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18 December 2007


Spire chooses EPP as Germany rep and sets up regional test center with solar simulator

Spire Corp of Bedford, MA, USA, which supplies photovoltaic module manufacturing equipment and turnkey solar factories, has selected Munich-based Electronic Production Partners GmbH (EPP) as its exclusive representative in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Benelux countries as well as providing non-exclusive distribution in Eastern Europe and beyond. Spire also supplies crystalline silicon solar-cell process technology and recently started to supply gallium arsenide solar concentrator cells to system makers through its subsidiary Bandwidth Semiconductor LLC of Hudson, NH, USA (which becomes Spire Semiconductor from 1 January).

“Europe is the focal point of photovoltaic (PV) demand and we recognize the need to expand Spire’s reach and exposure in this critical marketplace,” says chairman and CEO Roger Little. “EPP is an excellent firm with a deep background in semiconductor capital equipment and complex electronic systems,” he adds. “EPP is at the hub of the world’s largest PV market and well positioned to respond quickly to sales and service requests. With strong technical capabilities and years of experience in capital equipment service, EPP can handle the needs of solar production companies throughout the world,” reckons Little.

“EPP brings the local expertise and attention needed to grow market share here and serve the European-based solar manufacturers,” says EPP’s managing director Bryan Burton.

Spire says it also will establish a regional test and demonstration center highlighting its SPI-Sun Simulator 4600SLP (introduced earlier this year), which is suited to both crystalline silicon and thin-film applications.

“The single long pulse of the 4600SLP allows for full saturation of the newest thin-film modules and results in a high production rate for module testing,” says Mark Willingham, Spire’s VP of corporate marketing. “The simulator is the brain of the production line and defines the power at which a module can be sold,” he adds. “A fully functional 4600SLP will be on site in Munich and available for testing by our customers. It will be invaluable in testing new module designs as well as inspecting imported modules.” Verifying the power rating of modules from many countries is critical at this stage for PVs, as demand in Europe pulls in modules from across the world and less developed suppliers, Willingham points out.

See related items:

Bandwidth renamed Spire Semiconductor

Spire receives Army STTR contract to develop room-temperature terahertz light source

Spire receives $1m SBIR contract for high-power red diode lasers

Search: Spire GaAs Solar cells