Calyxo GmbH has claimed that its new thin-film product range, which will be launched in 2015, can achieve more than 14% module efficiency. These modules will be manufactured on the state-of-the-art production line which opened a year back. The new thin-film modules will be available under the name CX4.
Dr. Michael Bauer, CTO/COO said: “It’s a great achievement to concurrently both ramp-up a new production line and use it to meet the targeted performance goals for the new product development. We believe that we can achieve over 14% efficiency with the new product generation. We are convinced that the unique Calyxo deposition process, in addition to its cost advantages, has the potential for the highest semiconductor layer qualities.”
Calyxo is one of the leading German manufacturers of CdTe-based thin film solar modules. The company also undertakes turnkey photovoltaic systems. Its production facilities are located in Bitterfeld/Wolfen-Thalheim, the so-called “Solar Valley” in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.
Calyxo was founded in 2005 by Q-Cells. It was taken over by US-based Solar Fields in 2011. Calyxo calls itself the “survivor of Solar Valley” because, unlike Q-Cells, Calyxo did not slip into insolvency.
As per information available from the company’s website, using cadmium telluride actually helps the environment. The cadmium used for the CdTe modules is a waste product from the mining industry that must otherwise be expensively stored to prevent environmental damage. The CdTe technology refines the cadmium and tellurium to a “water-insoluble semiconductor.”
At temperatures above 25°C, thin-film modules produce up to 10% more energy than comparable C-Si solar modules due to their lower — almost half — temperature coefficient. Not to forget that thin-film modules work better under diffused insolation. On a lifecycle basis, CdTe PV has a low carbon footprint, low water use, and one of the shortest energy payback times of all solar technologies.
As against CdTe, Si thin-film technology is forecasted to be on steady decline.