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11 June 2008


GSE launches thin-film CIGS alternative for silicon module and BIPV manufacturing

At this week’s Intersolar 2008 event in Munich, Germany, Global Solar Energy Inc (GSE) of Tucson, AZ, USA, a manufacturer of thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells for glass modules or flexible substrates, gave demonstrations to launch its PowerFlex Solar Strings product, which it is targeting at current silicon module and building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) manufacturers looking to quickly and efficiently incorporate thin-film technology into their manufacturing processes.

“Thin-film photovoltaics are gaining attention and market share,” said Alfonso Velosa, research director at Gartner. “Roll-to-roll manufacturing processes, a method used by GSE, have the potential to be a disruptive technology in the photovoltaic industry, helping to generate greater activity in BIPV application development,” he adds.

Currently, most thin-film processes deposit materials directly on glass, fixed-size modules, making deviations in their current manufacturing processes difficult. So, silicon-based module manufacturers must make heavy capital investments in order to switch to thin-film and leverage its advantages over costly and rigid silicon, says GSE. In contrast, GSE claims that its ‘roll-to-roll’ manufacturing process is not only much more cost-effective than traditional in-line manufacturing approaches but also that its PowerFlex Solar Strings provide a pre-connected format to its CIGS cells that makes it easy for product designers and module manufacturers to fit thin-film cells into their current manufacturing processes (representing the first, drop-in replacement solar strings).

In addition, since GSE’s CIGS cells are produced on a bendable substrate that provides a flexible, resilient solar material adaptable in shape and size for multiple applications, they open the door for new and innovative designs for the burgeoning building integration markets. PowerFlex Solar Strings therefore enable manufacturers to quickly and easily benefit from the low cost, high efficiency and flexible nature of CIGS, says GSE.

“As more companies enter the thin-film market, the technology will continue to create new innovations and possibilities,” says president and CEO Mike Gering. “PowerFlex Solar Strings help harness this potential, driving thin-film adoption by delivering the only drop-in offering that makes the technology accessible to any interested original equipment manufacturer,” he adds. “Global Solar is dedicated to helping expand the thin-film marketplace, growth which is essential if BIPV products and the future of green buildings are to become a cost-effective and realistic option.”

See related items:

Thin-film solar market to reach 9GW in 2012

GSE opens 40MW CIGS PV plant

Search: GSE CIGS Solar cells