PI-Berlin launches Chinese subsidiary in Suzhou, China

PI-Berlin’s CEO, Paul Grunow and PI-China’s general manager, Sisi Chen welcomed guests to PI-China’s new facilities in Suzhou. The Chinese company will offer photovoltaic manufacturers: an independent quality testing lab focusing on testing, certification, consulting and researching of photovoltaic products and systems; and quality control training related to photovoltaic manufacturing and projects.

Another key service is bankability, where PI-China offers a Solar Module Bankability Program. This program contains rigorous quality control testing and quarterly factory inspections at the premises of module manufacturers, many of which are located near PI-China’s office in Suzhou. Test items include STC power measurement, light-induced degradation (LID), low irradiance performance, electroluminescence, gel content by extraction in tetrahydrofuran (THF), peel test and polarization test (PID).

PI-China’s Chen is a veteran investor and executive in the Chinese PV industry, so her network in the industry should help PI-China gain key customers quickly, who want to tap PI-Berlin’s and PI-China’s expertise to secure bankability in China and foreign markets, and boost the quality, reliability and safety of their PV products.

It was fitting that this Sino-German cooperation was inaugurated on the same day that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was meeting in Beijing with China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, where photovoltaics was one of the topics discussed. See Germany wants to avoid EU-Sino trade dispute for more information.

With the Chinese market promising at least 21 GW of photovoltaic power by 2015 – the official Chinese government target – a trade dispute between the European Union and China would not be conducive to bringing more companies like PI-Berlin to China, or Chinese module manufacturers to export and invest in Germany and Europe.

If China’s market turns out to be in the initial stage of a major domestic PV installation boom, then the timing of PI-Berlin and its Chinese partner headed by Chen will have proven to be as fortuitous as the timing of today’s opening ceremony.