Securing global competitiveness of German PV

25. July 2011 | Top News, Industry & Suppliers | By:  Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger

Named the 'CIS Cluster Tool' project, work has started on the development of new manufacturing procedures for copper indium selenide (CIS) based thin films. The project aims to make a significant contribution towards securing the global competitiveness of German photovoltaics and supply industry in the medium and long term.

The CIS Cluster Tool projects is a collaboration between German companies. Image: AVANCIS GmbH & Co. KG

The CIS Cluster Tool project is a collaboration between German companies AVANCIS GmbH & Co. KG (CIS module producer), SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG (plant construction), HERAEUS Noblelight GmbH (infrared heat technology) and the IfG Institute for Scientific Instruments GmbH (measurement techniques) as part of a sponsoring project within the "Photovoltaics Innovations Alliance". The project is expected to be in operation for three years.

The overall objective seeks to research a new manufacturing process for CIS films to achieve the highest level of efficiency of thin film solar modules combined with a significant increase of plant throughput compared with existing concepts. An industrial manufacturing process is to be developed on the basis of findings from a planned demonstration plant, with which the costs of manufacturing thin film photovoltaic modules per watt peak can be significantly reduced.

The project aims to pursue a number of significant development themes:

  • New plant concepts and processes: Research on innovative Rapid Thermal Processing.
  • New full process chains: Combination of selenide coating with the Rapid Thermal Processing of CIS semiconductors to achieve increased process control, higher efficiency and improved plant technology in a bid to decrease costs.
  • New in-situ analystics: Research on new in-situ measurement processes to improve control and understand physiochemical processes in semiconductor production. Use of knowledge on process optimisation with regard to optimising efficiency and minimising processing time.

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