PARIS France-based materials maker Saint-Gobain SA announced it has acquired the remaining 50-percent stake in Avancis GmbH & Co. KG, a Germany-based manufacturer of thin-film photovoltaic modules, from Netherlands-based energy company Royal Dutch Shell plc.
The acquisition strengthens Saint-Gobain's position in the renewable energy market. Besides, Saint-Gobain said it intends to accelerate the industrial development of Avancis.
Avancis was formed in October 2008 as a 50-50 joint-venture between Shell and Saint-Gobain. It has developed a technology for thin-film CIS (Copper, Indium and Selenide) to manufacture photovoltaic modules.
In coating processes borrowed from glass production, Avancis said it applies these materials in a layer construction of around 2 µm. Two thousandths of a millimeter is all it takes to absorb sunlight.
The use of CIS technology, partners claimed, enables very high performance photovoltaic panels to be produced.
Studies by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) proved that it delivers 11 percent efficiency under industrial conditions and up to 20 percent in laboratory comparable to the efficiency of multicrystalline silicon cells, Avancis stated.
Financial details remained undisclosed.