Singulus joins CIGS machinery market

13. October 2011 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By:  Jonathan Gifford

German solar machinery supplier, Singulus has entered the growing thin-film market with a new Copper-Indium-Selenium and Gallium and Sulphur (CIGS) thin-film solar cell processing system.

A diagram of CIGS.

CIGS equipment is becoming available from a number of machinery sources including SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES. Image: Wikipedia/Dantor.

Singulus, in announcing its new system, claims to have already received its first order. It uses a vertical vacuum-based coating of the glass substrates, which the company claims is an advantage.

Stefan Rinck, CEO of Singulus Technologies AG issued a statement announcing the new CIGS process on offer. "We are now in a stronger position as a partner of thin-film solar manufacturers. Our ideas and product solutions pave the way for using and developing processes that help significantly reduce the production costs of thin-film modules per watt-peak."

Wintergreen Research’s recent report into thin-film research and the market, has forecast that thin-film photovoltaics will increase its revenue levels from USD$2.9 billion in 2010 to $44 billion worldwide in 2017. This is an expansion of some 1,500 percent in less than a decade.

CIGS is also seen by many to be a technology with significant potential, due to lower production costs in comparison with silicon manufacturers and an absence of toxic elements such as the telluride in cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules produced by thin-film giant First Solar.

Singulus is far from alone in the CIGS machinery market however, with Manz having already released a CIGS fab onto the market. Manz's partnership with manufacturer Würth Solar recently resulted in a module-efficiency output of 15.1 percent for a 600x12000mm module.

Head of Manz’s Corporate Communications Axel Bartmann told pv magazine that while there have not bee large-scale sales of its CIGSfab there has been interest shown.

"Interest in our CIGSfab has been very high, especially in our technological achievement which is shown in the world record production size module for thin-film with a module efficiency of 14 percent."

The December Edition of pv magazine will feature a special on CIGS in an issue that will include a focus on thin film.

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