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giovedì 26 gennaio 2017

Swedish solar energy expert Midsummer’s client now produces lightweight flexible solar modules with conversion efficiency at 14 per cent

[Stockholm, Sweden, January 26, 2017.] Midsummera leading supplier of production lines for cost effective manufacturing of lightweight flexible CIGS solar cells, today announced that its Asian client now manufactures lightweight flexible solar modules with conversion efficiency of 14 per cent.

Midsummer previously announced that they have sold their compact DUO solar cell manufacturing system to an Asian client. The system is in production and it produces flexible solar modules at record levels. The flexible solar module is made of cells from the client's factory in Asia.

Midsummer's client has now have passed 14 per cent in conversion efficiency (corresponding to 15.4% aperture area efficiency). The modules tested at the independent research institute Chemitox Inc. in Yamanashi, Japan, were made in the client's mass production line in normal production conditions and with standard process settings with a CIGS layer less than 1 micron in thickness.

"I am happy to announce that our solar modules indeed have increased the conversion efficiency to 14 per cent as verified by an independent testing laboratory. The DUO system is now the most widely spread manufacturing tool for flexible CIGS solar cells, said Sven Lindström, CEO, Midsummer AB. "We have yet again shown that we are the leading provider of turnkey production lines of flexible thin film CIGS".

Inexpensive lightweight flexible solar modules
The Midsummer DUO is a compact, fully automatic deposition system for CIGS solar cell manufacturing. It is designed for operational stability and superior material utilization.

With the production system from Midsummer, the solar cells are manufactured individually and then stringed together into modules just like crystalline solar cells. This way, lightweight flexible modules can easily be made in any size and shape.

A dry, all-vacuum process has less stringent requirements for clean rooms. Avoiding cadmium in the manufacturing process is desirable for the sake of the production staff and also makes it easier to commence low cost manufacturing of CIGS solar cells. 

"
As always, our clients can rely on Midsummer being at the forefront of advanced solar technology and efficiency requirements. Our objective is that our technology shall be a leader in the market segment of lightweight, flexible solar modules", said Sven Lindström, CEO, Midsummer. "Lightweight, flexible solar modules are the future of solar energy since they fit in to the 'distributed energy' trend and can be fitted on buildings, vehicles etc."

About Midsummer
Midsummer is a leading supplier of equipment for cost-effective manufacturing of CIGS thin film flexible solar cells. Midsummer's turnkey manufacturing lines have a small footprint, are perfectly scalable and allow for small-scale production of solar cells and modules.

Midsummer's customers are thin film solar cell manufacturers all over the world. CIGS flexible solar modules are growing in popularity thanks to their low weight, flexibility and durability. Applications are e.g. floating modules, vehicles, landfills, portable power generation and membrane roofs on factories, offices and other structures that are not strong enough for traditional glass modules.

Founded in 2004 by people with a background from the optical disc manufacturing equipment and the photo mask industry, Midsummer has its head office in Stockholm, Sweden. Midsummer was the fastest growing green tech company in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) in 2007-2011 (according to Deloitte).

About CIGS thin film solar cells
CIGS stands for copper-indium-gallium-selenium, a metal alloy that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect (PV). The CIGS absorber is deposited on a stainless steel substrate, along with electrodes on the front to collect current. The cells are then connected in series and covered by a protective layer of plastic to form a flexible solar module.

Since a stainless steel substrate is used, the modules can be made without glass. The CIGS solar modules are therefore much lighter, flexible and can be made frameless, to suit applications where traditional silicon solar cells cannot be used, e.g. on structures that are uneven, moving or weak.

CIGS solar cells are manufactured by sputtering the material onto 156x156 mm stainless steel substrates. The solar cells from Midsummer are free of cadmium, a toxic material usually used in CIGS and other thin film solar cells. Flexible CIGS solar modules are gaining market share thanks to its high efficiency, low weight, flexibility and durability.



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