Concentrix Solar Wins IEC Certification for New CPV Module 'CX-75'

Confirms Readiness for Full, Commercial Deployment in Utility-Scale Electricity Production

Jan 28, 2010, 13:00 ET from Soitec

BERNIN, France, January 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Concentrix Solar, a leading supplier of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) systems and a new division of the Soitec Group (Euronext Paris), the world's supplier of engineered substrates, announced today that the company has received IEC certification 62108 for its CX-75 FLATCON(R) module generation. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the world's leading electrical and electronic standards organization. IEC 62108 is the CPV industry's standard, ensuring that modules and assemblies are suitable for long-term operation in a wide range of outdoor climates. By producing the CX-75 module in the company's industry-leading, fully-automated production line in Freiburg, Germany, Concentrix Solar is uniquely able to ensure consistent, highest-precision manufacturing in high volumes - a critical factor in ensuring high nominal AC system efficiency and long-term reliability.

"The IEC 62108 certificate is an important milestone, confirming that our new CX-75 module is ready for full, commercial deployment in utility-scale electricity production," said Concentrix Solar CEO, Hansjorg Lerchenmuller. "It attests that our systems are capable of withstanding prolonged exposure in harsh climates and are designed to withstand severe environmental conditions such as rain, hail and high winds."

The assessment was performed by the Spanish accredited testing institute CENER (Centro Nacional de Energias Renovables) and certified by the Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification (AENOR). The certificate confirms that the Concentrix Solar CX-75 module successfully passed all the necessary IEC performance and accelerated aging tests and therefore received design qualification and type approval. Concentrix Solar's previous module generation successfully had already passed the IEC tests in 2007.

The IEC 62108 standard specifies the requirements for the design qualification and type approval of CPV modules and assemblies suitable for long-term operation in demanding outdoor conditions. Since 2009, it has been the standard for the certification of CPV modules. According to the testing standards for conventional PV modules, the IEC 62108 norm simulates environmental conditions and influences for CPV modules to verify the performance reliability and aging resistance. This includes, among other things, testing of hail impact, mechanical load, insulation and wet insulation as well as outdoor exposure.

Concentrix Solar takes a unique approach in manufacturing its modules in a fully automated industrial production line. The high degree of automation ensures that all modules are of the same high quality and deliver the greatest efficiencies and reliable system operation over long time periods.

With the CX-75, Concentrix Solar has increased the system efficiency (AC) of its concentrator systems, as confirmed at installations in San Diego, USA, and Puertollano, Spain. Precision and quality in module manufacturing lead to consistent high quality and an extremely high average module efficiency of 27.2 percent.

About Concentrix Solar:

Concentrix Solar GmbH is a leading supplier of concentrator photovoltaic power plants for sunny locations. The company was founded in February 2005 as a spin-off company of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. At present, about 60 people are employed at Concentrix Solar. Since December 2009, Concentrix Solar is a division of the Soitec Group. For manufacturing its IEC certified FLATCON(R) concentrator modules, Concentrix Solar operates a fully-automated industrial production line located in Freiburg, Germany with an annual production capacity of 25 megawatts. The FLATCON(R) technology uses Fresnel lenses to focus sunlight onto small highly-efficient solar cells. These solar cells convert the sunlight, concentrated almost 500 times, directly into electrical energy. With this technology, Concentrix Solar achieves AC system efficiencies of 25 percent, which are almost twice as high as those achieved by conventional silicon technology. As a result, electricity generation cost reduction between 10 and 20 percent can be reached compared to other solar technologies, depending on the location of the installation. For more information, visit:

About the Soitec Group:

The Soitec Group is the world's leading innovator and provider of the engineered substrate solutions that serve as the foundation for today's most advanced microelectronic products. The group leverages its proprietary Smart Cut(TM) technology to engineer new substrate solutions, such as silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers, which became the first high-volume application for this proprietary technology. Since then, SOI has emerged as the material platform of the future, enabling the production of higher performing, faster chips that consume less power.

Today, Soitec produces more than 80 percent of the world's SOI wafers. Headquartered in Bernin, France, with two high-volume fabs on-site, Soitec has offices throughout the United States, Japan and Taiwan, and a new production site in Singapore.

Three other divisions, Picogiga International, Tracit Technologies and Concentrix Solar, complete the Soitec Group. Picogiga delivers advanced substrates solutions, including III-V epiwafers and gallium nitride (GaN) wafers, to the compound material world for the manufacture of high-frequency electronics and other optoelectronic devices. Tracit, on the other hand, provides thin-film layer transfer technologies used to manufacture advanced substrates for power ICs and Microsystems, as well as generic circuit transfer technology, Smart Stacking for applications such as image sensors and 3D-integration. In December 2009, Soitec acquired 80 percent of Concentrix Solar, the leading provider of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar systems for the industrial production of energy. With this acquisition, Soitec is entering the fast-growing solar industry; capturing value through the system level. Shares of the Soitec Group are listed on Euronext Paris.

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Soitec, Smart Cut, Smart Stacking and UNIBOND are trademarks of S.O.I.TEC Silicon On Insulator Technologies.

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