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Project Summary

For a cost-competitive full market entry, flexible CIGS PV technologies require the availability of innovative encapsulation solutions with both, very low costs and excellent barrier properties guaranteeing a long operating time of the devices. Even if there are already existing solutions with acceptable performance levels, costs remain a relevant issue that needs to be solved in order to keep the stringent cost reduction targets established for these technologies. To solve these problems, DURACIS will explore new alternative encapsulation and optical glue materials and concepts, compatible with their implementation into already existing industrial CIGS pilot lines and allowing a significant extension of the lifetime while substantially reducing costs. To achieve this goal, transfer of concepts previously developed for organic technologies (with very stringent encapsulation requirements) will be investigated.

The final goal of DURACIS is the development of a novel encapsulation technology with costs below 15 €/m2 and ensuring a durability higher than 25 years for flexible CIGS devices. The project will adopt a global strategy including solutions for the main industrial substrate technologies that have been developed for flexible CIGS (polyimide, steel substrates) and will also include the analysis of their transfer into industrial pilot lines available in the consortium. The implications of the different kinds of substrates on these new encapsulation concepts will be specifically addressed aiming at the development of optimized cost efficient solutions compatible with very long term stability.

The project will also include the development of advanced methodologies for the non-destructive monitoring of the encapsulation processes and layers. This involves both monitoring of the deposition processes as well as the definition of fast methodologies for detection of potential degradation effects affecting the encapsulation and device lifetime.

DURACIS involves the following national/regional subprojects:

  Research partner Industrial partner
Spanish subproject IREC: Advanced characterisation of processes. Development of quality control and process monitoring methodologies for assessment of new encapsulation processes ECOPOL: Development of new flexible encapsulation solutions based on self-stratifying hydrophilic/hydrophobic polymers
French subproject CNRS: Production and advanced characterisation of flexible CIGS cells and minimodules on polyimide substrates for demonstration of new encapsulation processes EDF: Development of new hybrid encapsulation solutions
Walloon subproject   AC&CS: Transference of encapsulation solutions to steel based CIGS RtR industrial pilot lines

Eliosys: Development of high accuracy methodologies and systems dedicated to the performance & lifetime characterisation of flexible substrate CIGS mini-modules

German subproject ZSW: Production and advanced characterisation of flexible CIGS cells and minimodules on steel based substrates for demonstration of new encapsulation processes. Reference efficient submodules on glass substrates will be also provided  

Austrian subproject

UIBK: Advanced characterisation of polyimide based devices ISOVOLTAIC SOLINEX: Alternative cost-efficient encapsulation solutions based on the development of a cost competitive transparent layer and specifically modified polyolefin embedding films
SUNPLUGGED: Transference of encapsulation solutions to polyimide based CIGS RtR industrial pilot lines