Production at Sonnenstromfabrik in Wismar has now resumed after a break of three months. The plant, originally built by Centrosolar as the production base for Centrosolar’s own-brand solar modules as well as for products made for TSMC, Bosch, Du Pont and Conergy, is one of the most efficient and advanced facilities in Europe, with a capacity of around 525 MWp.
As well as standard modules, long-life modules are a particular strength of Sonnenstromfabrik. These modules with a glass pane on the front and back have an almost unlimited operative lifetime. That is the achievement of numerous long-term climate chamber tests in which conventional glass-film modules were compared with glass composite modules. On conventional modules, performance declines after 30 years at the latest because the film on the back becomes porous over the operating life as a result of environmental effects. By contrast, glass-glass modules remain undamaged for 40 years in the simulation. They withstand extreme temperatures, high humidity levels, wet conditions and high alternating mechanical loads from strong winds. These modules are an especially interesting proposition for the currently rapidly growing MENA markets, where conventional modules rapidly reach their limits.
The solar modules are now on sale under the proprietary Sonnenstromfabrik brand. Sales Director Dr Bernhard Weilharter remarked: “The demand is there. The market will recall good experiences with modules from Wismar – over our 20-year production history at Wismar we had a complaint rate of less than 0.02 % p.a. – such quality rates are unequalled in the industry. Even before the production start people were asking us when superior-quality modules made in Wismar would finally go on sale again.”
Furthermore, Sonnenstromfabrik has already once more succeeded in acquiring OEM customers who wish to have modules made in Wismar under their own brand name. COO Rüdiger Drewes: “We need less labour time per module than the competition. Yet we turn out better quality, thanks in no small measure to our own test laboratories.” The changes in customs regulations within the EU and the US dollar/euro exchange rate also add to the competitive edge of German-based production operations.
The Sonnenstromfabrik team comprises former members of Centrosolar. The company’s know-how carriers can look back on up to twenty years of experience in the manufacturing of solar modules. CEO Dr Alexander Kirsch: “We start out clear of debt and with huge commitment. But above all, we know how to make good solar modules.”