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Chapter 1

Polycrystalline SIGS based solar cells have already reached efficiencies as high as
21.7% [3], which is the highest among the thin film PV technologies and even higher
than multicrystalline silicon solar cells. Therefore, it is expected that CIGS solar cells
will play a large role in the power generation in the near future. Additionally, the use
of CIGS solar cells allows many new design possibilities, due to the freedom in shape
and colour, as can be seen in Figure 1.3.

Figure 1.3:
Examples of the freedom of colour and shape of CIGS modules: (a) Red CIGS modules from Bosch (b) Flexible cell and module
from Solarion

1.2 Market position of the CIGS PV technology
Due to the large potential of electricity obtained with CIGS solar cells, their produc-
tion capacity has been ramped up rapidly in the last years by companies like Solar
Frontier (Japan) and Hanergy (China, Germany, USA), so the shipment of CIGS modules
is rapidly increasing (Figure 1.4). Alongside with them, a large number of smaller com -
panies is also producing CIGS solar modules applying a great number of production
procedures [4]. Therefore, improvements in module production methods, power out-
put and module design as well as new possibilities for integration in e.g. buildings or
textile, are reaching the market every year.

Nevertheless, current industrial production of CIGS modules only represents a few
percent of the solar module manufacturing industry, which is currently dominated by
silicon-based technologies (see Figure 1.5).

However, it is expected that the market share of CIGS modules in the Netherlands
will quickly grow due to an agreement between the furniture company IKEA and the
CIGS producer Hanergy, who have decided to join forces for large scale sales of CIGS

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