Solar Frontier has claimed a world record aperture area cell efficiency of 17.8% for its CIS-based thin-film technology. The new figure surpasses its previous record of 17.2% set in March 2011 and was also produced at its dedicated R&D facility, Atsugi Research Center. The company did not say whether the figures had been independently verified.

“I would like to emphasize as we have before that this efficiency is on a fully integrated submodule, which our laboratory produces with processes very similar to what is in place in our factories at commercial production scale,” said Satoru Kuriyagawa, CTO at Solar Frontier. “Even higher efficiencies can be achieved by using a device with a very small surface area, but the reason we prefer to focus on the submodule level is that the path to commercial production is more practical. This achievement confirms that we are on track to achieve the higher module efficiencies we are targeting in our commercial production efficiency roadmap.” 

Solar Frontier’s Kunitomi manufacturing plant recently produced a champion module at 14.5% aperture efficiency (13.38% module efficiency), achieving a 164W rating.