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11 December 2018

Life cycle assessment reveals minimal carbon footprint from Midsummer’s CIGS solar cell production

A new study commissioned by Midsummer AB of Järfälla, near Stockholm, Sweden (and reviewed and approved by Swedish independent third-party institute Miljögiraff AB) shows that its proprietary flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film solar module manufacturing process is much more environmentally friendly than other solar module production processes (such as those for silicon-based solar modules).

The objective of the life-cycle assessment (LCA) study by Swedish industrial research institute Swerea IVF was to understand the environmental impact of Midsummer’s production method for flexible CIGS solar module in a life-cycle perspective. The results showed much lower CO2 emission compared with not only similar modules made of silicon but also other thin-film technologies. Compared with the production of silicon solar modules, the rapid sputtering production process for thin-film solar modules can result in a global warming potential (GWP) of just 1/10 of the silicon modules, it is reckoned.

“As solar energy installations spread globally, there will be an increased focus on its carbon footprint and energy payback,” says Midsummer’s CEO Sven Lindström. “To manufacture energy-demanding silicon panels, glass and aluminium frames with dirty coal power is not environmentally friendly,” he adds. “PV suppliers will be increasingly judged on the climate effect of their production processes. Here, Midsummer has a clear advantage with its extremely small carbon footprint. Our manufacturing process is very energy efficient and we don’t use silicon, glass or frames.”

Another reason for the low carbon footprint is the extremely thin light-absorbing CIGS layer. Midsummer uses less than 1μm of CIGS materials in its production process, enabling not only a fast production process but also low energy consumption.

Tags:  CIGS Thin-film PV

Visit:  www.midsummer.se

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