GERMANY: aleo solar AG is holding initial meetings with potential investors on the acquisition of a majority interest in the solar module manufacturer. Majority shareholder Robert Bosch GmbH declared its withdrawal from the crystalline photovoltaics sector at the end of March.
Since then, a buyer has been sought for the Bosch Group’s shares (90.7 percent) in aleo solar AG. “We have received several serious enquiries from the industry, and are currently examining them,” explains York zu Putlitz, CEO/CFO of aleo solar AG.
“We are holding meetings with several interested parties. Potential investors have already visited our production facility in Prenzlau, Brandenburg. A buyer is to be determined by the end of the third quarter of 2013.”
Regardless of this sale, Robert Bosch GmbH has ensured that it will finance aleo solar AG until the end of March, 2014.
aleo solar is one of Germany’s top three solar module manufacturers and has been producing in Prenzlau, Brandenburg for over ten years. The visits provided aleo with an opportunity to demonstrate its facility's extensive quality assurance system to potential interested parties.
The use of automated testing procedures integrated into the production lines in combination with manual inspections means that the quality of aleo modules is monitored in every single step of the manufacturing process. aleo solar has been using a cell tester by Manz AG for nearly three years, making it the first pure module manufacturer to use this innovative equipment.
A multitude of camera systems check the solar cells for contour, colour homogeneity and the geometry of the screen print on the front and back of the cell. It even registers all relevant electrical variables, measures the warpage and thickness of the cells and detects microcracks. It also includes an infrared thermography test.
“The tester is an enormous help in quality assurance, since it allows us to conduct quick and all-encompassing solar cell inspections,” says Günter Schulze, CTO of aleo solar AG. “These tests ensure that only the very best cells are used for our aleo modules.”
In addition to a demanding incoming goods inspection, extensive quality controls are conducted during every single production step. For instance, aleo solar tests its products using the electroluminescence (EL) method throughout the entire production process. This makes it possible to detect damage to solar cells which are imperceptible to the human eye, such as microcracks. aleo solar uses machines from the German company MBJ to accomplish this.
“These EL tests enable us to detect flaws and react to them at a very early stage in production. This way, we provide our customers with nothing but highest quality. The fact that we continuously use systems like these as a standard part of our quality control is a major factor which sets us apart from the competition,” Günter Schulze continues.