The PEPPERONI kick-off meeting was held at Qcells in Thalheim, Germany!

Last week, on the 24th and 25th of November, the PEPPERONI consortium came together to launch the project and establish the framework of collaboration for the next four years. The meeting hosted by Qcells, Thalheim, Germany brought together around 50 participants, of which 40 attended in person. The hybrid format allowed all PEPPERONI partners to join the meeting and benefit from discussions of this interdisciplinary network.

For many participants it was the first time to meet representatives from the 17 partners in person. The consortium is a perfect combination of European knowledge and expertise from fundamental research to small-scale testing and development of solar cells to high-throughput industrial manufacturing of large solar modules.

What was on the agenda?

Organisational, scientific, technical and social aspects were all addressed through well-balanced sessions, each with a different focus. The morning of the first day was dedicated to various introductions, including a project overview by Fabian Fertig (Qcells) and presentations by all PEPPERONI partners introducing their organisations and their roles in the project. The first day’s afternoon session was kick-off with a presentation by the project officer, Irene Pinedo from CINEA, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, about their role and expectations towards PEPPERONI.  Her contribution was followed by high-quality presentations on work packages delivered by WPs leaders:

  • WP1 – PEPPERONI – administration and organisation
  • WP2 – Tandem solar cell and module pilot line
  • WP3 – Tandem cell process integration
  • WP4 – Module integration of high-efficiency tandems
  • WP5 – Manufacturing tools for pilot production
  • WP6 – Improvement and scalability of materials
  • WP7 – Reliability through Indoor Testing and Outdoor Monitoring
  • WP8 – Economic, environmental and societal aspects of technology
  • WP9 – Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation


Fabian Fertig (Qcells) presented key tasks and aims of WP2, focusing on the next steps and work organisation to set up critical infrastructure and operations for a tandem solar cell and module pilot line. Bernd Stannowski (HZB), navigated partners through WP3, including steps of the silicon bottom cell development, tandem cell design, integration and characterisation. Quentin Jeangros (CSEM) explained, among other points, the processes of interconnecting from single small-scale cells to full-area tandem strings as well as various upgrades for pilot line processing. In the presentation of WP5, Fabian Fertig elaborated on equipment that will help to implement developed processes into the pilot line successfully. Following this, Tadas Malinauskas (KTU) talked about materials development, chemical composition and upscaling processes of materials manufacturing.

The WP7 presentation by Marko Topic (ULjub) focusing on testing and outdoor monitoring methods of the developed technology, including lifetime performance and energy yield analysis, started the second day of the meeting. Economic, environmental and societal aspects of technology were addressed by Pierre Boucard (INERIS) presenting WP8, including eco-design, life-cycle analysis and material scarcity risk analysis. Besides scientific and technical topics, other key aspects of the project including project management and communication were also covered. The corresponding work packages WP1 and WP9 presented by Johannes Ripperger and Joanna Plesniak (both from accelompment Schweiz AG)  framed the WP presentations.

Although each session included time for discussions, these lively extended to coffee and lunch breaks, allowing partners to elaborate on ideas, plan collaborations and establish contacts.

Appreciated by all attendees, a guided tour through the Qcells Research & Development facilities in Thalheim, Germany closed the PEPPERONI kick-off meeting.

It was a pleasant and productive gathering, which fostered the dialogue between all project partners representing different elements of the value chain: equipment and material suppliers, academia and research organisations, large-scale manufacturing and management and communication experts. Summing up, the first PEPPERONI meeting set the tone for the upcoming 4 years of exciting research, technology development and intense collaboration between 17 organisations across 12 different countries for one joint goal: to identify and address the barriers to tandem solar technology’s market introduction, and ultimately lay the foundations for new production capacity in Europe.

To keep up to date with PEPPERONI, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get PV industry insights and stay informed about PEPPERONI’s progress.