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8 December 2015

Solar Frontier raises thin-film solar cell efficiency record from 21.7% to 22.3%

Tokyo-based Solar Frontier – the largest manufacturer of CIS (copper indium selenium) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules – says that, in joint research with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) on a standard-size 0.5cm² cell, it has set a new record for thin-film solar cell energy conversion efficiency of 22.3%, as verified independently by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute (Europe’s largest organization for applied research). This is an increase of 0.6 percentage points over the previous record of 21.7% set in September 2014 by ZSW of Stuttgart, Germany using a 0.5cm² cell made of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS).

“This is the first time that CIS has crossed the 22% efficiency boundary – a level not yet surpassed by any other thin-film or multi-crystalline silicon technology,” notes chief technology officer Satoru Kuriyagawa. “We achieved our latest record through improvements to the CIS absorber layer and junction formation process. This latest advancement brings us a step closer toward realizing Solar Frontier’s long-term goal of exceeding 30% efficiency using CIS,” he adds. “We would like to express our gratitude to the CIS research consortium organized by NEDO, which includes the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), for supporting this joint NEDO project.”  

In addition to conversion efficiency, several factors determine how much energy a solar module will ultimately generate in real-world conditions and, subsequently, its lifetime cost, notes the firm. Solar Frontier’s CIS modules generate more energy (kilowatt-hours per kilowatt-peak) compared with crystalline silicon in real-world conditions, it adds.

See related items:

ZSW raises thin-film PV efficiency record from 21% to 21.7%

Tags: CIS thin-film PV modules

Visit: www.solar-frontier.com

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