Singulus advances CIGS technology on glass
The firm has unveiled the TENUIS GEN 2 process system for CIS and CIGS modules which is claimed to offer significant cost advantages in the application of buffer layers on thin film solar cells.
Singulus Technologies has presented a promising new development on the way to the efficient wet-chemical coating of thin film solar modules made of CIGS on glass.
The second generation of the TENUIS production line has a modular cluster build basis and is said to enable both significant savings in terms of required floor space and the simultaneous one-side coating of two substrates. Due to new and unique concepts in terms of dosing and temperature control, the developers at the subsidiary Singulus STANGL SOLAR (Singulus STANGL) were successful in reducing the process time by up to 20 %, which has a positive effect and a considerably higher output in production.
The new TENUIS generation offers substantial cost advantages in the production of high performance CIS/CIGS thin film solar cells. Furthermore, the costs are significantly reduced by temperature profiles adjusted to the process and by very efficient use of process chemicals, so that the new system consistently exploits the savings potential in the manufacturing of thin film solar cells.
Compared with its predecessor the TENUIS GEN 2 version not only reduces the production time but also the required floor space by 30 % and saves footprint and maintenance costs accordingly. Due to the space-saving design the new system is easily integrated into existing production lines. For a higher throughput several production machines can be combined to a large production complex.
The TENUIS GEN 2 also provides advantages upon commissioning and in the ramp-up stage. Because of the new cluster design the commissioning can commence modularly after a short installation time and the first substrates can be coated. The following cluster can be assembled simultaneously or consecutively. Correspondingly, the TENUIS GEN 2 meets the ever increasing demands of the market with respect to the reduction of the commissioning and ramp-up times.
It is extremely important for cell manufacturers to continuously advance processes and throughput to gain an advantage over the competitors. Here the TENUIS GEN 2 also offers ideal prerequisites since a module for alternative processes can be run independently in the production line. As a consequence, know-how is gained on a production scale and under real conditions.
Singulus STANGL's TENUIS GEN 2 provides the possibility of using alternative coating materials such as ZnS. The extensive process know-how of the developers in Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany, which is combined in Singulus STANGL’s systems, results in optimised operating costs and total costs of ownership.
Singulus says the new coating system is offers extremely stable and reproducible process results and very high up time. The re-launch of the TENUIS system is completed by a new software user interface.