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Thin Film Photovoltaics CIS/CIGS Technology & Market

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This publication has been discontinued on June 21, 2014.

Abstract

Description

PV industry Status & Trends Position of thin film CIS/CIGS technology within the tough PV market

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STILL UNLOCKED POTENTIAL FOR CIS TECHNOLOGY

Photovoltaic (PV) modules became a commodity market and numerous PV products based on various PV technologies are commercially available. Although crystalline silicon PV maintains its leading position, CIS (sometimes designed also as CIGS) thin film PV, based on copper-indium-gallium-selenium(sulfur), reveals increased interest due to its unlocked potential for high efficiency and low manufacturing costs. However, much effort is necessary to overcome some barriers related to the complexity of this technology and its manufacturing. The report provides a detailed analysis of different CIS technology approaches and of the CIS position amongst all PV technologies.

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CIS VARIETY PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY FOR EQUIPMENT AND MATERIAL SUPPLIERS

In contrary to crystalline silicon PV, which largely profited from the equipment and know-how developed in silicon microelectronic industry, CIS technology approaches are still very dispersed and based on different materials, cell architectures, module design and manufacturing equipment.This represents many challenges, but also market opportunity for numerous material and equipment suppliers. Almost every CIS module manufacturer is using different manufacturing approach, often based on a proprietary equipment or process. It is therefore important to understand the advantages and challenges of these approaches in order to determine the possible market value for various materials (metal foil, precursors, encapsulation, moisture barrier film...) and equipment (sputter tool, annealing furnace, wet bench...). Therefore, numerous technologies are analyzed in our report regarding the technology and its manufacturing issues and also in close connection to the possible applications of resulting products. This helps to understand the real market potential of the final product. In fact, different technologies are more or less adapted for manufacturing of divers products (monolithic rigid modules, rigid modules assembled from cells, flexible modules...), which are suited for various PV applications (rooftop installations, Building-Integrated PV, facades, commercial roofs, large ground-mounted PV power plants...). Special focus is made on the flexible CIS cells: their low-cost manufacturing potential and application demand.

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CIS ABSORBER LAYER IS THE KEY ELEMENT IN THE CIS MANUFACTURING

The key process step in the CIS cell/module manufacturing is the deposition of CIS absorber layer. The CIS absorber deposition tool and process is also the main differentiation factor between CIS manufacturers. Although some novel approaches based on non-vacuum process, promising lower manufacturing costs, have been introduced in industrial production (nanoparticle ink-printing, electrodeposition), well established processes still rely on vacuum deposition (coevaporation, sputtering). One of the main barriers in CIS technology development is the lack of adapted equipment and process. This is related to the relatively short experience of equipment manufacturers with CIS technology. Many proprietary approaches developed by CIS manufacturers are too complex to be cost-competitive and companies using them are struggling with low manufacturing yields, high manufacturing costs and low module efficiencies. This opens opportunity for equipment suppliers with strong CIS background, which can supply both equipment and working process. The report analyses and compares single equipment and turnkey line approaches.

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CIS MANUFACTURING UNDERGOES A STRONG INDUSTRY CONSOLIDATION

There are big differences between the technological advancement of different CIS manufacturers. About 40 CIS companies are producing modules, but only few of them have reached 10+ MWp/y production and most of them are still struggling with low module efficiency and low manufacturing yield. Most small companies, in the past heavily backed in by Venture Capital funds will probably not survive the on-going price pressure in the PV market. Therefore, the main technology players from Europe and USA are partnering with Asian investors in order to finance the manufacturing capacity increase and further product development. The companies investing in CIS are reviewed in our report and company profiles of CIS manufacturers allow an easy comparison of their technology, products, module efficiency, manufacturing capacity and production volume. A technology and business development comparison of CIS manufacturers, as well as technology development (Cd-free CIS cells, CZTS cells, etc.) and business strategy are also presented.

KEY FEATURES OF THE REPORT

  • Overview of the currently ongoing PV market and technology consolidation allowing better understanding of the customer needs and proper evaluation of the strategies to be chosen by equipment suppliers and module manufacturers to face the tough competition in the PV market.
  • Detailed overview of the different processes, equipment and materials used in the CIS module manufacturing with focus on manufacturing techniques for CIS absorber layer deposition (coevaporation, sputtering, electrodeposition, nanoparticle ink printing).
  • Deep analysis of different CIS technologies and market approaches considering both manufacturing technologies and possible applications of CIS modules.
  • Market metrics 2011-2017 for CIS technology (in MWp and M$).
  • Company profiles of 23 CIS manufacturers, analysis and comparison of technology and business development of different PV manufacturers.

REPORT OUTLINE

  • Overview of the currently ongoing PV market and technology consolidation allowing better understanding of the customer needs and proper evaluation of the strategies to be chosen by equipment suppliers and module manufacturers to face the tough competition in the PV market.
  • Detailed overview of the different processes, equipment and materials used in the CIS module manufacturing with focus on manufacturing techniques for CIS absorber layer deposition (coevaporation, sputtering, electrodeposition nanoparticle ink printing).
  • Deep analysis of different CIS technologies and market approaches considering both manufacturing technologies and possible applications of CIS modules.
  • Market metrics 2011-2017 for CIS technology (in MWp and M$).
  • Company profiles of 23 CIS manufacturers, analysis and comparison of technology and business development of different PV manufacturers.

WHO SHOULD BUY THIS REPORT?

  • Equipment, Material and Component Suppliers
    • Learn about CIS technology and its market potential.
    • Identify the best CIS manufacturers to optimize your marketing efforts.
    • Evaluate the market potential for your products.
    • Strength your market position by focusing on the winning technology approaches.
    • Re-think your technology and market strategy to best fit the market needs.
  • PV module manufacturers
    • Understand the real potential of CIS technology.
    • Learn about the best technology approaches and how to deal with challenges of CIS technology.
  • Investors and newcomers in CIS manufacturing
    • Understand the real potential of CIS technology.
    • Secure your investment by focusing on the winning technology approaches.

COMPANY INDEX

44Solar, 4Jet, AQT Solar, AIST, AVACO, Avancis, Axuntek Solar Energy, Bosch Solar, CEA, Centrotherm, Ceres Technologies, Daystar Technologies, EMPA, ENSCP, ESI, FLISOM, Glaesum Group, Global Solar Energy, Grenzebach, HelioVolt, Honda Soltec, Hyundai Heavy Industries, HZB, IMN, Innolas, ISET, Johanna Solar Technologies, KAIST, Leybold Optics, Lotus Systems, Manz, Meco, MiaSole, Nanosolar, Nexcis, Odersun, Q-CELLS, RENA, RITEK, Screen Solar, Singulus, Smit Ovens, Solar Frontier, Solarion, Solibro, SoloPower, Soltecture, Stangl, Stion, Sunshine, Sunvim, TFG Radiant, TSMC Solar, ULVAC, Veeco, Von Ardenne, Wurth Solar, Yohkon Energia...

Benefits

REPORT OUTLINE

  • Overview of the currently ongoing PV market and technology consolidation allowing better understanding of the customer needs and proper evaluation of the strategies to be chosen by equipment suppliers and module manufacturers to face the tough competition in the PV market.
  • Detailed overview of the different processes, equipment and materials used in the CIS module manufacturing with focus on manufacturing techniques for CIS absorber layer deposition (coevaporation, sputtering, electrodeposition nanoparticle ink printing).
  • Deep analysis of different CIS technologies and market approaches considering both manufacturing technologies and possible applications of CIS modules.
  • Market metrics 2011-2017 for CIS technology (in MWp and M$).
  • Company profiles of 23 CIS manufacturers, analysis and comparison of technology and business development of different PV manufacturers

WHO SHOULD BUY THIS REPORT?

  • Equipment, Material and Component Suppliers
    • Learn about CIS technology and its market potential.
    • Identify the best CIS manufacturers to optimize your marketing efforts.
    • Evaluate the market potential for your products.
    • Strength your market position by focusing on the winning technology approaches.
    • Re-think your technology and market strategy to best fit the market needs.
  • PV module manufacturers
    • Understand the real potential of CIS technology.
    • Learn about the best technology approaches and how to deal with challenges of CIS technology.
  • Investors and newcomers in CIS manufacturing
    • Understand the real potential of CIS technology.
    • Secure your investment by focusing on the winning technology approaches.

Table of Contents

Table of abbreviations

Why this report?

Content of the report

Introduction

Executive summary

PV Industry Status & Trends

  • Development status for different PV technologies
  • Subsidized PV market is submitted to market cycles
  • Market & technology consolidation

CIS amongst other PV technologies

  • Presentation of CIS technology
  • Comparison of PV technologies

CIS manufacturing technologies et materials

  • Introduction
  • CIS cell structures
  • CIS cell structures - flexible cells
  • Overview of manufacturing process steps and deposition techniques
  • CIS module manufacturing process flow
  • Substrates
  • Back contact
  • CIS absorber layer
  • Buffer layer
  • High resistivity oxide layer
  • Front-side transparent electrode
  • Scribing
  • Edge deletion and film edge removal
  • Module assembly
  • Flexible module assembly
  • Examples of manufacturing process flows
  • Turnkey line - Centrotherm
  • Turnkey line - Manz
  • Single equipment vs. turnkey line
  • Roll-to-roll versus on-glass manufacturing
  • Conclusion

CIS Market

  • PV market forecast
  • PV technology market shares
  • CIS market forecast
  • CIS value chain
  • CIS manufacturing costs
  • Cost reduction factors
  • Raw material availability
  • Flexible CIS modules

Financing of CIS technology

CIS technology roadmap

CIS Applications

CIS company profiles

General conclusion

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