Press release - Berlin, 07.03.2018
PI Berlin and SolarBuyer strengthening quality management from factory to the field
During a recent three-day integration summit in Berlin with employees of both the Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin (PI Berlin) and SolarBuyer, the new structure for a single, global team was created. The merger of both companies is yielding benefits to customers looking for a service provider who can manage all aspects of PV equipment quality ‘under one roof’. PI Berlin is now able to support PV projects and portfolios worldwide with a fully integrated equipment risk management and quality assurance service from factory to the field.
Combining the strengths of both companies
The merger of PI Berlin with SolarBuyer has created one of the largest independent service providers in the PV industry focused exclusively on the management of PV equipment quality and risk. The summit brought together significant expertise in laboratory testing, factory assessments and the field evaluation of installed PV equipment to create a truly comprehensive quality management package for banks, investors, developers and utilities. At the summit, the new team not only decided on the structure of the enlarged company, but also spent time determining how the new team can best focus on customers and their needs.
„The merger of PI Berlin and SolarBuyer clearly combines the strengths of both companies," says Paul Grunow, Founder and CEO of PI Berlin. „Personally, a long history working in the PV industry connects us closely with the Founders of SolarBuyer who bring a similar track record of industry experience to the table. What we have brought together opens up exciting, new growth opportunities for the company.“
A focal point for PV equipment expertise
„The atmosphere at the summit in Berlin was very positive and was marked by the motivation of all colleagues to offer customers the best know-how in the field of risk management and quality assurance of PV equipment" says Peter Rusch, the new VP Global Sales at PI Berlin.
The new structure reflects a strong focus on managing complex projects that also demand a high level of technical expertise. Major buyers, owners and investors in the PV sector will find in PI Berlin a company who offers a considerable concentration of knowledge and experience.
As well as providing a fully ISO 17025 lab capability in Europe and China, the company now provides specific centers of expertise in bifacial and shingled cell module technologies, thin-film modules, module cleaning solutions, string and central inverters and the physical inspection and evaluation of PV power plants. To make managing complex technical diligence of PV equipment easier, the company now also provides a fully independent quality rating system for modules as well as complete PV power plants.
Three new business functions focused on customers
In order to reflect a focus on customer needs, the company has been re-structured into three new functions. A sales and marketing team contains experienced professional and technical advisors dedicated to serving customers.
A project delivery team coordinates the implementation of projects worldwide to ensure the efficient delivery of what is promised to customers. Finally, a technical services team delivers the actual laboratory, factory and field based services with fully trained Engineers and certified equipment.
For example, a typical project may involve a pre-production factory audit and production supervision in Vietnam, product quality testing at the laboratory in China and on-site inspection of the completed power plant in India. Being able to efficiently exchange information between activities and successfully coordinate complex services like these across multiple geographies will deliver very real benefits to customers.
The company’s services will remain under the SolarBuyer brand in the USA and China for the time being. All other regions will operate under the PI Berlin brand. PI Berlin has two offices and an ISO 17025 accredited test laboratory in Germany, a second accredited test laboratory in China, as well as offices in Shanghai in China, Chennai in India and Boston in the USA.
About PI Berlin
The Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin is a leading technical advisor, risk manager and quality assurance provider for PV power plants and equipment. With its experienced team of researchers, scientists and engineers, the Institute offers a wide range of design, testing and evaluation services with a focus on the risk management and quality assurance of PV equipment and complex PV power plants.
PI Berlin has already supported 7.5 GW of PV power plants worldwide, with over 245 audits conducted on over 115 manufacturers producing more than 67 GW of PV equipment annually.The Institute has an IEC 17025 accredited test laboratory at its Berlin location for evaluating the performance, reliability and durability of solar modules. Another test laboratory is located in Suzhou, China. Modules are tested according to strict criteria that meet or exceed IEC standards. The Institute was established ten years ago by PV experts Prof. Dr Stefan Krauter, Sven Lehmann and Dr Paul Grunow, who was also one of the founders of Solon and Q CELLS.