Solar Cells - CIGS technology

Solar energy, alongside with other types of renewable energy sources gains still greater popularity around the world. Solar power stations and solar cell panels on the roofs of houses take a prominent place in the energy system.

Different technologies are used in manufacturing of solar cells. Meanwhile, basic advantages of a certain technology are principally defined by the two parameters: efficiency of light to electricity transformation and cost of production. CIGS technology (based on Cu(In,Ga)Se2 compounds) is the leading one in efficiency among thin film solar cells. Production cost reduction in CIGS technology is hampered by several technological problems: their solution will open the widest possibilities to dominate a huge market of solar energy ($44 bln in 2011).

IZOVAC has been independently developing theCIGS technology since 2006. In January 2010, the ITRI Center for measurement Standards (Taiwan) proved high technical achievements of IZOVAC developers: we produced a monolithic integrated CIGS solar cell module with peak efficiency ranking with the best industrial samples. However, these were manufactured with the use of low cost, highly productive technology of reactive magnetron sputtering.

The results achieved allowed concentration on further reduction of production costs by orienting the research towards flexible solar cells. When compared to traditional glass-based solar cell panels, flexible solar cells enjoy a number of other undeniable advantages, beside lower material consumption, that help reducing expenses on their use and broaden the potential markets, i.e. light weight, wide possibilities for design, the use on surfaces with any configuration (roof tiles, rolled roofing, airplane wings, automobile roof and hood, mobile phones, laptops, hiking gear, etc.).

At present IZOVAC is working over improving the technology used to apply thin film layers of the CIGS structure on flexible polyamide substrates. The company is planning to build a factory to manufacture flexible solar cells (SIGSlimtrademark) with annual capacity of at least 25 MW.