Belgian startup offers custom CIGS solar foils

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Anticipating growth in demand for lightweight, robust, flexible, and customized solar PV modules, Belgium-based Enfoil intends to establish local roll-to-roll manufacturing of custom solar foils made with the company's copper-indium-gallium selenium (CIGS) thin film on flexible substrate technology.

“We are planning to produce ourselves. At first manufacturing during build-up is at partner site until we reach enough volume for our own line using the principle of mass customization,” Marc Meuris, Enfoil CTO, told pv magazine, adding that the startup had already shipped some products.

Enfoil’s CIGS foils will be made to order based on customers’ design specifications. Lengths of over 10 meters can be ordered. The power conversion efficiency is 17%. It weighs just under 2 kilograms per square meter, measures less than 2 mm thick, with a bend radius of  over 10 cm.

“A wide array of applications will be possible, such as integrating the solar cells on swimming pool covers or roof tiles,” Meuris said in a statement. “Currently, we mostly focus on the logistics sector, aiming to integrate our materials on roofs and sidewalls of trucks to power their sensors and track & trace systems. It would save the battery, and under abundant sunlight, the battery could even be charged.”

The material is compatible with injection molding, thermoforming, lamination, and gluing. Service includes feasibility and integration of the final products.

Enfoil received a startup grant of €150,000 (165,600)  for its proof of concept from the European Research Council. The company is a spinoff of Hasselt University and Belgian research institute imec.

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