Strip Tinning reveals ‘European first’ with new solar production line

stripTinning300The future of solar powered technology has been unveiled in Birmingham with the showcasing of the results of a €1million European Commission Research Grant.

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid and prospective Northfield MP Rachel Maclean officially opened a new prototype line for producing the next generation of photovoltaic ribbon at Strip Tinning.

The recently appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Ms Maclean were given an insight into the ‘European first’, which has the potential to create 300–750MW of the critical interconnecting material used in solar panels across the globe.

The company, which employs 39 people at its Arden Business Park facility, said that if the prototype line goes to plan, it will invest a further £500,000 into fully automating it for volume production capable of generating €6m of additional export sales and creating ten to fifteen new skilled jobs.

Commercial director Steve O’Connor said it was rare for an SME to secure a European Commission ‘FP 7’ grant. “We have had to bring together a real cross-European partnership, featuring material and engineering companies in Austria, Italy, Sweden and metallurgy specialists at the University of Birmingham,” he added.

“The prototype line we have developed allows us to create solar ribbon that is placed as interconnectors between the blue wafers used in photovoltaic panels you see fitted to a wide range of premises across the world.

“There is a demand for these wafers to be thinner and subsequently this can lead to them breaking easier. What this state-of-the-art line gives us is the opportunity to test technology that we believe will produce softer ribbon with advanced performance characteristics.”

Managing director Richard Barton said that while automotive remained Strip Tinning’s largest market, the new prototype line had the potential to accelerate the firm’s expansion into the solar panel sector.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.


About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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One Response to Strip Tinning reveals ‘European first’ with new solar production line

  1. Pingback: Media Interest in STLs new Solar line and Sajid Javid MP’s visit | Strip Tinning

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