Flisom, a Swiss company developing technologies for manufacturing of flexible thin film CIGS solar modules (copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide), has raised a substantially large investment to further develop its technology and build a production plant with an annual capacity of 15MW in Switzerland. Besides securing financial backing, Flisom also signed an agreement with Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, to provide research and development support on high-efficiency flexible CIGS solar cell technology.
Flisom’s third funding round was completed with participation from a Swiss investor along with Flisom’s existing strategic investor, Tata, India’s largest and most respected business house.
Flisom’s high performance products, processes and systems could lower the price of solar electricity thanks to low material usage, economic production technology, and reduced storage, transportation and installation costs. Markets addressable by Flisom’s flexible solar module manufacturing technology include utility scale solar farms, building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), building applied photovoltaics (BAPV), transportation, portable power and electronics.
The key is roll-to-roll manufacturing
The production technology is roll-to-roll manufacturing of flexible solar modules, involving deposition of CIGS thin films onto polymer foil. Founded as a spin-off company from ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), Flisom has subsequently developed proprietary tools and processes for manufacturing solar modules. After moving to Empa’s Dübendorf campus, Flisom has been collaborating with Empa’s Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics led by Ayodhya Nath Tiwari through various projects. On 17 January 2013, Empa announced that its CIGS flexible solar cells achieved 20.4% photovoltaic conversion efficiency – a world record for CIGS technology that equals the record efficiency of polycrystalline Si wafer solar cells.