Sweden-based Midsummer has increased the efficiency of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells manufactured on its equipment from 15% to 16.2%.
The equipment maker says the gains come by increasing the effectiveness of the active area of the 156 mm Ã� 156 mm solar cell addressed by its manufacturing process from 2.8 W to 3.07 W. The solar cell was manufactured in a regular production run, and the process is already implemented in the production line.
Sven Lindstrom, Midsummer's CEO, says the improvement is notable considering that the solar cell is made on stainless steel in an all-dry, all-vacuum process where all layers are deposited by sputtering. Solar cells produced with Midsummer's process are manufactured individually and then strung together into flexible modules in a variety of sizes and shapes.
‘Fewer large solar energy parks are being built in Europe,’ Lindstrom says. ‘Instead, focus is moving to installations on large buildings in cities. The lightweight and flexible thin-film solar cells are ideal for this use. It is economically and environmentally more beneficial to use solar energy locally, where it is produced.’