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12 January 2009


Ritek launches CIGS PV modules at CES

At the CES ’09 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (8-11 January), Ritek Corp, which is Taiwan’s largest manufacturer of optical disks, exhibited its first photovoltaic (PV) modules, which it has started to supply under the brandname Small Home System (SHS). An initial batch worth $3m has already been shipped to customers.

In mid-October Ritek establish a 50:50 joint venture with crystalline silicon solar cell maker Scheuten Group of Venlo, The Netherlands to manufacture thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells at a plant belonging to Ritek’s organic LED (OLED) subsidiary RiTdisplay in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan.

Scheuten has more than 10 years experience of manufacturing in the solar cell business, as well as a large client base. Via Ritek’s glass substrate manufacturing spin-off AimCore Technology Co Ltd (in which Scheuten has a stake), Ritek first collaborated with Scheuten on downstream production of silicon-based solar cell modules. Then, last August, it agreed a second stage of strategic collaboration to act as Scheuten’s contract manufacturer of crystalline silicon-based solar modules, starting in fourth-quarter 2008 with an annual capacity of 30MW and rising to 200MW next year.

The latest CIGS PV cell manufacturing joint venture represents a third stage of collaboration between the firms. Scheuten has developed the thin-film CIGS solar technology, while Ritek and RiTdisplay have experience in thin-film coating and in developing the corresponding equipment from manufacturing optical media and OLEDs. Ritek reckons that this expertise has enabled faster production start-up compared to other Taiwanese manufacturers. In October, the firms said that annual capacity for CIGS was scheduled to be 30MW, before doubling in both 2009 and 2010 to 120MW.

See related item:

Scheuten and Ritek form joint venture to make CIGS PVs

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