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Germany Sulfurcell build 75MW CIS thin-film modules factory

In Electronic Infomation Category: R | on April   18, 2011

Development of new technologies take time. Sulfurcell Solar Co., Ltd. is a good example.

2004 began trial production of small-scale production line, during its ninth year, this company is located in Berlin, Germany, preparing to launch commercial, continuous film component products. Early February, Sulfurcell the 75MW plant broke ground on the same period, there is the construction of administrative buildings, company headquarters address in just a few hundred meters from the Berlin Adlershof industrial park. The end of 2009, the factory will produce 2,000 per day based on chalcopyrite (chalcopyrite) components.

Full production capacity the plant in two phases: the end of 2009, 6 months after the completion of infrastructure, the system all in place, the annual output of 35MW capacity, 2 years after the raw capacity to 75MW.

Sulfurcell from the Hahn-Meitner-Institute (now the Helmholtz Center Berlin) spin-off company, has invested 110 million euros (about 141 million) building new factories, of which 85 million euros (1.09 billion U.S. dollars) from investments Group (Intel Capital, Climate Change Private Equity, AIG Investments, Bankinvest Group, Demeter, Zouk Ventures and MC33178DR2 datasheet and Conetwork). The rest comes from government subsidies. "These investments allow us to build factories, rather than transferred to the Far East," Feb. 2 in the foundation ceremony, Sulfurcells founder and MC33178DR2 price and CEO Nikolaus Meyer of the Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit says. Within one year, Sulfurcell plans to employees from 175 to 275 people.

Perfect Sulfurcell?

However, whether the companys future would continue to use CIS (Copper Indium Disulfide) absorption layer, the situation is unclear. Sulfurcell is experimenting with different I-III-VI2 semiconductor material, Meyer said, Ga (Gallium) have also been testing used, and MC33178DR2 suppliers and the company intends to shift some time in the future Se (selenium) material. "We do not know, these efforts will take us to where," he added. Change the existing equipment of the production process can provide more efficient, "Our goal is to get 10% of the 2010 efficiency." Currently, Sulfurcell components 3MW pilot production line in the conversion efficiency of 8%. The company started production in 5 years ago, when their conversion efficiency of only 5%.

For industry experts, the decision to change the absorption layer is not surprising. However, in theory, based on copper, indium and sulfur in chalcopyrite components and the use of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) components compared to the absorption efficiency will be slightly higher (30% vs. 27%), but Actual production has not been confirmed. Sulfurcell conversion efficiency of the current level of the components of 7% to 8%, with the use of Oerlikon turnkey (turnkey) line manufacturing laminated microcrystalline silicon thin-film modules at the same level manufacturers. Cadmium telluride (CdTe) or copper indium selenium there is a higher conversion efficiency of competitors - 10% to 12%, while production costs lower or flat. To remain competitive, Sulfurcell had to change its current absorption layer composition. Perhaps then, the companys name at best of historical significance; and relatively Ironically, the company claims is the first "commercial production can be an easy alternative to gallium selenium chalcopyrite-based components" as the goal. The problem is, Sulfurcell the simple techniques have the potential for high efficiency. Since 2001, based on Sulfurcell current process, there is no laboratory-scale solar cell conversion efficiency of CIS progress to be mentioned. 0.5 × 0.5cm in the solar cell efficiency record is still only 11.4%, while the similar size of CIGS solar cell efficiency has reached 20%. However, the sulfur-based batteries caused a combination of gallium to 13% efficiency, which has been proved.

Building integration of new products

Present, Sulfurcell will continue to sell its sulfur-based products. Component remains to distribute through the system integrators, such as Krannich, Energiebau and IBC. This year, the company hopes component to € 2 per watt ($ 2.56) sales, Meyer said. Sulfurcell components primarily designed for roof and exterior walls. "We provide materials for the solar building," Meyer said. The company wants to establish itself as a curtain wall leading supplier of integrated products. "Construction of the south wall towards the shell or the roof, there is no reason to adopt passive plate, stone or glass panel." Instead, Meyer hopes to adopt Sulfurcell solar building components, making the building which can produce electricity.

Sulfurcell intended as a demonstration of its administration building. The building comprises Goldbeck Solar GmbH to build a PV system, the system will be completed in 9 months. Components by Sulfurcell, this builder to adjust its traditional cassette-type PV curtain wall technology: results of a hand width and thickness of a grid framework components can be suspended in the lattice structure. This is the system builder can be installed on the roof and curtain wall PV components, Konstanz, Germanys Martin Krehl & Rainer Girke Architekten the project architect Rainer Girke said. The architect is the first time BIPV installation. Customers can not buy the cassette-type technology. Currently, Sulfurcell component supply only 3 ways: with or without frame, or an inclined roof with the installation of the roof framework. But going into the fourth Sulfurcell way as conventional products, and thus open new markets - that is, with or without sulfur.

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