Bitterfeld-Wolfen, 03.02.2009. Sontor GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Q-Cells SE, has started successfully into the year 2009. The ramp-up of the first production facility for micromorph silicon thin-film modules in Solar Valley Thalheim is on schedule. Last year, the company produced and sold 3.6 Megawatt peak (MWp) of modules.
The first big project has already been equipped with Sontor modules. The Q-Cells subsidiary supplied a total of 1.6 MWp of modules for a solar park in the Deggendorf district of Lower Bavaria. The photovoltaic power station was connected to the grid in December 2008 and has been producing clean solar power ever since.
Another milestone was the successful certification of Sontor according to DIN EN ISO 9001: 2000 and DIN EN ISO 14001: 2004 in November 2008. In addition, all tests and production controls for certification of the modules were completed. At the beginning of this year Sontor received a pre-confirmation of the successful certification of the SN2 module according to IEC 61646 ed.2, IEC 61730-1 and IEC 61730-2.
The modules are currently achieving stable efficiency levels of up to 8.0% in relation to the 1.8 square metre total area of the module. "That's an excellent start and a very good basis for further development of our technology", says Torsten Brammer, Chief Technology Officer of Sontor. At cell level, stable values of up to 9.3% efficiency on the active surface have already been achieved in the current ramp-up phase. "The production process is developing equally well, looking at throughput and uptime", adds Patrick Mergell, Chief Operations Officer of Sontor.
Sontor's plans for 2009 are to further improve the utilization of the 24 MWp production capacity. Additionally, Sontor plans to increase the research and development activities in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. "We are ready for the competition on the emerging thin-film markets", states Torsten Brammer.