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Singulus’ new CIGS / CIS processing system selected

The new tool gives Singulus access to a new field of operations in thin-film photovoltaics and adds another production stage to its range of processing systems for the manufacture of CIGS/CIS cells.

Singulus Technologies is unveiling a new processing system for vacuum-coating CIGS/CIS thin-film solar cells.

The new system responds to current demand in the photovoltaic industry for development tools that enhance the efficiency of thin-film solar cells, while cutting production costs. Singulus has already had its first order for such a system.

The main advantage of the new system is that it can be used for vertical vacuum-based coating of glass substrates. This gives Singulus access to a new field of operations in the high-growth market for thin-film photovoltaics and adds another production stage to its range of processing systems for the manufacture of CIGS/CIS cells.

-Ing. Stefan Rinck, CEO of Singulus, remarked, “We are now in a stronger position as a partner of thin-film solar manufacturers. Our ideas and product solutions pave the way for using and developing processes that help significantly reduce the production costs of thin-film modules per watt-peak.

CIGS/CIS technology is regarded as one of the most promising PV technologies. Compared to technologies based on CdTe or monocrystalline or amorphous sulphur, many believe that copper-based semiconductor compounds offer considerable future potential in terms of cost per watt and efficiency.

In its recently published “PV Status Report 2011” the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission anticipates that the market shares of thin-film technologies will rise to 21 percent (17 GW) in 2012 and reach 26 percent (27 out of 102 GW) in 2015. The current challenges include steadily increasing efficiency, which has already reached around 20 % in pre-industrial production, and reducing the manufacturing costs so that the technology can compete with crystalline modules in the long term.

Through its TENUIS GEN2, VITRUM GEN2 and CISARIS systems, Singulus supplies wet-chemical processing and selenization systems for second-generation CIGS/CIS cells and has thus positioned itself at the vanguard of technology leaders for pioneering development and production systems.

The new vacuum-coating system adds a further production stage to its portfolio, which already spans the key processes of CIGS/CIS cell production. In light of the anticipated volume of investment in production lines for CIGS/CIS thin-film solar cells, Singulus believes the long-term prospects of the solar segment to be bright. Through its new system concepts and innovative processes, the company is promoting the development of solar technology, which will play an increasingly important role in the global energy mix.
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