centrotherm photovoltaics AG

EANS-News: centrotherm photovoltaics succeeds ISE-certified solar cell with sensational 20 percent efficiency

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Company Information

Subtitle:     • Company presents product innovations and updates along the solar
value chain at leading EU PVSEC photovoltaic trade fair
    • All technological developments focus on higher efficiencies and lower
operating costs
    • Major order for multi-crystalline ingot furnaces from Taiwan for  
centrotherm SiTec


Blaubeuren (euro adhoc) - August 30, 2011 - At this year's 26th European
Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC: September 5 to 8,
2011, in Hamburg) centrotherm photovoltaics AG is presenting technology and
systems boosting efficiency along the photovoltaic value chain. There is great
demand for efficiency enhancements and lower operating costs in view of the
intensely competitive market environment among solar cell and module
manufacturers. The globally leading technology and equipment provider is
responding to these demand from its customers with state-of-the-art production
systems and corresponding upgrade and retrofit packages.

Solar Cell & Module product update
"We are on the way to 20 percent cell efficiencies in industrial production. We
have already reached this magic threshold in the laboratory, and we have
current ISE certification for a sensational 20.00 percent efficiency level,"
was how Dr. Peter Fath, CTO at centrotherm photovoltaics AG, expressed his
delight at this development. This peak value was achieved on the basis of
centaurus rear side technology developed by centrotherm photovoltaics. The
reference surface area is the industry standard wafer size of 156 mm x 156 mm
on mono-crystalline silicon. "We will be working flat out on transferring these
excellent figures to mass production," commented Dr. Fath. The Fraunhofer
Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is Europe's largest solar research
institution, and is regarded as the leading inspection and certification
institution for the photovoltaic sector.

centrotherm photovoltaics identifies enormous potential in the Solar Cell &
Module area for both its selective emitter and centaurus rear side upgrade
technologies. Up to 800 of a global total of around 1,000 solar cell production
lines can be retrofitted to improve their costs and boost their efficiency. The
centaurus rear side technology is currently being installed at a major Chinese
state company with the aim of achieving more than 19 percent cell efficiency in
mass production.

Silicon & Wafer product innovations
centrotherm SiTec, a company in which the centrotherm photovoltaics Group
bundles its silicon expertise, is presenting a newly developed Medium Voltage
Ignition System (MVI) in the polysilicon power supply area. This MVI was
specially developed to optimize CVD reactors' production start for polysilicon
manufacturing. By contrast with conventional CVD reactor pre-heating
technology, the MVI ignites the slim rods within a significantly shorter
process time, thereby enabling higher production capacities and lower operating
costs. The fully automated process and a contamination-free environment
compared to predecessor technology comprise further advantages. All CVD
reactors that are currently in operation can be retrofitted with the MVI
technology.

With its ingot squaring and brick cropping systems, centrotherm SiTec GmbH is
presenting two key equipment items for integrated ingot and wafer production.
The automated ingot squaring system saws the multi-crystalline ingots into
bricks. The brick cropping system cuts these bricks to the precise
corresponding length. Wafers are later produced from these bricks. Both systems
deploy state-of-the-art diamond wire saw technology that enables the highest-
precision incisions accompanied by maximum productivity and optimized
manufacturing costs, and both the squaring and cropping systems can also be
configured to saw mono-crystalline ingots and bricks.

Ahead of the EU PVSEC, centrotherm SiTec received a major order from Taiwan to
supply multi-crystalline ingot furnaces to produce ingots with an annual
capacity of around 140 MW peak. The order volume lies in the single-digit range
in millions of euros. The first multi-crystalline ingot furnaces will be
shipped in October, with the last delivery occurring in the first quarter of
2012.

Thin Film Module product update
In the Thin Film area, two news items are set to form the focus of positive
discussion: centrotherm photovoltaics has successfully concluded the
development of its new second-generation selenium (Se) systems to manufacture
CIGS thin film modules. The systems have reached and exceeded the planned
performance improvements in terms of homogeneity and uptime in acceptance tests
at Blaubeuren, Germany. These systems will also be offered in the future as
single equipment items to produce thin film modules. centrotherm photovoltaics'
selenium and sputtering systems comprise key equipment items to manufacture
thin film modules that can be adapted in line with customer wishes.

The second news item comes from the Far East: the efficiency of the CIGS thin
film module from centrotherm photovoltaics' production line at Sunshine in
Taiwan has been continuously enhanced in the direction of 11 percent. The
modules (1,400 x 1,100 mm²) can achieve output of more than 150 W peak. The
developers have also paid particular attention to the environmental aspect of
the centrotherm CIGS technology: the process management utilizes nonhazardous
and recyclable elementary selenium instead of highly toxic hydrogen selenide
(H2Se).

Inspection systems product innovation
GP Solar GmbH, a wholly-owned centrotherm photovoltaics subsidiary, is taking
the opportunities offered by the EU PVSEC to showcase three innovations for the
quality assurance of solar cells and modules. With the GP Solar Inspect CHROME,
a completely revised product line for in-line measuring technology is being
launched on the market that is distinguished by numerous improvements in terms
of hardware and software. An in-house development in the camera optics area
enables the spectral analysis of wafers, cells and modules, and thereby the
highest level of measuring precision for innovative processes such as selective
emitters or rear side contacts. The new software enables the live defect
analysis of up to 600 samples, and renders the smallest process problems
visible. The software will also be fitted with a Chinese-language user
interface in the future.

The GP TOPO-D .Scan represents a global product innovation: this is an in-line
inspection system that measures the entire topography of wafers and solar cells
on a 3-D basis. Measurement occurs within one second without interrupting the
production process.
The GP TF-SENSE .Scan is a high-quality inspection system that offers
100 percent inspection of thin film modules. A particular attraction of this
technology is that each individual substrate can be measured without a
detrimental effect on the production cycle. All of these developments share the
ability to immediately identify the smallest defects. This reduces rejections,
resulting in verifiably lower production costs. These inspection systems can be
integrated flexibly, very rapidly and easily within production processes.

Roll-to-roll product update
FHR Anlagenbau, a wholly-owned centrotherm photovoltaics subsidiary, is
demonstrating its expertise in the flexible photovoltaic area with
corresponding foil coating solutions. The roll-to-roll system concepts that
deploy PVD or PECVD technology, and which have been developed on a customer-
specific basis, are appropriate for various substrate materials and diverse
solar cell concepts. FHR boasts major know-how particularly in the area of foil
of solar cells that are based on CIGS and a-Si, and regards itself as in a
leading position globally in this context. FHR is reporting great success in
accompanying several international customers in taking the step from pilot
production to mass production, including some very successful partnerships in
China. The flexible, light and unbreakable cells are also particularly suited
to large industrial roofs, and applications such as the textile, automotive and
aerospace industries. Thin film solar cells generated using this roll-to-roll
procedure are unrivalled when it comes to uneven surfaces.

"As a solar pioneer and technology leader, we are pleased to set benchmarks at
the EU PVSEC in Hamburg with efficiency-enhancing developments in all business
areas," was how Dr. Fath explained his company's involvement. "It is our
constant aim to further expand our customers' advantage with respect to cost-
leadership and efficiency in this context. New customers benefit in terms of
the latest production systems, and our existing customers benefit from our
upgrade packages."

centrotherm photovoltaics at the 26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy
Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC: September 5-8, 2011, in Hamburg):
CCH Congress Center & Trade Fair, Hamburg, Hall A1, Stand A1/B2

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG
centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is based at Blaubeuren, Germany, is the
world's leading technology and equipment provider for the photovoltaics sector.
The company equips well-known solar companies and new sector entrants with
turnkey production lines and single equipment to manufacture silicon, ingots
and bricks, crystalline solar cells and modules, and thin film modules. As a
consequence, the Group possesses a broad and well-founded technological basis,
as well as key equipment at practically all steps of the photovoltaics value
chain. centrotherm photovoltaics guarantees its customers important performance
parameters such as production capacity, efficiencies, and completion deadlines.
The Group employs around 1,900 staff members, and operates in Europe, Asia and
the USA. centrotherm photovoltaics achieved revenue in the 2010 financial year
of EUR 624,2 million, EBIT of EUR 75.4 million. The company is listed in the
TecDAX index on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Contact:
Saskia Feil
Senior Manager Investor & Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8890
E-mail: saskia.feil@centrotherm.de

Dr. Torsten Knödler
Manager Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8898
E-mail: torsten.knoedler@centrotherm.de


Further inquiry note:
Dr. Torsten Knödler
Manager Public Relations
Tel.: 07344 - 918-8898
E-Mail: torsten.knoedler@centrotherm.de

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     centrotherm photovoltaics AG
             Johannes-Schmid-Str. 8
             D-89143 Blaubeuren
phone:       +49 (0) 7344 91880
mail:     info@centrotherm.de
WWW:      http://www.centrotherm.de
sector:      Energy
ISIN:        DE000A0JMMN2
indexes:     TecDAX
stockmarkets: regulated dealing/prime standard: Frankfurt, free trade: Berlin,
             Hamburg, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, München 
language:   English
 



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