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19.03.2008 00:00

Q-Cells and Singulus jointly develop novel system for coating of solar cells

Bitterfeld/Wolfen, Germany, 19 March 2008 – Q-Cells AG of Bitterfeld-Wolfen and Singulus Technologies AG of Kahl/Main have agreed to jointly develop a novel system for coating of solar cells with anti-reflection structures. The goal of the exclusive cooperation is to use the specific expertise of the world's largest solar cell manufacturer, Q-Cells, and the specialists for coating technology, Singulus, to develop a technology that is superior to previous systems with respect to coating quality and cost effectiveness.

This will be achieved through the use of the well-known vacuum coating process used in DVD production. The energy output of the finished cells will be increased by means of an especially high coating quality of the anti-reflection coating. From the new development Q-Cells mainly expects lower processing costs compared to the current state of the technology.

As an exclusive development partner of Singulus, Q-Cells AG will decisively help to shape the design of the system. This assures that the new system will be optimally adapted to the needs of solar cell production and that the goal of cost reduction in the production process will take centre stage in the development. Q-Cells will be the first company to employ the new system as a "launching customer" in existing and new production lines. This advantage will be used by QCells to develop processes which will advance the initial state of the technology.

"This project represents an important milestone in our close cooperation with system manufacturers," according to Dr Florian Holzapfel, Director of Technology/CTO at Q-Cells AG. "In order to come closer to the goals of the PV industry in making solar power competitive, a significant reduction in production costs is indispensable.  This will only succeed if solar cell developers with their process experience work closely together with equipment manufacturers in order to transfer advanced production processes from research and development to production".

Stefan A. Baustert, CEO of Singulus Technologies AG adds, "With the continuous increase in cycle frequency and production output, Singulus systems have enabled the cost-effective mass production of CDs and DVDs. Now, we want to apply our experience in automation and coating to solar cell production."