The investment in personnel, technology and equipment is designed to provide solar cell manufacturers in China with the ability to accelerate their innovation and production capabilities. The new Innovation Center has more than doubled the number of R&D staff of scientists and photovoltaics technical experts in China, with almost one quarter of the employees possessing doctorate degrees (Ph.D). In addition, the company has also made a significant investment in state-of-the-art technology and photovoltaics equipment to help customers improve the performance and efficiency of their solar cells and modules. This includes:
- automatic high-precision high-speed printers to meet the requirement of single-print, double-print, dual print and SE process
- advanced equipment for fundamental analysis of the metallization process as well as the complete cell production process
In remarks to customers, dignitaries and employees, Jan Rinnert, the CEO of the Heraeus Board of Management, said the investment affirms the company’s commitment to China and its long-term optimism for the continued growth of solar energy. He said, “From technology development to mass-scale adoption, China is the world’s leader in solar energy. We see a bright future for solar energy, and this investment and expansion will help accelerate the growth of clean, affordable and renewable energy here in China and around the world.”
The Shanghai site is a continuation of the Heraeus strategy to establish or expand R&D facilities near customers in critical global markets. The Photovoltaics Innovation Center is the third Heraeus business unit to expand its R&D presence in China in the past 18 months. Heraeus Photovoltaics has made the Asia region a strategic priority and expanded its presence across the region, from R&D to production. Since the region leads the world in solar cell manufacturing, these investments provide closer access and collaboration with local customers and trading partners.
Martin Ackermann, the President of Heraeus Photovoltaics, added, “The new Innovation Center is based on our two most important guiding principles: innovation and partnership. Working closely with our PV customers, like we do in China, allow us to better understand their unique requirements and manufacturing processes. Those collaboration and co-research efforts help them better utilize our market-leading pastes and PV solutions to increase efficiency and improve the performance of their cells. The Innovation Center follows our “China for China” strategy and will help PV customers get their innovations to market faster.”