CIS Firm Sulfurcell Is Reborn As Soltecture
The new name ‘Soltecture’ is intended to get to the heart of the firm’s core competencies and stands for superior performance in solar, technology, and architecture.
On the ten-year anniversary of its founding, CIS thin-film pioneer Sulfurcell will be renamed Soltecture.
The Berlin-based company’s new name is intended to reflect the excellence of the company’s integrated solar solutions.
New company name Soltecture on headquarters in Berlin, Germany
CEO and Founder Nikolaus Meyer explains:
“The renaming is a logical step that takes the evolution of our company into account. The new name ‘Soltecture’ gets to the heart of our core competencies and stands for superior performance in solar, technology, and architecture. With the renaming we are signalling and underlining the development of the company from module manufacturer to a provider of optimum integrated PV system solutions."
Soltecture (Sulfurcell) can look back on a ten-year history of success in CIS thin-film technology. Soltecture has been a pioneer in the PV thin-film space since its founding and continues its technological leadership today. From the early module market introduction of thin-film modules based on CIS semiconductors in 2005 and the ramp-up of three fabrication lines to recent record efficiencies of 13.0 % with innovative CIGSe technology, Soltecture stands for excellence in thin-film.
Soltecture has received multiple awards for its cutting-edge research and product development. In 2010 Eurosolar awarded the company the badge of the German Solarprize and the Germany-wide initiative “Land of Ideas" recognised Soltecture (Sulfurcell) as an exemplary and sustainable company. Furthermore, the UK’s Guardian newspaper listed Soltecture among the “hottest 100 clean technology companies in Europe" in the years 2009 and 2010.
Soltecture claims to achieve worldwide peak results with CIS solar modules based on CIGSe semiconductors. The company unveiled the new high-efficiency modules to the public at the end of 2010. TÜV Rheinland officially confirmed the output of 94 W or 12.6 % aperture efficiency. Only weeks later 13.0 % has already been achieved and industrial mass production of the new products has begun. During continuing shift operation (24/7) within just three months of the start of production, a yield of over 80% has been achieved. More than 4 out of 5 high efficiency solar modules produced are meeting the required specifications.
The rapid increase in yields in Soltecture’s state-of-the-art mass production and the marginal deviance in module power (90W +/- 3W) confirm process stability, which is widely recognised as an extraordinary challenge in thin-film module production.
In the coming 10-16 months, Soltecture aims to increase module-efficiency to more than 14% and production yields to over 90%. Based on successful quality control and on the background of series production readiness, the sales and distribution of the new modules have already begun.
Since the end of 2008, Soltecture has begun work on second generation technology, which deploys a CIS layer based on selenium instead of sulphur (indicated by the abbreviation CIGSe instead of CIGS). In the laboratory this technology has been proven to yield the highest efficiencies in the thin-film space.
CIGS- and CIGSe modules are produced with the same equipment in Soltecture’s 35MW production plant in Berlin, Germany. Only for the CIGSe coating process, new specially developed equipment is being used. Yearly production capacity for the product line CIGS is 20MW; the capacity for CIGSe is currently being expanded from 5MW to 15MW.
Soltecture’s research and development work as well as its highly flexible production line in Berlin provides the ideal framework for the development and production of the thin-film products of the future.
In ten years Soltecture has evolved from a leading manufacturer of high-performance thin-film modules to a provider of integrated system solutions. Soltecure offers standardised solutions for intelligent integration of their high-performance and optically aesthetic thin-film modules for construction challenges such as roofs, factories, and modern facades.
“With their engineering expertise and years of experience in solar technology our engineers constantly develop new PV solutions that are perfectly adjusted for solar architecture,“ explains Henrik Kruepper, Executive Director and Chief Sales Officer at Soltecture. “We offer our clients solar integration from one source and that makes us successful in the market.“
These developments have been made possible by the trust of international investors. In recent years, renowned international investors including Intel Capital, Climate Change Capital, and the Vattenfall Europe- and GdF Suez-supported BEU Fund have provided Soltecture with growth financing amounting to more than €110 million.
In the newest financing round on January 2011 investors led by Intel Capital provided €18.8 million for the further development of the company’s innovative CIGSe techology. With this fresh capital, Soltecture is forging ahead with development of production machinery and increasing the capacity of its fully-automated manufacturing facility for the new CIGSe modules.
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