centrotherm photovoltaics confirms innovation potential: subsidiary supplies optical measurement systems to first gigawatt customer

Blaubeuren, 20.01.2009

Following the successful presentation of its product range of optical measurement systems at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Valencia in September, GP Solar GmbH, a subsidiary of centrotherm photovoltaics AG, has won its first major order. About 135 measurement systems have been sold up to now for use in more than 25 production lines worldwide.

The company is equipping a gigawatt factory under construction in Southeast Asia with measurement systems from the GP Solar Inspect range for a leading European solar cell manufacturer. These camera-based systems, which are also referred to as vision systems, are deployed in the manufacturing quality control of wafers, solar cells, and modules. Special illumination units allow GP Solar to achieve a significantly optimized degree of measurement acuity. Thanks to their modular software structure, the systems can be excellently adjusted to different customer requirements. They also offer additional performance features that make them particularly interesting for gigawatt production customers: a fully automated calibration function enables significant efficiency enhancements during production. Calibration is monitored permanently online during the production process, thereby guaranteeing uniform product quality. Settings must no longer be performed on each individual production line, but can be transferred precisely from one line to the next. Production data are administrated centrally within the GP Solar Inspect measurement systems, which allows data evaluation to be optimized significantly. Internet based data processing is virtually in real time, thereby enabling quality control to be established across national borders. The measurement systems consequently contribute to sustained quality gains, thereby also enhancing the competitiveness of internationally operating companies. The quality parameters of the GP Solar Inspect systems are also available as from the commissioning of production, which allows customers to set up new cell lines in the shortest possible time.

"We are setting new benchmarks with the GP Solar vision systems, because only the highest degree of reliability and controllability of the measurement systems enable standards and guaranteed quality during cell production. This is important for small series runs, and indispensable for large series production, in order to manufacture on an optimal cost basis," explained Dr. Peter Fath, Chief Technical Officer of centrotherm photovoltaics AG and Managing Director of GP Solar. "The success of the GP Solar Inspect series not only confirms the strength of the development capabilities of our Constance-based subsidiary, but also reflects the high degree of innovative potential within the entire centrotherm Group."

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG

centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is based at Blaubeuren, is one of the world's leading technology and service-providers for the manufacturing of solar cells and solar silicon. The broad product spectrum comprises key equipment and turnkey production lines for crystalline and thin-film solar cells. The product range is supplemented by reactors and converters for the manufacturing of solar silicon. centrotherm photovoltaics guarantees its customers important performance parameters such as production capacity, degree of efficacy, and completion deadlines for turnkey lines. Including the recent acquisition of centrotherm Thermal solutions, centrotherm photovoltaics currently employs about 900 staff members at its locations in Blaubeuren, Burghausen, Constance and Dresden. The company operates globally in Europe, Asia and the USA. In the financial year 2007 centrotherm photovoltaics achieved revenue of EUR 166.2 million, EBIT of EUR 21.1 million, and is listed in the TecDax of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

centrotherm photovoltaics AG

Johannes-Schmid-Straße 8
89143 Blaubeuren

Listing: Regulated Market/Prime Standard, Frankfurt Securities Exchange
Registered Office: Germany

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T +49 7344 918-8890

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