November 17, 2009 08:05 ET

MiniTec Unveils World's First Solar Thermal Center of Competence

Provides Customers With a Turnkey Flat Plate Collector Production Line and License

WALDMOHR, GERMANY--(Marketwire - November 17, 2009) - MiniTec GmbH & Go. KG, a pioneer in photovoltaic module production equipment, today introduced, in partnership with SunLaser Consulting GmbH, the world's first solar thermal center of competence. Located at its Waldmohr facility, a demo fabrication line including a state-of-the-art laser welding line will serve as a competence center to teach best practices in solar thermal panel production.

The center will provide a forum for customer demonstrations, training and practical experience in collector fabrication, new product development, and to support the continued improvement of assembly methods based on empirical evidence. Additionally, MiniTec can help customers replicate an entire fabrication line as part of a pilot production facility, including machinery, preferred components, and certification.

Customers can obtain upon request, and with the corresponding assembly line, a license for a flat plate collector with laser welded absorber using the highly selective mirotherm® absorber coating from Alanod-Solar inside. Certification is from Solarkeymark and SRCC. This new capability eliminates the two-year lead-time normally required for construction, testing and certification.

The line is designed as a modular structure that permits varying degrees of automation depending on customer needs. At the core of this production line is a laser welding system from MiniTec. This groundbreaking technology joins absorber pipes to the absorber plate with no visible welding seam at up to 300 N/cm on the surface. In addition to this improved appearance, this laser welding process produces an undamaged surface with significantly higher energy efficiency. This process allows for the combined use of aluminium and copper even at high temperature in order to save costs on raw materials.

Customers can choose from three different laser welding system setups equipped with up to four laser welding sources, depending on individual needs. The most robust system can reach speeds of more than 30 meters per minute, corresponding to an annual capacity of 400,000 meters2 in two-shift operation. Additionally, systems are available for larger absorber plate production or absorber fin production.

For more information, please visit MiniTec ( /, SunLaser (, or Alanod-Solar (

About MiniTec Schweiz AG in Switzerland/MiniTec GmbH & Go. KG in Germany

MiniTec Maschinenbau GmbH & Go. KG began 2009 with an acquisition. The German mechanical engineering company, a builder of profile and linear systems, acquired the Swiss company Geiser Tech AG in Otelfingen near Zurich. The acquired company will do business as MiniTec Schweiz AG. It has developed a promising technology for the manufacture of absorbers for solar thermal energy. The takeover strengthens MiniTec's involvement in the area of solar technology and will enable the group's further growth.

About SunLaser Consulting GmbH

SunLaser is a pioneer in laser welded high selective aluminium copper absorbers. After a two year design phase, SunLaser began working in 2003 in close cooperation with Alanod Solar to manufacture laser welded Aluminium Full Plate Absorbers for thermal flat plate collectors, primarily for the European Solar Market. In addition to a very high process security, the system concept is characterized by its flexibility. In 2008 the industry declared this type of absorber "the new industrial standard."

Since 2006, the newly founded company SunLaser Consulting GmbH has focused on offering this production technology to the solar thermal industry. In close cooperation with the system integrator Geisertech/MiniTec Schweiz AG, they have successfully delivered 13 turnkey laser welding systems worldwide.

About Alanod-Solar

Alanod-Solar is a division of Alanod Aluminum Veredlung, a thirty-year leader in surface solutions based in Ennepetal, Germany. Alanod-Solar leverages the world's most advanced development labs and production lines to create superior reflective and absorptive surface solutions. The company's long history of excellence and reliability set it apart in the industry, with the performance of its products leading to higher efficiency, better durability, and an overall lower cost of systems for solar technologies.

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