Nanosolar claims 13.9% printed CIGS cell efficiencies and much more

Printed CIGS thin-film specialist Nanosolar hasn’t toned down its brash bragging ways, despite a leadership change last year. A rare public announcement highlights a string of bullish statements, despite some already detailed exclusively by PV-Tech back in October 2010.

Key new information includes module efficiencies for Nanosolar’s ‘Utility Panel’ as ‘measured’ by Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy (ISE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), coming in at 11.6%, and its printed CIGS solar cells which reached efficiencies of 13.9%.

The company also stated that it has secured an agreement for panel warranty insurance with Munich Re for its Utility Panel as utility-scale projects will soon be announced. The module warranty policy covers Nanosolar's 2011 factory production, according to the company.

New claims staked by the start-up include the news that its Utility Panel has one of the lowest carbon dioxide and toxic emissions lifecycle footprints in the PV industry, while the energy payback time is claimed to be less than eight months.

The modules were said to reduce mounting hardware costs and wiring cable volume for large-scale installations, compared with conventional offerings.

Further claims for the module were detailed as producing more power and operating at lower voltage than ‘standard’ thin-film modules, though the company didn’t provide any actual comparisons.

In addition, Nanosolar said that it has the first solar module to be certified by TÜV to operate at up to 1500 system volts.

In combination with claimed design features, a balance-of-system cost saving of up to 30% can be achieved for utility-scale power plants when its modules are deployed, compared with competitive thin-film product offerings.

"Together, these announcements establish the Nanosolar Utility Panel as a leading choice in thin film, utility-scale solar," noted Geoff Tate, CEO of Nanosolar, Inc. "We will soon announce strategic supply agreements with a number of solar power plant developers and installers that will leverage Nanosolar's ability to drive down the cost of solar power."

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