Photovoltaic integrator Phoenix Solar and CIGS solar module manfacturer MiaSolé have signed a framework agreement that will run through 2013. The deal calls for MiaSolé to fulfill a Phoenix Solar order for an initial 4.5MW of copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide thin-film PV panels in the second quarter, with the remaining shipment amounts to be determined.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The current wattage rating of the meter-square MiaSolé modules is 111W±2W, with a conversion efficiency of 10.5%. A higher efficiency product will be shipped by the end of 2010, the company said.
The framework agreement also includes a recycling warranty where required by regulation or financing; at the end of the module’s lifetime, the customer can choose to have them taken away by MiaSolé and recycled, or reconditioned.
MiaSolé uses a sputtering-based process to manufacture its CIGS films on a flexible metal foil in the company’s Santa Clara, CA, facilities. The substrate is then divided into cell-like sections, sorted and inspected, and run through the moduling process and eventually laminated between two hardened glass plates.
The frameless glass-glass module can be used for roofs as well as for ground-mounted systems and is designed to withstand high wind and snow loads. The company says its production process can be adjusted so that almost all module shapes can be manufactured, resulting in a potential cost savings on mounting and racking during installation.
“Phoenix Solar has always sought to lead the field in innovations in all aspects of system integration from the module, through balance of system to operation and maintenance services,” noted Manfred Bachler, CTO of Phoenix Solar. “We welcome MiaSolé to our group of strategic suppliers with whom we work closely to extract maximum synergy effects as a means of continuously driving down system costs.”
Joe Laia, president/CEO of MiaSolé, told PV Tech during a facility visit last week that the CIGS company had already shipped a little over a megawatt of modules to Phoenix, with the rest of the initial order set for delivery over the next five or six weeks.
He said that MiaSolé shipped a total of about 2½–3MW from its new, integrated 100MW “prototype production” factory, mostly to sites in Germany and Italy. The company has business in Europe, North America, and India, according to Laia, and more contractual announcements will be forthcoming soon.
MiaSolé’s chief executive also mentioned that modules taken directly from the production line have been sent to the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for conversion efficiency testing, with results showing marked improvements expected in several weeks.