ROFIN-BAASEL Lasertech and centrotherm photovoltaics draw positive interim assessment of their strategic cooperation in the advanced cell technology area
- Successful launch of laser diffusion for turnkey projects and of upgrade package for Chinese customer Dongfang Magi Solar
- Laser technology caters for above-market-average efficiency of more than 18.5 percent in industrial solar cell production
- Cooperation also in centaurus rear side technology
The strategic cooperation between the two technology leaders ROFIN-BAASEL Lasertech GmbH & Co. KG and centrotherm photovoltaics AG is proving worthwhile in the selective emitter technology area: Dongfang Magi Solar, a Chinese customer of centrotherm photovoltaics, is achieving an average efficiency of more than 18.5 percent, and charges of up to 18.7 percent, through the deployment of the recently installed upgrade package entailing a laser-based selective emitter. These cell efficiencies are significantly above the levels of around 18 percent that are otherwise standard on the market.
"Our cooperation with ROFIN is proving very fruitful. Deployment of the ROFIN laser, which requires only minor additional investment costs, significantly improves solar cells' efficiency", was how Dr. Peter Fath, CTO of centrotherm photovoltaics AG, commented on the strategic cooperation that has existed since September 2009. "This reduces manufacturing costs per watt peak, and allows our customers to extend their cost leadership." Very low consumption costs for laser technology comprise a further advantage. For this year, centrotherm photovoltaics anticipates that selective emitter technology will hold a sales potential in the double-digit area in millions of euros.
centrotherm photovoltaics has meanwhile proved higher efficiencies in mass production through upgrades at further cell manufacturers. The selective emitter is currently being retrofitted at several Asian customers. In addition, turnkey projects for production lines for mono- and multi-crystalline ("Si") silicon solar cells with selective emitter technology have 2/3 been successfully concluded. Several millions of highly efficient selective emitter solar cells have already been manufactured in ongoing three-shift production.
The technology to produce selective emitter structures that has been developed with ROFIN Laser boosts solar cell efficiency by up to 0.4 percentage points. Conventional emitters exhibit a high degree of phosphorus concentration which results in a significant portion of the incoming light being converted into heat instead of electricity. Selective emitter technology significantly reduces this heat loss by using the laser to position the highly phosphorus concentration in only the requisite areas. The solar cell converts more light into electricity as a consequence.
A further application area for the ROFIN laser is in centrotherm photovoltaics' centaurus rear side technology. The new rear side technology replaces the aluminum rear side through a passivation coating with local contacts that covers the entire area. This improves sensitivity to long-wave light, and more electricity is generated. Cell voltage is also improved. Efficiencies of significantly above 19 percent are achieved as a result.
"Lasers represent universal materials processing tools, and are excellently suited to photovoltaics applications", commented Stephan Geiger, Managing Director of ROFINBAASEL Lasertech GmbH & Co. KG. "With our lasers, we ensure that even higher performing solar cells are produced with selective emitter technology." With more than 38,000 installed systems, the ROFIN Group is one of the global technology and market leaders for lasers and laser-based system solutions in industrial materials processing.
With its operating headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, and Plymouth, Michigan (USA), ROFINSINAR Technologies Inc. develops, produces and markets a broad product range of laser beam sources and laser-based system solutions for highly varied applications. With production locations in the USA, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Singapore and China, ROFIN-SINAR is one of the world's leading manufacturers of lasers and laser systems for industrial materials processing. The company looks after more than 4,000 customers around the world, and commands an installed base of more than 38,000 lasers. The ROFIN-SINAR share is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under ticker symbol RSTI, as well as on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under ISIN US7750431022. ROFIN is included in the Standard & Poor's SmallCap 600 and in the Russell 2000 indices. Further information can be found on the ROFIN-SINAR website at http://www.rofin.com.
centrotherm international 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, 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 over 1,700 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 of the Frankfurt Securities Exchange. Further information can be found at www.centrotherm.de.