1 September 2011

Manz presents record 14%-efficient thin-film PV module at EU PVSEC 

In Hall A1, Booth B1 at the 26th EU PVSEC 2011 in Hamburg next week (5–8 September), engineering firm Manz AG of Reutlingen, Germany is presenting its range of products for manufacturing crystalline solar cells and thin-film solar module, focusing on the latest developments in copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) technology.

With its CIGSfab, Manz offers what is claimed to be the only fully integrated production line for CIGS thin-film solar modules that can be operated profitably today. Manz is showcasing CIGSfab’s capabilities in a first presentation of its record thin-film module, which has an aperture efficiency of 15.1% (corresponding to 14% module efficiency). With an original production format of 600mm x 1200mm and an output of 100W, the module was manufactured on mass-production equipment in cooperation with CIGS PV module maker Würth Solar GmbH at their plant in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany.

“Module manufacturers are currently seeing a dramatic drop in prices worldwide,” says founder & CEO Dieter Manz. “The only companies that will survive financially are the ones positioned as cost leaders and offering the modules with the highest efficiency available,” he adds. “Our CIGSfab accommodates both requirements, and it is based on the most promising technology in thin-film today,” he reckons. 

Since entering into a partnership in summer 2010, Manz has been developing its CIGS technology with Würth Solar and the Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, ZSW) in Stuttgart. ZSW currently holds the efficiency record for all thin-film technologies (20.3%), demonstrating the possibilities that CIGS technology can offer in the future, says Manz. “The challenge now for our cooperation efforts is to significantly reduce the gap between the laboratory values and the level of efficiency achieved in mass production,” says Dieter Manz.

Manz is also presenting progress made so far at the CIGSforum event on Tuesday 6 September at 11:30am. 

At PVSEC, Manz is also presenting its range of process machines and automation equipment that can be integrated into existing production lines for crystalline and thin-film solar modules. “After the decline in prices seen during the past few months, a large number of the production lines used around the world no longer operate economically,” says Manz. “But they can be upgraded to make them more efficient and, as a result, profitable once again.” Cell and module manufacturers can achieve efficiency advantages primarily by increasing module efficiency, reducing material consumption, or through the systematic optimization of individual process steps, Manz says. To achieve this, the firm says that it offers affordable automation systems, innovative laser technology, and high-performance inspection equipment.

See related items:

Manz awarded €3.8m for German project to boost efficiency and cut cost for CIGS PV

Tags: Manz CIGS PV

Visit: www.manz.com/cigsforum

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