Global Solar Energy

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Global Solar Energy
IndustrySolar energy
FounderTucson Electric
Tucson, Arizona, United States
ProductsCIGS solar cells, thin-film PV technology

Global Solar Energy is a US-based manufacturer of CIGS solar cells, a thin-film based photovoltaic technology, with manufacturing operations in Tucson, Arizona, United States, and Berlin, Germany. In 2013, it was bought by Chinese renewable energy company Hanergy.[1]


The company uses copper indium gallium diselenide to produce CIGS cells, which achieve up to 19.9% efficiency in laboratory samples,[2] and production cells of about 10.5 to 11 percent average efficiency.[3] This type of solar cell is ideal for portable power and is 1.5 to 2X greater in performance than comparable thin film flexible solar materials.[4]

Mass production[edit]

Global Solar Energy opened in 1996, and in 2008 finished another phase of development as it expanded its CIGS production to a new 40 MW facility in Tucson, Arizona and a second 35 MW facility in Berlin, Germany.[5]

The company expects to produce 20 megawatts of the films at the plant in 2008 before ramping up to 40 megawatts of capacity in 2009 and 140 megawatts by 2010.[6] This makes Global Solar the largest full-scale manufacturer of CIGS thin-film photovoltaics.


Global Solar Energy operates the largest CIGS solar electric array in the world, a 750 kW system located at the company's manufacturing facility in Tucson.[7] Part of the energy harnessed by this array is being purchased by the factory itself.[8]


With the advances in conventional crystalline silicon (c-Si) technology in recent years, and the falling cost of the polysilicon feedstock, that followed after a period of severe global shortage, pressure increased on manufacturers of commercial thin-film technologies, including amorphous thin-film silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), leading to the bankruptcy of several companies.[9] Some current competitors are:

  • Siva Power, a US Department of Energy awarded company that is operating in San Jose, CA.
  • GSHK Solar has noted that it can produce CIGS cells with a 12.5 percent and an average efficiency of 10 percent in full production efficiency.[10]
  • IBM has reported 12% efficiency for its CIS solar cells.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hanergy Acquires Global Solar Energy". Global Solar. 25 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  2. ^ I. Repins, M. A. Contreras, B. Egaas, C. DeHart, J. Scharf, C. L. Perkins, B. To, and R. Noufi., 19.9%-efficient ZnO/CdS/CuInGaSe$_2$ solar cell with 81.2% fill factor.
  3. ^ "HelioVolt Hits 12.2% Efficiency : Greentech Media". Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  4. ^ "SCOTTEVEST/SeV - Gear Management Clothing - Solar Panels". Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  5. ^ "Documents". Compound Semiconductors Online. 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  6. ^ "Q&A: Global Solar VPs Dish Thin-Film Details : Greentech Media". 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  7. ^ "Solar Industry: Content / Projects & Contracts / World's Largest CIGS Solar Array Operational In Arizona". 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  9. ^ "How thin film solar fares vs crystalline silicon". 2011-01-03.
  10. ^ "Nanosolar Creates Largest Thin-Film Tool : Greentech Media". Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  11. ^ Liu, Wei; Mitzi, David B.; Yuan, Min; Kellock, Andrew J.; Chey, S. Jay; Gunawan, Oki (2010). "12% Efficiency CuIn(Se,S)2 Photovoltaic Device Prepared Using a Hydrazine Solution Process†". Chemistry of Materials. 22 (3): 1010. doi:10.1021/cm901950q.

External links[edit]