n-PASHA Alliance Awarded 100MW n-type Technology and Equipment Order for Nexolon Turnkey Project in USA

editor, 19 June 2013

Guetenbach, Germany, June 19, 2013 -- The n-PASHA Alliance (RENA GmbH, ECN and Tempress Systems, Inc.), is pleased to announce today that it has been selected by Nexolon America LLC to provide n-type technology and equipment to its photovoltaic cell production facility in San Antonio, Texas. RENA, with its longtime relationship to Nexolon, is the contractual partner of Nexolon for this 100 MW turnkey project. The n-PASHA technology and equipment is designed to produce breakthrough, next generation n-type high-efficiency cells enabling the production of bi-facial modules. This order is the first phase of a planned 200 MW turnkey project for Nexolon.

Photo: n-PASHA signing ceremony with Nexolon

from left to right: Dr. Jan Bultman (ECN), Dr. Ingrid Romijn (ECN), Ernst Hartmannsgruber (RENA), Jaeho Shin (RENA), Knowles Atehison (Nexolon), Scot Arey (Nexolon), Volker Westermann (RENA), Fokko Pentinga (Tempress), Willem Vermeulen (Tempress) .

Mr. Woojeong Lee, President of Nexolon America LLC commented: “Through evaluation of different technologies we chose the n-PASHA technology because it has proven to deliver high levels of solar cell efficiency and importantly, at an attractive cost structure making the n-PASHA technology highly beneficial with regard to the overall cost of energy produced by solar farms.”

Tempress (The Netherlands), the solar subsidiary of Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASYS), ECN (The Netherlands) and RENA (Germany) established their Alliance to jointly offer a technology transfer of the n-PASHA n-type bi-facial cell concept developed by ECN. Recent production technology improvements yield average cell efficiencies above 19.5% at competitive production cost. The n-type cells used for bi- facial modules generate electricity from light coming through both the front and rear side of the modules and in this way generate up to 20% more power in solar farms. Additionally, the n-type cells do not suffer from LID (light induced degradation) where power loss is typically three percent for commonly used p- type cells.

Mr. Juergen Gutekunst, CEO of RENA GmbH explains: “n-PASHA technology is the high efficiency technology with excellent cost-benefit ratio. As one of the leading suppliers for wet etching, cleaning and plating processes we optimized our products for applications in the trend setting n-PASHA sequence. n- PASHA helps us and our customer to stay at the cutting edge.”

Mr. Fokko Pentinga, CEO of Amtech Systems, Inc., commented: “We have found that through continued advancement of the n-PASHA technology we deliver a competitive next generation high efficiency solar solution. This is the second order for this technology underscoring the Alliance is on the right technology path as the solar market progresses to higher value solutions. At Tempress, with our industry-leading Alliance partners, we are well-positioned to deliver these advanced technologies to the marketplace. We look forward to working with Nexolon in San Antonio, a solar hub in the USA, on this exciting project.”

Mr. Robert Kleiburg, COO of ECN, commented: “We are very proud that such a prestigious company as Nexolon has chosen ECN’s n-PASHA technology for its new production facility in San Antonio. n-type silicon solar cells are gaining market share rapidly and the Alliance is speeding up the roadmap towards even higher performances. We are looking forward to intensify our collaboration with our alliance partners RENA and Tempress and the n-PASHA community to achieve our common goal to deliver better PV products.”

About Nexolon

Nexolon is the leading solution provider in the solar energy industry. They are advancing to be a global leader in the renewable energy industry by manufacturing central components for solar power generation such as varieties of solar ingots, wafers, cells and modules. Nexolon manufactures the backbone components of solar power generation by procuring raw materials from prestigious global polysilicon makers and by obtaining the latest, state-of-the-art cell and module equipment. Polysilicon is melted down to produce a highly purified silicon cylinder called an ingot which is then sliced into wafers out of which solar cells can be made. A solar module is an arrangement of solar cells. Since the electricity produced from each cell is gathered simultaneously in a solar module, it is possible to generate electricity safely and regularly when installed in areas with ample sunlight. .

About ECN

With and for the market, ECN develops knowledge and technology that enable a transition to a sustainable energy system. Countries and their economies develop and grow. To meet the future energy needs, the global energy system needs to become more sustainable. ECN’s groundbreaking renewable energy technologies and knowledge offer businesses and governments economic opportunities and innovative distinctiveness. ECN plays a leading role in energy R&D and policy advice and has gained a strong reputation worldwide in the fields of solar and wind energy, bio-energy, energy efficiency, environmental research and policy studies. Our track record of success is illustrated by the fact that over 60% of all solar modules in the world contain ECN technology and 80% of Europe’s offshore wind farms is realized with R&D and support from ECN. Employing around 500 professionals and having multiple branches in Europe and Asia, ECN works on sustainability every day.

About RENA GmbH

“THE WET PROCESSING COMPANY” RENA regards itself as one of the world's leading suppliers of high-tech equipment and plants, primarily for water treatment and wet chemical surface processing. The areas of application for RENA products – Water Treatment, Renewable Energy, Health & Others – reflect the vital needs of people living in today's industrial society. RENA products are used to treat water, waste water and chemicals and to process surfaces of products such as solar cells, circuit boards and dental implants using wet chemicals or water. RENA produces both standardized machines and systems with guaranteed processes and machines and systems tailored to specific customer requirements. The surfaces of around 50% of solar cells produced worldwide are textured using RENA systems. Alongside solar activities, products for the area of Renewable Energy include energy storage units, efficient combined heat and power plants and waste to energy solutions. Typical products for the field of Health & Others include surface processing systems for dental implants and production systems for milk products.

About Amtech Systems, Inc.

Amtech Systems, Inc. manufactures capital equipment, including silicon wafer handling automation, thermal processing equipment and related consumables used in fabricating solar cells, LED and semiconductor devices. Semiconductors, or semiconductor chips, are fabricated on silicon wafer substrates, sliced from ingots, and are part of the circuitry, or electronic components, of many products including solar cells, computers, telecommunications devices, automotive products, consumer goods, and industrial automation and control systems. The Company's wafer handling, thermal processing and consumable products currently address the diffusion, oxidation, and deposition steps used in the fabrication of solar cells, LEDs, semiconductors, MEMS and the polishing of newly sliced silicon wafers.

Canadian Solar Inc. achieves 21.1% cell efficiency using new advanced technical concept based on Merck’s isishape ® and RENA’s InClean technology

editor, 24 September 2012

Gütenbach, Germany: RENA announced today that the Selective Emitter concept based on Merck’s and RENA’s new advanced technology is being implemented in Canadian Solar Inc.’s (CSI) high-efficiency solar cell production. With this, CSI achieved 21.1% cell efficiency according to in-house testing.

Merck’s isishape ® pastes ensure homogeneous and well controllable etching, leading to an efficiency gain of 0.5%.

RENA’s cleaning technology InClean is specially designed for Merck’s isishape ® and ensures a perfect match between consumable, process and equipment platform. RENA’s InClean is available as an upgrade for existing lines or can be integrated into a RENA InOxSide ® tool for junction isolation and PSG removal (PSG: Phosphor Glass).

CSI has adopted the new advanced solution for its high-efficiency p-type cell technology. The company successfully integrated the new concept into its mass production. Top solar cell efficiency of 21.1% was achieved on Cz (monocrystalline) solar cells by implementing the technology in the ELPS high-efficiency cell structure (ELPS: Efficient, Long-term Photovoltaic Solution).

New RENA Cell Plating Technology

editor, 14 September 2012

RENA InCellPlate integrates SH+E GROUP Silver-Reclaim for silver cost reduction up to 50%

RENA drives market demands for cost reduction in front side metallisation by launching a combined package of fine line print, silver plating and silver reclaim system. The new InCellPlate platform targets for massive front-side cost reduction on mc- and c-Si solar cells by combining seed printing and plating for up to 0.3% absolute efficiency gain. With the integrated silver reclaim the total cost of ownership will be further improved. Optimised line width, higher finger conductivity and simple contacting of high emitter sheet resistances allows to reduce the overall silver consumption well above the technical potential of all available paste printing technologies. This benefit comes along with improved yield in module manufacturing by 30% higher peel off forces after standard soldering.

RENA InCellPlate offers the most attractive alternative for any selective emitter approach with a new silver reclaim process for highest customer benefit.

The lately SH+E GROUP integration brought best expertise in water supply as well as water- and chemistry recycling to RENA. This completion enables RENA to offer now for various solar applications combined process and recycling solutions with high cost reduction out of one hand.

New RENA Diamond Wire Saw

editor, 13 September 2012

RENA offers dedicated diamond wire saw RS 690-DW with SH + E GROUP coolant recycling

Just one year after successful field approval of the wire saw RS 690-2 for slurry based process RENA launches the new RS 690-DW dedicated for diamond wire application. Fixed abrasive cutting process reduces the watering Cost of Ownership and increases the wire saw throughput >15 MW/a*.

With a maximum cutting length of 680 mm combined with an improved wire guide axis distance the RS 690-DW ensures highest wafer quality as well as outstanding yield. The machine is capable to cut a square section of 156 mm into thin wafers with a minimum wire core diameter of 100 µm. An increased coolant liquid's lifetime is reached by using SH + E GROUP coolant recycling system, thus lowering the wafer production costs significantly.

The lately SH+E GROUP integration brought best expertise in water supply as well as water- and chemistry recycling to RENA. This completion enables RENA to offer now for various solar applications combined process and recycling solutions with high cost reduction out of one hand.

*depending on process parameters.

Diamond wire cutting

SH + E GROUP Coolant recycling

TetraSun and RENA establish a manufacturing route for solar cells beyond 20% efficiency

editor, 13 September 2011

- cell efficiency well beyond the 20% mark

- monoTEX®, RENA’s IPA-free alkaline texturing process

- focus on environmental and manufacturing cost

Gütenbach, September 13th, 2011 – In 2010 RENA industrialized monoTEX®, an IPAfree alkaline texturing process for solar cells. TetraSun has established that this process is key for their breakthrough mono-crystalline cell concept. RENA’s combination of pre-cleaning and monoTEX® texturing delivers a homogeneous surface with a distribution of pyramid sizes that enables TetraSun technology to achieve cell efficiency that is well beyond the 20% mark. Texturing times under 15 minutes, bath lifetimes over 40 runs and >95% tool uptime enable a very competitive footprint. The elimination of IPA from both the exhaust and fluid waste streams further supports TetraSun’s focus on environmental and manufacturing cost control.

RENA Annual Report 2010 – June 2011/nbu

editor, 30 June 2011

- Total Output 2010 doubled to 258 mln. Euro (119 mln. Euro 2009)

- EBIT 2010 rises significantly to 23.6 mln. Euro (4.9 mln. Euro 2009)

- Jürgen Gutekunst, founder and sole shareholder of equipment building company RENA: “We are well positioned in markets that continue to show growth potential.”

Gütenbach, June 30th 2011 – The RENA Group, leading global manufacturer of equipment for wet-chemical processes, mainly for solar cell production, has rounded off 2010 as the best year in the company’s history. The group of companies with headquarters in Gütenbach in Schwarzwald, Germany, achieved a total output in 2010 of 258 million Euro (in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)) compared to 119 million Euro the previous year. The EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) rose significantly in 2010 to 23.6 million Euro compared to 4.9 million Euro in 2009.

RENA profited in 2010 from growth in the photovoltaic industry and a strong demand from Asia for equipment for the manufacture of solar cells. “The 2010 business year was a record year for us and the orders in hand at the turn of the year have given us a good starting position for 2011,” says Jürgen Gutekunst, founder and indirect sole shareholder of RENA GmbH. “We are well positioned in markets that continue to show growth potential. Based on this starting point, we are confident that we will be able to expand our leading market position further in 2011.”

The German wet processing equipment producer RENA GmbH and Brabant Development Agency (BOM) have invested in SoLayTec, a company incorporated by TNO Technostarters B.V., which will commercialize ultrafast Atomic Layer Deposition.

editor, 25 February 2011

RENA GmbH and BOM have announced the financing of start-up company SoLayTec, thus enabling further development of the ultrafast Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technology based on license by TNO. SoLayTec, a TNO spin-off, will apply this technology in equipment within the solar market for the production of solar cells.

Delivery second quarter of 2011

Under the leadership of TNO, ultrafast ALD technology has been further developed and the proof of concept has been demonstrated. SoLayTec will deliver the first “process development tool” from the second quarter of 2011. The additional investments by BOM and RENA will help to facilitate the development of a high-volume tool, capable of processing over 3,000 wafers/hour in 2012.

Benefits of ultrafast ALD

The next generation of industrial silicon solar cells aims at efficiencies of 20% and above. To achieve this goal using ever-thinner silicon wafers, a highly effective surface passivation of the cell (front and rear) is required. Al2O3 is well known for it’s excellent surface passivation properties and with ALD Al2O3 can be deposited layer by layer, resulting in a very dense and uniform layer.

SoLayTec’s ultrafast spatial ALD principle is significantly faster than traditional ALD, making it suitable for industrial application. The wafers are transported at atmospheric pressure on a stream of gas, preventing contamination of the reactor. Moreover the process has a low cost of ownership, compared to existing deposition techniques (e.g. PVD, and PECVD).

Partners in industrialisation

SoLayTec has been awarded a subsidy from the Peaks in the Delta programme to industrialise the ultrafast ALD technology. Partners in the project are Frencken, Lamers High Tech Systems, Bronkhorst, TMC, Van Berlo, Sioux and NTS Mechatronics with co-funding coming from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture & Innovation, the provincial authority of Noord-Brabant and the Eindhoven City Region (SRE). SoLayTec and its financing partners see the benefits of this region’s technological know-how and are committed to a long term stay here.

RENA: Innovator of the year for 2010

editor, 31 January 2011

The Top 100 accolade goes to the most innovative small and medium-sized firms in Germany.

RENA GmbH is this year's main prize-winner and therefore bears the title 'innovator of the year'.

Gütenbach: A resourceful workforce, the courage to break new ground and the creative marketing of new products are among the factors that have catapulted RENA right to the top of the list of the 100 most innovative firms in Germany. Lo-thar Späth will present Jürgen Gutekunst, one of RENA's directors, with the main prize and the prestigious Top 100 award in Rostock-Warnemünde this Thursday evening.

From left: Joachim Schuble, CEO Compamedia / TOP 100 , Judith Rakers, TV-Moderator, Volker Westermann CSO RENA GmbH, Jürgen Gutekunst CEO RENA GmbH, Dr. Hartmut Nussbaumer Director Development RENA GmbH, Damaris Gutekunst RENA GmbH, Lothar Späth former state premier of Baden Württemberg and mentor of TOP 100, Dr. Nikolaus Franke, Prof. for entrepreneurship and innovation at Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

Jürgen Gutekunst and Michael Schätzle, who were at university together, set up RENA GmbH in 1993. The company is now a global market leader in the field of process tech-nology for wet chemical applications – such as the manufacture of solar cells. Its work-force has grown almost fivefold over the past five years from 190 to 980 people, which makes the firm one of the largest employers in its region. There are many reasons why RENA has been voted the overall winner of the Top 100 competition. Some of them are evident from the bare numbers: RENA holds 362 interna-tional patents, has brought more than 100 innovations to market since 2006 and gener-ated only 10 per cent of its revenue from unchanged products in 2009. This means that the firm earns 90 per cent of its current revenue from new products and innovative im-provements made over the past three years.

This impressive track record is attributable to the company's creative workforce around the world. More than 50 employees work regularly on the development of new customer solutions. If they want to familiarise themselves with the latest scientific findings, they need go no further than the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), which is in the immediate vicinity. This proximity is no coincidence. RENA works closely with other institutions in the field of innovation, which provides it with a ready supply of highly quali-fied talent and access to basic research.

Another major reason for the firm's success is the pioneering spirit demonstrated by Jür-gen Gutekunst. By having an acute sense of where new trends are heading and making the right strategic decisions at the right time, he has gradually conquered new markets and fields of expertise. RENA is one of the very few companies in the world that possesses expertise in two competing technologies used in the production of solar cells: silicon solar cells and thin-layer solar cells. What's more, this owner-run firm produces equipment not just for the photovoltaics industry but also for semiconductors, microsys-tems and medical equipment. "Good ideas that generate a favourable market response don't just appear out of thin air. We work hard every single day to come up with them. Having been voted the overall winner of the Top 100 competition we are delighted that all this commitment is now being rewarded because it shows that we're on the right track. Our customers often tell us personally that they too are convinced that we will not run out of good ideas in future", stressed Gutekunst.

The Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration scrutinised the innova-tive capabilities of 248 small and medium-sized German firms over a period of several months. The 100 best companies bear the Top 100 seal of approval for one year. A dis-tinguished jury selected RENA as innovator of the year for 2010 from among the winners of the four surveyed categories. One of the members of the panel that chose RENA was Professor Dr Peter Littmann. The long-time CEO of Hugo Boss, columnist on the Han-delsblatt newspaper and managing director of BRANDINSIDER GmbH summed up the reasons for the decision as follows: "RENA simply had the right mix of qualities: an inspi-rational leader with an acute sense of what to do and when to do it, a perfectly structured innovation process, a technologically minded sales team and a marketing department that knows its customers intimately. We are all truly impressed by the successful track record that this firm has established in such a short time."

Further information on RENA GmbH (innovator of the year for 2010), the other 99 prize-winning firms and the Top 100 project can be found at


The project's mentor is Lothar Späth, former state premier of Baden-Württemberg.

Project management

Dr Nikolaus Franke has coordinated the project since 2002 and is professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The focus of his research is on entrepreneurship, innovations management and marketing. He is one of the world's leading experts in user innovation.

Organiser: compamedia GmbH compamedia organises benchmarking projects for small and medium-sized German firms. By run-ning its TOP 100, TOP JOB, TOP CONSULTANT and ETHICS IN BUSINESS nationwide bench-marking competitions it assists and awards prizes to companies that achieve outstanding results in the fields of innovation, human resource management, consulting and values management.


Partners in the project are: Bayern Innovativ GmbH, the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research, the German Centre for Productivity and Innovation (RKW), the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE) and the Association of German Engineers (VDI). The media partner is the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

RENA leading the field of the TOP 100

editor, 30 January 2011

As of today RENA GmbH from Gütenbach in the southern region of the Black Forest is entitled to call itself “Innovator of the year 2010”. The award for the winner of the competition for the Top 100 medium-sized enterprises was today presented to the RENA CEO Jürgen Gutekunst by Lothar Späth. RENA also won the “Category Prize for Innovative Marketing” for its effective and early involvement of “lead users” in the development process. “Lead user” is the term used for customers who are global leaders of technology and who cooperate with their partners in new developments.

For suppliers of wet processing solutions the innovations of today are the key to the economic success of tomorrow. “RENA is the world leader in the sector of photovoltaics, a market whose rapid development is being triggered by innovations,” explained Jürgen Gutekunst founder and CEO of the company that was established in 1993.

It would be impossible to develop these products so quickly and to ensure that they are tailored to meet the requirements of the customers with our own capacities alone. Close cooperation with leading research institutes, small technology companies and “lead users” plays a crucial role here. Working closely with "lead users" from the industry is particularly important, as this allows future customer requirements to be incorporated into the current developments.

Not so many years ago Jürgen Gutekunst relied on his intuition for making the right decisions.

Nowadays the decision-making channels are regulated by a so-called Stage-Gate process, so that fast and market-oriented decisions can be made. This ensures that the rapid changes taking place on the growth markets, in technology and where the competition is concerned are incorporated in the decision making process consciously and in realtime.

RENA generated its largest share of sales in the solar sector, a branch that has the common target of achieving grid parity. Market surveys forecast double-digit growth rates in the sector of photovoltaics for the next few years. RENA product innovations aim at increasing the cost effectiveness of solar cells. This is achieved on the one hand by technological developments that enhance the efficiency of the cells.

Grid parity can also be achieved by developments that contribute to increasing throughput and yield in the manufacturing plants.

RENA forecasts sales of more than € 200 million to be generated with approx. 980 employees for the year 2010.

RENA is not only active in the solar market, it is also a supplier of wet chemical processes for the semi-conductor, medical technology , micro-system technology and PCB branches.