Bitterfeld-Wolfen, 20 August, 2008 – In the presence of Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel and the Minister of Economics and Labour in Saxony Anhalt, Dr Reiner Haseloff, Q-Cells AG held the grand opening of the “Reiner Lemoine Research Centre” in the Thalheim district of Bitterfeld-Wolfen. This took place today, Wednesday, 20 August 2008.
The leading photovoltaic technology company will bundle its extensive research and development activities in the centre named after the late founder and longstanding technological manager of the company, Reiner Lemoine. At the heart of the centre, in which Q-Cells AG has invested almost €50 million, is a variable production line. With this line – which can produce items under cleanroom conditions – new cell concepts and processes are brought from laboratory to industry standard in order to use them in mass production in both existing and new production lines. The super ordinate aim is to reduce production costs and increase cell efficiency, thus making power generation through photovoltaics more competitive. In spring 2008 the first cells were produced in the pilot line, and in summer the efficiency potential of the standard cell has already been exceeded with a new cell concept. The pilot line will start 24 hour operation in the fourth quarter.
In addition to the research line, the 250 scientists and engineers at Q-Cells AG have several chemical and measurement laboratories as well as a module centre at their disposal. These will be used both for the core business and by Q-Cells Group’s thin-film companies.
“The opening of the research centre is another milestone for Q-Cells”, said Technological Manager Dr Florian Holzapfel during the grand opening. “This is because innovation is key to the success of photovoltaics. Only companies which focus on research and development will achieve success.”
The Reiner Lemoine Research Centre is an important part of the Photovoltaics sector growing in eastern Germany. Q-Cells AG is already working closely with institutes such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM) and the Center for Silicon Photovoltaics (CSP) in Halle. It has also set up an endowed professorship at the University of Halle-Wittenberg and a degree programme at neighbouring Anhalt University of Applied Sciences. Together with 12 research institutes and more than 20 companies, Q-Cells is also behind the “Solarvalley Mitteldeutschland” research application in the top level cluster competition of the German Ministry for Education and Research.
Information about Reiner Lemoine:
A native of Berlin, Reiner Lemoine (1949-2006) was one of the founders of Q-Cells AG and its CTO until his resignation due to illness in October 2006. He was committed to renewable energies even while completing his degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at TU Berlin (Technical University). Together with fellow students, he founded his first company, an engineering company, which is dedicated to research and development in the field of renewable energy technology to this very day. He would later become one of the founders of Berlin based Solon AG, which is one of today’s leading European manufacturers of solar modules and solar energy system technology. He left Solon in 1999 to set up Q-Cells AG with two physicists.Without visionaries such as Reiner Lemoine, there would be no Photovoltaics sector. His plan has always been straightforward: to make the small Photovoltaics industry competitive while elevating solar energy to one of the main sources of energy. That is, and will remain, the mission at Q-Cells. This is why the company’s research centre will bear his name.