Manufacturing processes with high flexibility

Soltecture’s Berlin factory: Manufacture of CIGS and CIGSe modules on one production line

Soltecture’s ‘CIS Line’ production facility is the only CIS production plant worldwide that is able to manufacture differently structured CIS absorbers at the same time: CIGS and CIGSe (Verlinken auf Unterseite CIS = CIGS & CIGSe). This flexibility provides Soltecture’s technologists with unique conditions for transferring innovations quickly into production and enables the manufacture of products that are tailor-made for different applications. The processes used for the CIGS and CIGSe coating were developed by Soltecture and are proprietary systems. Soltecture’s technology is protected by more than sixty patents.

The CIGS/CIGSe coating is just one of twenty process stages. All other stages are the same for both absorbers. The starting product is always glass, which as a substrate for thin films is superior to other materials. The material costs for a glass-based module are less than if metal or plastic films were used. Glass also provides more long-term stability than film and ensures a longer service life for the module. Above all, glass is electrically insulating, enabling the solar cells to be separated by almost invisible grooves that make connections with metal bands redundant. Therefore it is only with glass that thin-film modules achieve the attractiveness for which Soltecture products are known.

Soltecture coats glass with molybdenum and zinc oxide by atomising the materials in a vacuum (sputtering). The glass panes run through the sputter system like a band and are coated at a high rate and with maximum material efficiency. The sputtering provides electronically high quality, evenly coated layers and gives the Soltecture modules their smooth, anthracite-coloured appearance. Once the coating is finished, the layers have to be encapsulated so that the module is protected against environmental conditions for years. The graphic shows how that is achieved.

Permanently stable: Encapsulation of thin films in Soltecture’s solar modules


To find out how a CIS solar module is built and how it functions,click here .


The step-by-step manufacture of a CIS module.