible PV module production and establishing an advanced analysis park to test materials and products from various players in the value chain.

Moreover, this infrastructure extends beyond PV products; it also accommodates related items such as “functional glass,” enabling testing for performance and reliability.


  1. The objective is to expand the integrated PV innovation platform at the Thor site by acquiring and validating two different tabber-stringer tools for next-generation cells developed by imec/EnergyVille and Soltech. Acquiring diverse tools will mitigate risks and facilitate the transition to next-generation solar cells featuring larger sizes (166 to 210 mm), multi-rails (9-15 instead of the standard 5-6 design), and n-type technologies (TOPCon, Heterojunction, etc.). This transition is crucial for enhancing competitiveness (higher efficiency, improved aesthetics, etc.) and the sustainability of integrated PV products (lower carbon footprint, Pb-free modules, etc.).
  2. Given the wide variation in size of integrated PV products (ranging from small roof tiles to standardized 2.5 m high facade elements) and the requirement for high reliability under non-standard conditions, a secondary objective is to strengthen the analysis infrastructure at EnergyVille, imec, and UHasselt. This necessitates investments in a large-area solar simulator (for precise and consistent measurements of next-generation modules) and a large-area climate chamber (for conducting accelerated aging/pre-certification tests crucial for product market introduction). Furthermore, investments in small equipment will enable in-house manufacturing at significantly lower costs of sensors for in-module sensing, facilitating in-situ voltage and temperature measurements during manufacturing processes and in PV applications.

The infrastructure is made available to companies and research partners via collaborative projects and scientific services. Please use the contact button below to get in touch with us to explore the possibilities.



Funding sources

The PV4Industry4.0 project is an investment project under the EFRO program REACT-EU (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe) that will support and further develop the PV industry in Limburg and Flanders, and more broadly in the Benelux and the rest of Europe.


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