06 July 2012
Thin-film photovoltaics have to compete not only with other solar cell technologies but also with fossil and other renewable energy sources. This, according to the European Society of Thin Films (EFDS) and Singulus Technologies, requires the development of new production technologies that increase efficiency and productivity.
A workshop hosted by the two organizations discussed promising technology approaches in research labs that now need to be transferred into industrial production. This transfer “from lab to fab” can only be achieved by a cooperation of cell manufacturers, equipment suppliers and institutes, whereas equipment suppliers play a major role to enable these revolutionary developments, say EFDS and Singulus.
At the 21 June workshop, “Challenges in the upscaling of thin-film solar cell production” at Singulus’ headquarters in Kahl am Main, Germany, members of leading research institutes, equipment manufacturers and suppliers gave presentations on current and future challenges in the production of thin-film solar cells and modules. Due to the cost pressure in the thin-film solar industry, the participants focused on cost-effective production technologies and methods of inline quality assurance. In addition, they discussed new material and module concepts with the potential to further increase the efficiency of thin-film modules.
The workshop featured a cross-disciplinary discussion on possibilities to increase the efficiency of solar cells based on copper, indium, gallium, sulphur and selenium (CIGS) and to reduce investment and manufacturing costs at the same time.