Midsummer books repeat order for its flexible CIGS DUO line

Midsummer is receiving interest for its flexible CIGS solar production equipment from an undisclosed Asian multinational company. It has booked a promising repeat order for its DUO system, after a previously supplied DUO exceeded efficiency targets by more than one percent.

The DUO system can deposit a CIGS semiconductor stack onto a flexible substrate in a roll-to-roll process. Midsummer says that this allows its technology to be deployed in a range of applications including rooftops where standard modules would be too heavy, such as membrane roofing, and in transport applications.

Midsummer had shipped the first DUO tool to the unnamed Asian client in 2015 and will now supply a second before the conclusion of this year.

“Our focus on lightweight, flexible modules appeals to the market, as well as our use of sputtering for all layers, and that the production process is an all-dry, all vacuum process,” said Midsummer CEO Sven Lindström, in a statement.

Lindström continued that as mature PV markets such as Europe transition from predominately large scale PV power plants to more distributed generation projects, that demand for more flexible solutions will grow.

“Fewer large scale solar energy parks are being built in Europe and the global solar cell market is facing a paradigm shift. Focus is shifting to installations on large buildings in cities,” said Lindström. “Lightweight and flexible thin film solar cells are ideal for this market. It is economically and environmentally more beneficial to use solar energy locally, where it is produced.”

Midsummer’s DUO system is available in capacities as low as 5 MW and the company claims that it is, “the only company processing individual stainless steel substrates into finished cells in an unbroken vacuum chain.” This results in yields as high as 98% and a cold start up that only takes a matter of minutes, the company claims.

The Swedish CIGS equipment developer additionally notes that its vacuum chambers are relatively small, allowing sputter targets and shields to be changed “within a matter of minutes.” It can produce flexible modules with an efficiency exceeding 13%.