Solibro has begun to ship its copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules to customers. The German company, which is a joint venture between majority partner Q-Cells and Swedish firm Solibro, says that it has signed supply contracts for most of its production. Customers include Sunova, HaWi Energietechnik, thermovolt, Hecklogic, and Sunset Energietechnik.
The company broke ground on its Bitterfeld-Witten production site in April 2007 and started moving equipment into the fab in August 2007. Solibro, which uses a thermal coevaporation process to deposit its critical thin-film layers, produced its first full-size CIGS-on-glass module in April 2008. After manufacturing its first full-area module with a reported 11% conversion efficiency in April, the company continues to ramp up the facility and work on improving yields, throughputs, uptimes, and efficiency metrics, reaching its first megawatt-peak of produced output in mid-August.
Earlier this month, the company announced its intention to increase capacity at the factory from 30 to 45 MWp and to build a second line with a capacity of 90 MWp, with first modules expected from the new line by fourth-quarter 2009 and full capacity on the line to be reached in 2010. Solibro says it has begun work on both expansion projects.
Solibro’s projected 135 MWp of CIGS capacity will contribute to Q-Cells’ overall growth strategy to achieve more than 400 MWp of TFPV production by 2010.
“We are excited too see our first modules being installed in the field now,” says Johannes Segner, Solibro’s chief operating officer. “The data from our reference test sites make us confident that the field performance of our products will meet our customers’ demanding expectations. The strong demand for Solibro products and the successful ramp-up of production was the basis for the expansion decision.”
— Tom Cheyney