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Press release - Berlin, 08.03.2017

Lars Podlowski joins the Board of Directors at the Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin

Podlowski to establish a new business division

Dr. Lars Podlowski joined the Board of Directors of the Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin (PI Berlin) on 1 March 2017. In his new role, the PI Berlin’s co-founder and previous partner will expand its offerings to include services for module manufacturers. PI Berlin has been conducting tests and inspections to ensure the high quality of modules for solar power plants for more than ten years – now Podlowski is developing a portfolio of technical and business services to support established module manufacturers with research and development and to offer newcomers around the globe a jump start in setting up their own module production.

New opportunities in decentralised markets

“Alongside the tendency for leading module manufacturers to build ever larger central factories, a parallel global trend has emerged in recent years toward establishing regional production facilities for solar modules. In the future, PI Berlin will offer services for manufacturers – many of whom are lateral entrants to the solar industry – to facilitate their entry onto the market”, reports Lars Podlowski. “In principle, we can offer technical support in everything from factory planning to product design to the implementation of quality management systems. But we can also support the development of business models or human resources planning”, says Podlowski.

As another new business area – and not just for industry newcomers – PI Berlin will begin offering intensive tests of raw materials to help module manufacturers optimise their product design. “By combining our expertise in PV modules with the knowledge that PI Berlin has gained through the analysis of PV power plants, we can often provide manufacturers with concrete suggestions on how to improve the performance and reliability of their products”, Podlowski continues.

Solar industry pioneer

Lars Podlowski has worked in the German solar industry for more than 20 years. From 2004 to 2014, he served as CTO at Solon, and most recently he was responsible for module design and manufacturing technology for the Tetrasun high-efficiency product line at First Solar.  “As a technology manager, I have many years of experience with all aspects of solar module design and production, and have always worked at the interface between the company and its customers. I now want to draw on this experience to strengthen the range of services offered by PI Berlin”, comments Podlowski on his new position. Dr. Paul Grunow, Dr. Stefan Krauter and Sven Lehmann also remain on the Board of Directors.

About PI Berlin

The Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin provides independent, expert advice on designing, constructing and operating PV power plants worldwide. With its experienced team of researchers and engineers, the institute offers a wide range of design and test services with a focus on quality assurance in complex PV projects. PI Berlin has already provided support for projects with a total rated output of over two gigawatts (GW) worldwide.

The institute also has an IEC-accredited test laboratory at its Berlin site for checking the performance, reliability and resistance of solar modules. Another test laboratory is located in Suzhou, China. The modules are tested according to strict criteria that 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.