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7 April 2014

Solar Frontier's CIS cell sets thin-film PV efficiency record of 20.9%

In joint research with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Tokyo-based Solar Frontier - the largest manufacturer of CIS (copper indium selenium) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules - has achieved record energy conversion efficiency of 20.9% for cadmium-free, thin-film solar cells measuring 0.5cm2 (independently verified by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute). This is a record for thin-film PV technologies, beating Solar Frontier’s previous record of 19.7% for CIS thin-film cells, as well as the previous 20.8% record for all thin-film PV technologies.

“Solar Frontier’s new 20.9% efficiency record resulted from a CIS cell cut from a 30cm by 30cm substrate produced using a sputtering-selenization formation method - the same method we use in our factories,” says chief technology officer Satoru Kuriyagawa. “The significance is twofold: it ensures we can transfer our latest achievement into mass production faster, and it proves the long-term conversion efficiency potential of Solar Frontier’s proprietary CIS technology,” he adds. “Solar Frontier has entered into the next phase in the development of CIS technology, and we look forward to building on this achievement and driving our efficiency even higher.”

Although conversion efficiency is used to compare the performance of solar modules, actual performance after installation depends on how differing PV technologies react to their surrounding environment and climate. Solar Frontier claims that its CIS modules are proven to generate more electricity (kWh/kWp) in real operating conditions than crystalline silicon modules. Together with high automation and precision manufacturing in Japan, CIS modules provide long-term competitive and reliable returns on investments, the firm adds.

Solar Frontier’s latest efficiency record was achieved at the Atsugi Research Center (ARC) in Kanagawa, Japan, which has been setting world records since it was established in 2009. As part of the ARC’s customer-centric approach, it focuses on boosting the efficiency of its CIS modules, developing its proprietary mass-production machinery, and reducing overall system costs for end users.

See related items:

Solar Frontier reaches 14.6% efficiency with 1257mm x 977mm CIS module

Solar Frontier achieves record 19.7% efficiency for CIS PV cell using sputtering and selenization

Tags: Solar Frontier CIS

Visit: www.solar-frontier.com

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