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CDM completes largest CIGS array

Largest rooftop CIGS photovoltaic array installed in Italy

Photovoltaics specialist, CDM, has announced completion of what it describes as “the largest CIGS PV installation in the world”, comprising 3,600 228w panels installed on a rooftop in the province of Vicenza, Italy. The rooftop array is located near the town of Orgiano and uses new second-generation CIGS modules (Copper/Indium/Gallium-De Selenide).


One of the benefits of CIGS technology is that it can be used to generate more electricity under the same light conditions than other currently available technologies and therefore, has a higher output. “The conversion efficiency of CIGS is very stable over time and this means that the electrical output will remain without significant changes over the years,” says CMD, adding that “the indium and copper component has the ability to absorb the solar spectrum and this allows up to 99% utilisation in the first few microns of the material”.


The absorption capacity makes the indium/copper an excellent and efficient medium as a PV material; moreover, it also has a small amount of gallium/deSelenide that covers the entire solar spectrum, optimising solar radiation absorption. Gallium also increases the current and the efficiency of the solar cell itself. Cell conversion efficiencies decrease more slowly over time with CIGS, offering a notable increase in Kwh/Kwp and implying “that CIGS is the technology of the future”.


“The projected production of the installation was slated to produce 1,100 Kw but our initial results have demonstrated that the actual production may be more than 1,100,000 kw/h per annum and this further demonstrates that there are more possibilities for the CIGS technology,” declares CMD in a recent press release.

Power generated by the CIGS array is converted and monitored using Solar Max100C central inverters, set up in strings and controlled through MaxConnect Plus. All of the production data is transmitted via Ethernet, allowing for 100% control of the installation.


CMD reports that the new CIGS array produces 18% more Kw/h that another of its PV arrays using CaTe 275 (75W) modules from First Solar.


Currently, CMD has a rooftop installation of 67KW above its premises where different technologies can be compared side by side. “Today’s most influential technologies such as Micro-Morph, First Solar, Polycrystalline, Fuji Flex and CIGS are feature on our rooftop and have public access from 9 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday,” says the company.


This Orgiano array was developed with the support of Espacasa SL (Spain), Yohkon Energia SL (Spain) and Global Solar Energy (USA).


Source: Renewable Energy Magazine www.renewableenergymagazine.com

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