CIGS thin film technology has been mostly developed on glass substrates, and for a long time CIGS solar cells deposited on flexible substrates such as plastic film or metal foil could not reach similar efficiencies. Limitations due to impurity diffusions or the need for lower growth temperature imposed by the choice of the substrate were reasons for such efficiency gap.
Recent developments however showed that those challenges can be overcome and is best exemplified with an efficiency above 20% achieved on polyimide (PI) foil. Deposition on a flexible substrate has advantages not only for manufacturing (large area roll-to-roll deposition is possible) but also opens up a whole new field for solar modules designs and applications. Especially, flexible and lightweight CIGS solar modules enable novel applications and concepts for solar electricity generation.
Flexibility in shape, power rating, and form factor are some of the advantages that allow clear differentiation from traditional rigid and heavy PV technology, opening the doors to BIPV and transport-integrated PV markets.
Beside full flexible solar modules, BIPV solutions can be provided by laminating lightweight solar modules directly onto metallic building elements. Significant reduction of Balance of System costs (BOS), transport, and installation cost can be expected compared with conventional glass-glass technologies.
Do you want to learn more applications of CIGS flexible solar cells? Sun harmonics has applied these cells to its series of products. Solar panels, lightweight and portable solar chargers, smart and fashionable backpacks are provided to satisfy customers' various demands, especially for those people keen on travelling or outdoor activities.
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