13 October 2011

Singulus adds vacuum-coating system to CIGS/CIS PV process equipment portfolio; receives first order

Singulus Technolgies AG of Kahl am Main, Germany, which makes production equipment for the Optical Disc and Solar sectors, has launched a new processing system for vacuum-coating copper indium gallium diselenide/copper indium sulphide (CIGS/CIS) thin-film solar cells.

Compared with technologies based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) or monocrystalline or amorphous silicon, copper-based CIGS/CIS semiconductor compounds - based on a layer made from copper (Cu), indium (In) and selenium (Se) along with gallium (Ga) and sulphur (S) - offer considerable future potential in terms of cost per watt and efficiency, says Singulus.

In its recently published ‘PV Status Report 2011’ the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission anticipates that the market shares of thin-film technologies will rise to 21% (17GW) in 2012 and reach 26% (27GW out of 102GW) in 2015. The current challenges include steadily increasing efficiency, which has already reached about 20% in pre-industrial production, and reducing the manufacturing costs so that the technology can compete with crystalline modules in the long term.

Singulus says that its new system responds to the demand in the PV industry for development tools that enhance the efficiency of thin-film solar cells, while cutting production costs. The firm says that the main advantage of its new system is that it can be used for vertical vacuum-based coating of glass substrates. This gives Singulus access to a new field of operations in the high-growth market for thin-film photovoltaics and adds another production stage to its range of processing systems for CIGS/CIS cell manufacturing.

Through its existing TENUIS GEN2, VITRUM GEN2 and CISARIS systems, Singulus supplies wet-chemical processing and selenization systems for second-generation CIGS/CIS cells. The new vacuum-coating system adds a further production stage to its portfolio, which already spans the key processes of CIGS/CIS cell production.

Singulus has already received its first order for the system. “We are now in a stronger position as a partner of thin-film solar manufacturers,” believes CEO Dr Stefan Rinck. “Our ideas and product solutions pave the way for using and developing processes that help significantly reduce the production costs of thin-film modules per watt-peak,” he adds.

Tags: Singulus CIGS/CIS PV

Visit: www.singulus.de

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