South African firm starts CIGS production

A CIGS thin film manufacturing company spun out of the University of Johannesburg today launched a demonstration R&D plant near Stellenbosch with the aim of mass-producing thin film modules.

Photovoltaic Technology Intellectual Property (PTiP) opened its production line at the Techno Park with financial backing from two South African state departments and the European Investment Bank as well as technology from German thin film manufacturing equipment company Singulus Technologies.

PTiP targets conversion rate improvements

PTiP intends to use the R&D facility to improve module efficiencies, tailor panels to the demands of the South African market and scale up production to commercial scale.

A press release issued by Kahl am Main-based Singulus today did not state the production capacity of the demonstration facility, which secured backing from the South African government’s Department of Economic Development – via its Industrial Development Corporation – and the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology Innovation Agency.

Singulus CEO Stefan Rinck said the German firm supplied four key processes to the manufacturing facility: vacuum coating, selenization and two work steps in the wet-chemical area. Rinck added Singulus will co-operate with PTiP in the expansion stages of CIGS thin film production.