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Photon Conference To Concentrate On CIGS

The thin film solar cell conference will present leading CIGS players on February 1 and 2, 2012, in San Francisco

 While the recent failure of PV thin-film start-up, Solyndra, which had received over $500 million in US government loan guarantees, has caused huge uproar beyond solar circles, there's exciting news from several companies and researchers active in CIGS/CIS technology.

"It's worthwhile taking another close look at CIGS," says Michael Schmela, chairman of Photon's 4th Thin Film Conference to be held in San Francisco on February 1, 2012.

Solar Frontier is the first CIGS company to have a gigawatt-scale production capacity, and many further CIGS start-ups are ramping to mass production as well. "No doubt, the market environment is getting even tougher as crystalline silicon module prices drop to incredibly low levels, but several newly reported CIGS efficiency records provide hope for this promising thin-film technology," says Schmela.

At Photon's Thin Film Conference, which will exclusively focus on CIGS, speakers from the most exciting stakeholders in this technology will provide the latest insights.

AQT has just raised $19 million, which it plans to use for a second CIGS line. CEO Michael Bartholomeusz will talk about "getting CIGS 3.0 ready for commercialisation."

Avancis opened its second CIS factory in December. CEO Hartmut Fischer will discuss "partnering for success - from sole production in Germany to a new JV factory with Hyundai in Asia."

Centrotherm / FHR has supplied CIGS module turnkey lines to Taiwan and equipment for flexible CIGS in Germany. CEO Torsten Winkler will talk about "equipment for flexible CIGS production."

Intermolecular, which recently went public, is developing a new CIGS technology. Jeroen van Duren, head of PV, will talk about "accelerating the CIGS learning curve."

Manz took over the production line from Würth Solar at the end of last year and presented a 15.1 percent efficient module. Its CEO, Dieter Manz, will discuss "turnkey lines for high-efficiency CIGS modules."

Markus Beck was the head of First Solar's CIGS project, which was recently shut down. He will talk about "CIS - a process-agnostic view of the requirements for high-volume manufacturing."

Nanosolar has developed an exciting printing technology. Dave Jackrel, the VP of R&D, will talk about "cracking the code on CIGS."

NuvoSun finished a new factory in Milpitas, California, and has just raised $29 million in a third funding round, among others from Dow Chemical. CEO Dave Pearce will talk about "minimizing CIGS cost through internal equipment design."

NREL is one of the world leaders in CIGS research. Rommel Noufi, group manager of thin-film PV, will talk about "promises and challenges of CIGS technology."

MiaSolé recently hired a former First Solar executive to head the company and plans to achieve 15-percent module efficiency in mid-2012. Atiye Bayman, the VP of process technology, will talk about "production of world-record efficiency CIGS modules."

Solar Frontier is one of the world's largest CIGS manufacturers and just announced a 150 MW module supply deal with enXco. Solar Frontier's general manager, Ichiro Sugiyama, will discuss "low-cost manufacturing at gigawatt capacity."

SoloPower was awarded a $197 million US Department of Energy loan guarantee to expand its production of flexible modules to 400 MW. The company's CTO, Mustafa Pinarbasi, will provide an update.

Stion is building a factory in Mississippi, and in December it decided to establish a thin-film factory in South Korea. Aaron Thurlow, the company's VP, will provide the latest status on the company's expansion.

TÜV Rheinland is a world-leading institute for testing solar modules. Markus Schweiger will present the "performance characteristics of CIGS modules compared to other PV technologies."

Photon's 4th Solar Thin Film Conference is part of Photon's Solar Terawatt-hours Conference Series USA. This year's 2-day conference series, which includes four events (on thin films, PV safety, inverters and utility-scale solar), takes place on February 1-2, 2012, at the University of California, San Francisco's Mission Bay Conference Centre.
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