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German PV equipment suppliers export 99% of their products

First-quarter figures from German engineering association the VDMA showed that, while orders picked up after a slow end to last year, almost all PV production equipment produced in the country is shipped abroad, with China the leading destination.

Bosch and Ceres planning fuel cells to power future cities

The Stuttgart-based industrial group wants to work on technology development and production with the British fuel cell manufacturer. Bosch considers highly efficient fuel cells an important step forward in the energy transition.

Tongwei to invest $1.8bn to build two 10 GW solar cell factories in China

Massive 12 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) investment part of Chinese solar firm’s goal to boost its production capacity to 30 GW and become world’s largest solar manufacturer.

1366 Technologies, Hanwha Q Cells hit 20.3% cell efficiency with Direct Wafer process

U.S. based PV innovator 1366 Technologies, and Korean PV manufacturer Hanwha Q CELLS have announced a new performance record for cells produced using 1366’s Direct Wafer technique. The cells achieved 20.3% efficiency, which has been independently confirmed by Fraunhofer ISE.

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Analysts “unsurprised” by SolarWorld’s bankruptcy

Leading solar analysts say that SolarWorld’s bankruptcy, announced yesterday, should not have come as a surprise. Pointing to the current “viciously competitive” cell and module market, and the ongoing dispute between Hemlock and SolarWorld subsidiary Deutsche solar GmbH, analysts from IHS Markit and BNEF, say that the writing had been on the wall for the German company for some time.

Swiss researchers develop new process for back contact cell production

A team of researchers from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has developed a new process for fabricating cells with all electrical contacts at the rear. According to EPFL, the process has already achieved lab efficiencies in excess of 23%.

Schmid develops new multi wafer texturing process

The German production manufacturer has announced the development of a new process for the texturing of diamond wire cut multi silicon wafers. Schmid says that it will ship the first systems featuring the new technology in the second quarter of 2017.

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SolarWorld plans to shift domestic cell production within Germany

The firm is considering concentrating all of its German cell production capacity at Arnstadt, shifting volume from Freiberg where wafer production is poised to be scaled up.

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