Concentrix Solar officially inaugurated its production line for concentrator photovoltaic modules during ceremonies held Friday at its Freiburg, Germany, location. The fully automated 25-MW capacity facility has been running since September and is one of the few industrial-scale CPV manufacturing lines in operation.
"Constructing a fully automated production line with industrial throughput for concentrator modules is a milestone for us and also for the field of concentrator photovoltaics," said Hansjörg Lerchenmüller, CEO of Concentrix Solar.
"However, this is just the beginning and serves only as an entry into industrial production. Our goal is to grow with increasing speed in order to reach grid parity as soon as possible with our technology. With this first step, we are on the right path."
With 4000 square meters of total floor area, the company says the building and infrastructure are designed so that production capacity can be quickly expanded to 100 MW. For its module production, Concentrix says it has employed affordable machines from the electronics, circuit board, and the insulating glass industries.
"With the start of production on an industrial scale, we have made the decisive step from a start-up company to a successful industrial concern," says Karl Friedrich Haarburger, Concentrix's COO and the man responsible for setting up the new production line.
After two years of pilot-line work, the company started commercial production of its Flatcon CPV modules in October. The new-generation units have demonstrated average module efficiencies of 27.2%, according to independent measurements performed at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.
Concentrix's technology, developed over a decade at Fraunhofer ISE and spun out in 2005, uses Fresnel lenses to concentrate the solar energy 500X on III-V triple-junction solar cells lodged in the HCPV module array, which is integrated with a two-axis tracking system for ground-mounted, megawatt-scale power plant applications.
The company already has several demonstration- and utility-scale projects in various stages of installation and operation in Spain.
Concentrix has a workforce of 60 and expects to increase its headcount to 100 next year, including additional qualified personnel from the fields of electronics and electrical engineering. In addition, the company says it is recruiting technicians in power plant engineering as well as technicians and engineers in the field of development.