centrotherm photovoltaics expands product portfolio: GP Solar subsidiary supplies new optical measurement systems for quality control in solar cell and module production

Blaubeuren, 01.09.2008

centrotherm photovoltaics AG is expanding its portfolio of services along the solar value-creation chain, and is launching a new product line on the market as the result of the Group's own research and development: as part of this year's European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (Valencia, Spain, September 1 to 4, 2008) the company unveiled its "GP Solar Inspect", high-performance optical measurement systems that deliver sustained quality control improvements for the production of wafers, solar cells, and modules.

The new optical measurement systems of the GP Solar Inspect product line achieve significantly improved measurement acuity as a result of special lighting units, among other capabilities. Thanks to modular software structures and a high degree of scalability the measurement systems can be readily adjusted to meet various customer requirements. Operators of turnkey production lines are able to install a completely preconfigured measurement system. They can also decide to install a product configuration, however, that allows them the greatest possible scope of freedom accompanied by a high degree of operating security when adjusting systems. The optical measurement systems also offer functions that are especially beneficial for companies involved in gigawatt production. In most instances, such companies manufacture on several parallel production lines. According to the measurement systems currently available, this necessitated making setting adjustments to each individual system separately. Thanks to the GP Solar Inspect system customers can now transfer settings precisely from one line to further lines, and consequently monitor and manage the production process in a significantly more efficient manner. Central data management represents an additional advantage of the new measurement systems: measurement results from the production processes of individual systems are administrated centrally, and can be downloaded or processed statistically in real time.

"We have developed methods with the new optical measurement systems of the GP Solar Inspect product line that set new benchmarks for quality control in solar cell and solar module production. The individual product variants and functions can be implemented flexibly, and were structured in close dialog with our customers," explained Dr. Eric Rüland, sales manager of GP Solar, a one hundred percent subsidiary of centrotherm photovoltaics.

The measurement systems of the GP Solar Inspect product line are based on development work conducted at GP Solar GmbH. The company, which is based in Constance, provides products, consultancy services, and technology for photovoltaics with a focus on quality control and process technology for the manufacturing of solar cells and solar modules.

Dr. Peter Fath, Chief Technology Officer at centrotherm photovoltaics AG and Managing Director of GP Solar, went on to comment: "The aim is that GP Solar will grow further as a strong brand under the umbrella of the Group parent company, and strengthen its potential in the research and development area. The market launch of the GP Solar Inspect product line provides proof of the high degree of innovative ability that centrotherm photovoltaics bundles and promotes via its subsidiaries. This strong association forms the basis of our success."

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG

centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is based at Blaubeuren, is one of the world's leading technology and service-providers for the manufacturing of solar cells and solar silicon. The broad product spectrum comprises key equipment and turnkey production lines for crystalline and thin-film solar cells. The product range is supplemented by reactors and converters for the manufacturing of solar silicon. centrotherm photovoltaics guarantees its customers important performance parameters such as production capacity, degree of efficacy, and completion deadlines for turnkey lines. Including the recent acquisition of centrotherm Thermal solutions, centrotherm photovoltaics currently employs about 900 staff members at its locations in Blaubeuren, Burghausen, Constance and Dresden. The company operates globally in Europe, Asia and the USA. In the financial year 2007 centrotherm photovoltaics achieved revenue of EUR 166.2 million, EBIT of EUR 21.1 million, and is listed in the TecDax of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

centrotherm photovoltaics AG

Johannes-Schmid-Straße 8
89143 Blaubeuren

Listing: Regulated Market/Prime Standard, Frankfurt Securities Exchange
Registered Office: Germany

Company Contact:

Saskia Schultz-Ebert
Senior Manager Investor Relations
T +49 7344 918-8890

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