Solar Company Q-Cells Invests in New Swiss Technology

Q-Cells AG, a global manufacturer of solar cells, signed an agreement to invest Euro 7 million [US$8.9 million] into the Swiss company VHF Technologies SA (Flexcell) to industrialize Flexcell’s new photovoltaic technology.

Q-Cells’ investment in Flexcell will enable the industrial production line in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, where Flexcell is based, with an annual production capacity of 2 MW — a first for flexible thin-film photovoltaics in Europe. Q-Cells AG manufactures mono- and poly-crystalline silicon solar cells, with an annual production capacity of 280 MWp. In addition to the expansion of their core business, Q-Cells AG, which selected Flexcell for its expertise in flexible thin-film technologies, is currently developing new business opportunities in thin-film photovoltaic technologies. In February 2000, Flexcell developed a plasma process invented at the Institute for Micro Technology (IMT) at the University of Neuchatel, which allowed the deposition of amorphous silicon on rolls of flexible plastic film. As these flexible solar cells are not dependant on the supply of mono- and poly-crystalline silicon, they offered a competitive price and easy integration into roofing components like corrugated tiles.
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