French start-up Solar Cloth is planning to scale up capacity at its module production facility near Cannes. The factory will produce 17.6%-efficient flexible solar modules integrated into textile supports.
The modules are manufactured with CIGS solar cells provided by US manufacturer Miasolé and have a power conversion efficiency of 17.6%.
“We are currently planning to set up a manufacturing facility in Mandelieu, near Cannes, together with our partner Soy PV, which is a new French CIGS platform for the manufacture of CIGS cells with electrolytic deposition,” Solar Cloth’s CEO, Alain Janet, told pv magazine. “The new production unit should be operational in April, with a capacity of 20 MW.”
Solar Cloth’s manufacturing facility.
Image: Solar Cloth
The panels measure 1400 x 820mm and weigh 1.5 kg/m². The products are described by the manufacturers as rollable and extremely flexible modules, which do not contain breakable silicon or glass. “CIGS has a low carbon footprint of 12g to 20g CO2/kWh, and its recycling process has low impact and high value,” the manufacturer claims.
The module is also said to be adaptable to all kinds of textiles and was recently used for several tent lodges at the Paradise Springs California resort in the United States. The panels were deployed with a west-east orientation on both slopes of the tent lodges and connected to a battery with a capacity of 75Ah.
According to Solar Cloth, each of the tent lodges can now use on average 1,300 Wh per day and power a fridge, three portable lights, one lamp in the bathroom, one in the main room, a computer, three mobile phones, and other minor applications for a total output of 379 W.
“Solar Cloth participated last month in a European call for tenders, joining a consortium for the development of the perovskite/CIGS tandem solar cells,” Janet stated, referring to the latest steps the company has taken to further scale up its module technology.