CIGS solar cell production line supplier Midsummer has increased the efficiency of its solar cells from a 15% to 16.2% aperture area of ??a full 156×156 mm solar cell.
The Swedish company manufactured the cell in a regular production run and the process is already implemented in the production line.
"Considering that the solar cell is made on stainless steel, contains no cadmium and that the production process is an all-dry, all vacuum process where all layers (including the buffer layer) are deposited by sputtering, this achievement by our engineers is truly impressive," said Midsummer CEO Sven Lindstrom.
With the production system from Midsummer the solar cells are manufactured individually and then stringed together into modules like crystalline solar cells, making it possible to produce lightweight flexible modules in any size and shape, the company said.
Midsummer pointed out that a dry, all-vacuum process has less stringent requirements for clean-rooms. "Avoiding cadmium in the manufacturing process is desirable for the sake of the production staff and also makes it easier to commence low cost manufacturing of CIGS solar cells."
Market shifts towards rooftop installations
"The global solar cell market is facing a paradigm shift," Lindstrom said. "Fewer large solar energy parks are being built in Europe. Instead, focus is moving to installations on large buildings in cities. The lightweight and flexible thin film solar cells are ideal for this use. It is economically and environmentally more beneficial to use solar energy locally, where it is produced."
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