In December and January alone, the technology provider centrotherm received orders from leading solar cell manufacturers totaling around 30 million euros. In the Photovoltaics business unit, centrotherm therefore currently has an order book position in the single equipment business of around 62 million euros. Customers are ordering wide-ranging equipment packages for expanding their existing production capacities or for setting up new production lines, as the high demand for solar cells and modules, particularly from Japan and the USA, has led to full utilization of their production capacities over the past few months.
The orders encompass production equipment from the latest product generation for diffusion, anti-reflective coating (PECVD) as well as conveyor furnaces for firing and sintering metal contacts in the production of high-efficiency solar cells. centrotherm won these important orders thanks to its leading position and outstanding image when it comes to process stability and reliability of the production equipment.
centrotherm is also anticipating rising demand for its new low pressure diffusion furnaces. A mass production line totaling around 800 megawatts in South-east Asia was recently completely equipped with these diffusion furnaces. With the low pressure diffusion process, our customers achieve excellent emitter formation and reproducibility of over 100 Ω/square in addition to a significant increase in wafer throughput. In addition, centrotherm low pressure diffusion furnaces enable a reduction in costs per solar cell compared to the standard diffusion process.
In the Semiconductor & Microelectronics business unit, the order book position is currently around 15 million euros. This area is to be increasingly expanded with innovative products as a second pillar of business as part of the refocussing on thermal processes, the core competency of centrotherm.