3 December 2010

centrotherm acquires 14.4% of Taiwan CIGS firm Sunshine PV

centrotherm photovoltaics AG of Blaubeuren, Germany, which provides equipment for the production of solar silicon, crystalline solar cells and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules, has purchased 14.4% of the share capital of Taiwanese CIGS thin-film solar module maker Sunshine PV Corp.

centrotherm photovoltaics subsidiary Photovoltaics Asia Invest Pte Ltd of Singapore has invested a single-digit amount in millions of euros in Sunshine as part of a capital increase. The stake is to be expanded to a total of about 25% early next year.

centrotherm photovoltaics says that, with the share purchase, it has taken a strategic step to introducing new second-generation selenium plants at Sunshine, advancing centrotherm photovoltaics' CIGS thin film technology. The investment also enables close cooperation with Sunshine, allowing manufacturing systems to be operated and further optimized under real mass-production conditions.

“We are pleased to further develop this second thin-film generation jointly with Sunshine,” says Dr Frank Stubhan, CEO of centrotherm photovoltaics’ Thin Film Module division. “CIGS thin-film technology offers enormous potential. With this step, we are backing this future market in a targeted manner,” he adds. “We are currently experiencing major interest for CIGS technology from potential new customers.” Together with its Taiwanese customer, centrotherm photovoltaics is working on boosting efficiency and throughput at the pilot plant. Sunshine is currently starting to sell the first modules from its Taiwanese production base.

Solarion orders FHR’s CIGS roll-to-roll coating systems

centrotherm photovoltaics’ subsidiary FHR Anlagenbau GmbH of Ottendorf-Okrilla, Germany, which makes foil coating systems for PV applications, has won a major order (worth a double-digit amount in millions of euros) to supply several roll-to-roll coating systems to Leipzig-based CIGS PV cell and module maker Solarion AG (for shipment next year).

The systems will form a central component of a CIGS thin-film solar cell production system with an annual capacity of 20MW. Together with strategic investor Walsin Lihwa Corp of Taiwan, Solarion is planning to expand production to 180MW at the Leipzig site.

“CIGS technology provides the highest efficiency potential in the photovoltaic thin-film area,” says centrotherm photovoltaics’ chief technology officer Dr Peter Fath. The roll-to-roll process, where a plastic foil runs over a tape drive with several rolls and is coated photovoltaically, also offers further advantages. “These flexible, light and unbreakable cells are also particularly suited to large industrial roofs, and applications such as the textile, automotive and aerospace industries,” he adds. Thin-film solar cells generated using this roll-to-roll procedure are unrivalled with regard to curved surfaces, he claims.

FHR and Solarion have been jointly developing technologies and systems to produce extremely light and flexible CIGS thin-film solar cells on plastic substrates since 2002. “With the fourth generation of these foil coating systems, we are now taking the step into the mass production of flexible CIGS solar cells,” says FHR’s managing director Dr Reinhard Fendler.

See related items:

centrotherm produces its first CIGS PV modules at Taiwanese customer

Tags: centrotherm photovoltaics CIGS Solarion

Visit: www.centrotherm-pv.com/en

Visit: www.fhr-ab.de

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