SolarGlas AG Builds The First Float Glass Furnace 100% Dedicated To The Production Of Solar Glass; Environmentally Friendly Operation With Pure Oxygen

The growth of the solar markets, both PV and thermal, create a shortage of  ultra-white (low iron) glass. Munich based SolarGlas AG starts to build a  specialised float glass plant for the production of solar glass to serve this  market.

After an extensive site selection process the decision was taken for  Forst in the federal state of Brandenburg, Germany, because of the vicinity  to a large portion of German solar module manufacturers, the great commitment  of the municipality with its mayor J. Goldschmidt and the support by the federal state of Brandenburg with its federal agency “ZukunftsAgentur  Brandenburg”.

The furnace will have a daily capacity of up to 500 tons, which equals an  annual production capacity of around 15 – 18 million square meters. The  furnace concept brings together innovative technologies for the first time: a  so-called “dual-furnace” for the production of structured cast glass for conventional  silicon modules and also float glass for thin film and solar thermal  applications. Another world novelty is the operation of the furnace with an  oxygen-gas mixture. This saves about 25% of energy and reduces the emissions  by about 50%. Therefore, this furnace will produce solar glass in the  most environmentally friendly way for the application in “green” products. Technology partners of SolarGlas AG are the expert engineering company  DTEC in Gelsenkirchen as well as other well reputed German companies with huge experience in the glass industry. The oxygen supply as well as the special know-how for the burner technology is provided by Linde Group.

Süddeutsche Leasing GmbH in Ulm, which is specialised in finance leasing of  large industrial production lines, backs the funding.  SolarGlas AG invests more than 60 million Euro. This amount includes all up-  and downstream production steps as well as already planned future additions.  The investment creates about 120 new jobs in an otherwise economically  underdeveloped area. First glass output is scheduled for June 2009. At  the moment, first talks for long-term delivery contracts are being held and  first deals are under preparation.

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