Solar cells with outstanding eco-pedigree

At 12 o'clock noon when the sun is highest in the sky, it brings out the best of the ITS | Innotech Solar company logo. It is very possible that this was precisely the effect that the architect responsible for this factory building in the location of Halle wanted to achieve. At any rate, this is indeed a successful history of establishment based on the power of light in the heart of the solar cluster in Saxony-Anhalt. In 2011, ITS | Innotech Solar, the Swedish manufacturer of top-quality solar modules founded in 2008, inaugurated its new plant for the optimisation of solar cells in the Stark Park Halle A14 Industrial Estate. Conveniently situated from a logistics perspective at the motorway intersection and in the vicinity of the airport, ITS | Innotech Solar Halle can be easily reached by its customers, who mainly come from Europe.

Kai Förster has followed the plant on the "green pasture" from the first cut of the spade, via the construction through to the successful company it has become with a current total of 50 employees at the Halle location. The road to success for ITS Halle is also matched by his own in becoming Commercial Managing Director. The 39-year-old native of Halle still remembers this industrial park with the Kabelsketal postal address when it was agricultural land. Not least because of this, he feels well settled here with the company and its philosophy: "Greener than green".

What does that mean specifically in practice? "We ourselves exclusively use regenerative energies at our production locations. Furthermore, our environmentally friendly technology has contributed to reducing the energetic amortisation time. Conventional solar modules need from one to one and a half years to generate the energy expended for their production. ITS modules, though, only require approx. four months", Förster explained. The fact that ITS solar cells are particularly efficient, long-lasting and environmentally friendly is borne out by expert assessments from the Fraunhofer Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and Centre for Silicon Photovoltaics (CSP) Institutes and the Berlin Photovoltaic Institute.

We are standing in front of a glass wall looking into the production room with its four production lines. "Photovoltaic experts would recognise its special feature. As far as I am aware, we are the only ones using this method in the whole world, and this innovative production plant has basically emerged from the solar crisis", stated Förster. "In times of crisis, economies are made as a matter of necessity. This also applies to the solar industry. It is obvious that each and every solar cell should be used and optimised."

As is so often the case in the history of ingenious inventions - somebody came along and took up this idea. ITS developed a corresponding laser process in its own research department. The company bought up crystalline solar cells from leading manufacturers all over the world and optimised them at the Hallo location - on a contact-free basis and at high speed. As a result, this enables the production of solar modules using these cells - following their optimisation, for which no use would have otherwise have been found for top-quality products, due to their original low efficiency.

Kai Förster is fond of comparing the cell optimising plant in Halle with a clinic: "We receive solar cells, which from their manufacturer' perspective are not completely healthy and therefore not 100-percent productive. They are thoroughly examined, following which the decision is made as to which processing process they are to undergo. During the final inspection before being approved, the cells are checked on the basis of optical and technical criteria. "When they leave our plant", stated Managing Director Förster, "They have undergone one of the most rigorous testing methods that exist on the entire solar industry. Amongst other things, this results in the elimination of the risk of a short-circuit."

The optimised cells leave our plant to be sent first to Sweden, where they are processed into high-quality solar modules. From there, they have since conquered the entire world market. It goes without saying that systems with optimised solar cells from Halle are to be found in Germany and Sweden and - to be equally expected - in the sunny countries of Greece, Spain, Italy, Turkey, France, as well as in the USA.

"Their positive eco-pedigree are increasingly contributing to ITS products being chosen, as the result of the recent tender by the French Ministry of the Environment illustrates", Förster reported. For its most recent contract, ITS | Innotech Solar supplied modules to the Italian textile manufacturer Limonta spa for two photovoltaic plants. The Italian company has long since put its trust in the quality of these solar modules, having previously installed four photovoltaic systems with ITS modules on its roofs.

When it is a question of environmentally friendly production, Kai Förster does not forget to point out that Co2 is also emitted by green energy producers. "As a consequence of its efforts to leave the smallest ecological footprint possible, ITS has now relocated its research department to the Halle location", the Managing Director stated, and praised the technical expertise that this region, in particular, is home to. "Both the photovoltaic industry and the research in this field are working together in our immediate vicinity. This solar cluster in Saxony-Anhalt is of enormous benefit to our company."

Author: Kathrain Graubaum (text/photo)

Caption: "This is the photogenic side of the building", stated Innotech Solar Managing Director Kai Förster. In the meantime, the sun standing straight overhead brings out the best of the company logo.

Contact: Kai Förster Commercial Managing Director ITS | INNOTECH SOLAR Tel. +49 (0)34602-999003