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South Africa: Production of superthin solar innovation delayed

The start of production of the South African super-thin solar-panel innovation has been delayed by more than six months due to technical challenges with the equipment at the purpose-built German plant.
Production was expected to start earlier this year, but is now anticipated to kick off in October, says a source close to the project.

The solar panel is the brainchild of University of Johannesburg (UJ) professor Vivian Alberts. The solar panel he devised is is said to be thinner and cheaper (up to 50%) compared to products currently on the market.
Following Albert's research breakthrough, his employer, UJ, formed the company Photovoltaic Technology Intellectual Property (PTIP) for purposes of commercialisation of the photovoltaic technology.

PTIP - with shareholders UJ and Alberts - in August 2005 entered into a licence agreement with Germany's IFE Thin Film Technology.
Following restructuring IFE became Johanna Solar Technology (JST), the universal successor of IFE. JST has seven shareholders, including South Africa's State-owned Central Energy Fund, as well as private-sector investors Richmont-Venfin and Anglo Coal.
It was then also this company that completed the €72-million production facility, in Brandenburg, near Berlin, in 2007.

Additional information: Read the full story at Engineering News
News date: 01/08/2008

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