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news digest ♦ Solar


number of employees at Avancis will double from the current 250 to almost 500.


“We are proud to be able today to begin operations at our second factory at the Torgau location on schedule and therefore ultimately be able to join the commercial mass production of CIS solar modules,” said Avancis CEO Hartmut Fischer. “Our new factory is currently the most state-of-the-art production facility in the CIS sector: developed and built by our own factory planning team and equipped with the most modern equipment by established German mechanical engineers, here we will produce the next generation of CIS solar modules,” Fischer added.


The multiplication of production capacity also means an expansion of the module portfolio. As a part of this Avancis is bringing together its existing and new product lines under the PowerMax umbrella brand. The already established product line that has until now used this name will be renamed PowerMax STRONG as of 1 January 2012; the module design and functions of this product line will remain unchanged. The new product line that will be produced in the new factory will be released onto the market under the PowerMax SMART brand in spring 2012.


“We are expecting our new product line including all necessary quality certificates to be commercially available by the end of the 1st quarter of next year. By then we will also have concluded the start-up phase of the new facility as well as the certification of the new product line,” explained Hartmut Fischer.


To mark the occasion of the commercial market introduction of PowerMax SMART, Avancis is planning a major celebratory event in spring 2012 in Torgau with attendance from investors, politicians, customers and members of the press. Until then the new product line, currently in the certification phase, will only be available upon request.


Avancis develops and produces photovoltaic 182 www.compoundsemiconductor.net January / February 2012


modules based on CIS (copper indium selenide) technology. The innovative manufacturing process relies on the next generation CIS technology developed by the Avancis Research & Development department in Munich. The first two plants at the company’s headquarters in Torgau have an overall production capacity of 120 megawatt peak per year (MWp p.a.). The company is currently building a third factory of 100 MWp p.a. in South Korea as part of the ‘Hyundai-AVANCIS’ production joint venture.


Siemens, Shell and Saint-Gobain are some of the big names that helped cultivate the technology now available from Avancis while it was still in its infancy. The successes achieved in the field of photovoltaics are largely due to their efforts. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain since autumn 2009, Avancis benefits from Saint-Gobain’s many years of expertise in glass coating and heat treatment, both core competencies of this leading global construction and automotive glass supplier.


GreenVolts secures $35 million ABB investment


The stake in the US-based III-V compound semiconductor solar cell developer GreenVolts strengthens ABB’s focus on renewables


ABB, a global power and automation technology group, has agreed to invest approximately $20 million as part of a $35 million financial round, for a substantial minority stake in California-based GreenVolts, a leading provider of turnkey concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems.


Through the investment ABB gains access to GreenVolts’ proprietary technology and can now offer turnkey solutions for concentrating photovoltaic power plants in addition to its current capabilities in solar thermal and conventional photovoltaic power plants.


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