This technical information has been contributed by
Global Solar Energy, Inc.
Highly-efficient CIGS Material Expands Product Integration Possibilities for PV Power
WASHINGTON--Global Solar Energy recently introduced its PowerFlexTM material, a lightweight, conformable material which, the company says, will enable manufacturers to create innovative new products by integrating photovoltaic (PV) power-generation functionality into building materials. The company, a manufacturer of CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) thin-film solar cells on a foil substrate, has developed a proprietary manufacturing process that deposits CIGS materials onto a thin, pliable, and unbreakable substrate. The result is an efficient thin-film PV material that can be configured and adapted to the changing designs in the solar industry.
Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, Global Solar produces standard CIGS solar cells and glass module solar cell strings compatible with traditional glass manufacturing worldwide. According to the company, its CIGS material provides the industry with an opportunity to create integrated solar products for the next generation of energized building markets.
"The unique combination of high efficiency, low cost, and flexibility offered by PowerFlex opens Global Solar to new emerging markets, such as Building Integrated PV (BIPV)," said Mike Gering, CEO of Global Solar, in a prepared statement. "Now, in addition to supplying our thin-film cells to the traditional glass module markets, we can furnish companies with highly-efficient, affordable, and flexible material to be built directly into commercial, residential, and government products of their design."
Global Solar reports that it is the only CIGS manufacturer currently in full-scale production of CIGS on a flexible substrate. The company's solar cells, said to have an average conversion efficiency of 10 percent, can be encapsulated in glass modules or on a pliable substrate for cutting-edge applications, including energized building products. Instead of using silicon, Global Solar's thin-film CIGS strings use highly-available raw materials that are easily integrated into a wide range of applications for use in commercial, residential, utility-scale, and government products.
"We understand that multi-billion dollar companies require reliable, stable, highly-available materials to develop and manufacture innovative new products," said Tim Teich, vice president of sales and marketing for Global Solar. "Our predictable supply of dependable PowerFlex will enable our partners to create and introduce products not yet seen on the market. For example, building product and roofing companies will now be able to create energized building materials with PV built directly into the functionality of their products."
In March, Global Solar opened a new 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Tucson, Arizona, with annual production capacity of 40 megawatts. Tom Kimbis, acting director at the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technology Program, stated that the new plant will help meet the goal for solar electricity to become cost-competitive with grid electricity. "Production from this facility will help satisfy the strong demand for solar product across the world, while providing local residents of Tuson, already a Solar America City, with jobs in a rapidly-growing, high-tech industry," he said.
For more information, visit www.globalsolar.com.
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