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17 Feb 2011

centro­therm photo­vol­taics focuses on greater efficiency in the solar value chain with further improve­ments in its systems on show at SNEC in Shanghai

At the 5th International Solar Industry and Photovoltaic Exhibition & Conference in Shanghai (SNEC), centrotherm photovoltaics AG presents innovative products and updates to further increase efficiency along the solar economic value chain.

centro­therm photo­vol­ta­ics AG is present­ing new products and product updates at this year's 5th Inter­na­tional Solar Industry andPhoto­vol­taic Exhib­i­tion & Con­fer­ence in Shang­hai (SNEC) that fur­ther boost effi­ciency­along the solar value chain. Lower oper­at­ing costs allow cus­tom­ers of the glob­allylead­ing tech­no­logy and equip­ment pro­vider for the photo­vol­taic sec­tor to enhance their­com­pet­it­ive­ness. SNEC in Shang­hai (Feb­ru­ary 22 – 24, 2011) is regarded as one of the­most import­ant trade fairs and con­fer­ences this year in the photo­vol­taic sec­tor.

Solar cell & Mod­ule product update

The Solar cell & Mod­ule divi­sion is show­ing two new top products in pub­lic for the first­time: with its "c.NITE Inline" nitride coat­ing sys­tem and the "c.FIRE" fast fir­ing fur­nace,the photo­vol­taic spe­cial­ists from South Ger­many are present­ing a new cost-effi­cient­gen­er­a­tion of key equip­ment for solar cell pro­duc­tion.

With its "c.NITE Inline" in-line PECVD sys­tem that provides anti­re­flect­ive coat­ing for sol­ar­cells, centro­therm photo­vol­ta­ics has com­bined the advant­ages of the estab­lished batch­PECVD sys­tem with in-line tech­no­logy. The res­ult is a nitride coat­ing sys­tem that isu­nique on the mar­ket. Thanks to dir­ect plasma sep­ar­a­tion, the sys­tem is dis­tin­guished par­tic­u­larly by excel­lent pas­siv­a­tion char­ac­ter­ist­ics and an extremely homo­gen­eous coat­ing thick­ness. Com­pared to other in-line tech­no­lo­gies, the sys­tem achieves asig­ni­fic­ant effi­ciency enhance­ment amount­ing to around 0.2 per­cent­age points for mul­ticrys­tal­line wafers. Fur­ther advant­ages of the new "c. NITE Inline" sys­tem include higher­through­put and longer uptime com­pared with other in-line tech­no­lo­gies on the mar­ket. Asis the case with batch pro­cessing, this tested plasma coat­ing pro­cess occurs exclus­ively within com­pact pro­cess boats, thereby avoid­ing reg­u­lar down­time for reactor cham­ber clean­ing.

Addi­tional key equip­ment for solar cell pro­duc­tion includes the fast fir­ing fur­nace in which front and rear con­tacts are burned into wafers at high tem­per­at­ure. The "c.FIRE" is the new ver­sion of the estab­lished fast fir­ing fur­nace, and is dis­tin­guished by a com­pact and space-sav­ing con­struc­tion. Besides this "foot­print", the photo­vol­taic experts from Blaubeuren have fur­ther optim­ized ease of install­a­tion and main­ten­ance com­pared with its exist­ing fur­nace in order to achieve addi­tional reduc­tions of cell man­u­fac­tur­ers' oper­at­ing costs. Volat­ile organic com­pounds (VOCs) that arise dur­ing the burn­ing pro­cess were also taken into account: VOC treat­ment was fully integ­rated into the restruc­tured hous­ing, thereby enabling solvents that are emit­ted to be fed back on a reli­able and energy-effi­cient basis.

Accord­ing to mar­ket estim­ates, the global sales volume for fur­naces across the sec­tor this year amounts to a triple-digit fig­ure in mil­lions of euros.

Sil­icon & Wafer product update

centro­therm SiTec, in which the centro­therm photo­vol­ta­ics Group bundles its sil­icon ex­per­tise, is present­ing the already suc­cess­ful in the mar­ket intro­duced multi-crys­tal­line ingot fur­nace. The high-per­form­ance fur­nace has an optim­ized hot zone, and is appro­pri­ate for capa­city volumes of between 450 and 600 kg of sil­icon. Along with the flex­ib­il­ity, its par­tic­u­lar strengths include a high pro­ductiv­ity because of lower energy costs and pro­cess time as well as the high product qual­ity. A fur­ther unique selling pro­pos­i­tion is the high oper­at­ing safety of the fur­nace. In future, centro­therm SiTec will also be offer­ing the hydro­chlor­in­a­tion pro­cess without STC-TCS con­vert­ers for the pro­duc­tion of poly­sil­icon.

Roll-to-roll product update

With its "FHR.Roll.800" plat­form, FHR Anla­gen­bau, a wholly-owned centro­therm photo­vol­ta­ics sub­si­di­ary, is present­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of roll-to-roll sys­tems. This is a foil coat­ing sys­tem for 800 mm-thick plastic or metal foils. Com­pared with pre­de­cessor mod­els, it allows foils more than two and a half times as wide to be coated. This sys­tem is appro­pri­ate for man­u­fac­tur­ing flex­ible solar cells on a CIGS basis, for example. 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 where uneven sur­faces are con­cerned. Put simply, the roll-to-roll pro­cess runs a plastic foil over a tape drive with sev­eral rolls, and vacuum-coats it photo­vol­ta­ic­ally.

"We are present­ing our innov­at­ive strength in all busi­ness areas at SNEC in Shang­hai. We offer our cus­tom­ers state-of-the-art tech­no­logy at every step along the solar value chain that allows them to achieve fur­ther effi­ciency enhance­ments in the pro­duc­tion pro­cess”, com­men­ted Dr. Peter Fath, CTO of centro­therm photo­vol­ta­ics. "Our aim is that our cus­tom­ers will be able to expand their premium cost lead­er­ship thanks to centro­therm tech­no­logy."

Stand inform­a­tion for the centro­therm photo­vol­ta­ics Group:
Hall E3, Stand 520

About centro­therm photo­vol­taics AG

centro­therm photo­vol­ta­ics AG, which is based at Blaubeuren, 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, crys­tal­line solar cells 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 1,400 staff, and oper­ates glob­ally in Europe, Asia and the USA. centro­therm photo­vol­ta­ics achieved rev­enue in the 2009 fin­an­cial year of EUR 509.1 mil­lion, EBIT of EUR 37.2 mil­lion, and is lis­ted in the TecDax of the Frank­furt Secur­it­ies Exchange.

centro­therm photo­vol­ta­ics AG
Johannes-Schmid-Strasse 8
89143 Blaubeuren
Inter­net: www.centro­

Admit­ted to the Reg­u­lated Mar­ket/​Prime Stand­ard, Frank­furt Secur­it­ies Exchange
Cor­por­ate dom­i­cile: Ger­many


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

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