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Technology and Innovation

Global Technology Integration

Thin-film and flexible solar cells represent the future of the PV industry. Based on this strategic thinking, Hanergy commissioned experts to select some companies with great potential out of the PV companies in Europe, the US and Japan for a global technical integration. This was also a significant move for Hanergy to go global and become a multinational clean energy player.

In September 2012, Hanergy finalized the acquisition of Solibro under the German PV giant Q-Cells. With CIGS functional layers deposited on the glass substrate through co-evaporation, the CIGS technology possessed by Solibro has the greatest potentials to be improved. In 2012, the CIGS models produced by the company had over 12% conversion efficiency on average, which were among the highest conversion efficiencies of its kind globally. On June 5, 2012, Hanergy acquired Solibro, a subsidiary of Q-CELLS and a CIGS thin-film battery manufacturer. The enterprise’s CIGS thin-film solar battery has the world’s highest module-component conversion efficiency. At present, the research conversion efficiency has reached 20.5%, which is certified by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

On January 9, 2013, Hanergy announced at its headquarters in Beijing that the company had completed the acquisition with MiaSolé, taking its second step of overseas technical integration. Through this acquisition, Hanergy obtained the CIGS technology with the world’s highest conversion rate. At the same time, the production conversion rate reached 15.7%, making Hanergy the world’s largest thin-film solar enterprise boasting the most advanced technologies. 

On July 25, 2013, Hanergy successfully acquired Global Solar Energy, a globally leading thin-film solar manufacturer headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, US. Its soft solar battery modules can be widely used in Building Integrated PV (BIPV), solar roof systems, and electric cars. Through acquisition of GSE, Hanergy has become the world’s first company that has realized mass-production of soft thin-film solar modules and occupied the forefront of thin-film photovoltaic technologies.

With CIGS, a PV technology with the highest conversion efficiency in the world, brought by the technical acquisition, Hanergy has become the largest thin-film solar power company with the strongest technical expertise in the area in the world. So far, Hanergy has positioned itself at the frontier of global thin-film solar power technology, with seven technical roadmaps including a-Si/Ge, a-Si/μc-Si, CIGS,etc. 

 

CIGS Co-evaporation Technology
Co-evaporation is a method where the constituent elements, in this case Cu, In, Ga, and Se are evaporated from multiple sources in high vacuum. The commonly used substrate materials are glass, metal or polyimide foils.Co-evaporation is a method where the constituent elements, in this case Cu, In, Ga, and Se are evaporated from multiple sources in high vacuum. The commonly used substrate materials are glass, metal or polyimide foils.
Only very few companies has succeeded in commercialization of CIGS made by co-evaporation, in spite of its longtime promise based on lab scale research. One of the most prominent companies at this field is Solibro which uses a co-evaporation technology with proprietory equipment and process, with world-recorded conversion efficiency of 18.1%.


CIGS Sputtering Technology
CIGS Sputtering technology utilizes a “single tool, one pass, all sputtered films” roll to roll process sequence. One meter wide flexible substrate is fed continuously into our one pass deposition machine (‘Roll Coater’), where the thin film stack is deposited in 45 minutes in a sequence of interconnected vacuum chambers using sputtering and reactive sputtering technology.
CIGS Sputtering technology utilizes a “single tool, one pass, all sputtered films” roll to roll process sequence. One meter wide flexible substrate is fed continuously into our one pass deposition machine (‘Roll Coater’), where the thin film stack is deposited in 45 minutes in a sequence of interconnected vacuum chambers using sputtering and reactive sputtering technology.
The MiaSolé photovoltaic thin film deposition technology is innovative and enables production of flexible solar cells that are used in light weight flexible panels as well as traditional glass-glass panels. MiaSolé has shown rapid cell efficiency improvements from around 5% in 2007 to about 16% today, with record cells exceeding 17%.


Silicon-based Thin-film Solar Technology
Silicon-based thin-film cells are produced by low-pressure plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (LPPCVD) with silane deposited on glass substrates. Silicon-based thin-film cells mainly include a-Si, a-Si/Ge, μc-Si, and μc-Si/Ge thin-film cells. Based on the different bandgaps of various silicon-based thin-film materials, multi-stacked cells are produced to absorb a broader range of sunlight.Silicon-based thin-film cells are produced by low-pressure plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (LPPCVD) with silane deposited on glass substrates. Silicon-based thin-film cells mainly include a-Si, a-Si/Ge, μc-Si, and μc-Si/Ge thin-film cells. Based on the different bandgaps of various silicon-based thin-film materials, multi-stacked cells are produced to absorb a broader range of sunlight.
Silicon-based thin-film cells have extensive application areas thanks to the advantages of low energy consumption, pollution-free, abundant raw materials, mass-producible in large areas, good faint light capability, low temperature co-efficient, and much better PTC/STC ratio compared with crystalline silicon cells.

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