ZSW achieves record lab CIGS cell efficiency of 20.8%

  • ZSW has achieved 20.8% conversion efficiency in a CIGS cell
    Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) have reported a 0.5 square centimetre cell with a record 20.8% conversion efficiency.

The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) has achieved a record 20.8% conversion efficiency with a copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film PV cell.

This beats the official record for a multicrystalline PV cell, which stands at 20.4%.

Michael Powalla, head of the photovoltaics division at ZSW, said: "Our new record shows that CIGS thin-film technology still has untapped technological and economic potential.”

ZSW had held the previous CIGS record of 20.3% on glass. The results have been officially confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.

According to Powalla, using a CIGS simultaneous evaporation process will make scaling to volume production much easier. ZSW is now working to transfer the optimised CIGS process to modules.

"It may take a little time for the higher efficiency to be reflected in production," he said. "But 16 to 18% in commercial modules is possible over the next few years."

Market-standard CIGS modules currently attain efficiencies of 14 to 15% - a module always has lower efficiency than an individual solar cell, noted Powalla.

Learn more about CIGS in Photovoltaics International; CIGS manufacturing: Promises and reality.

Newsletter

Preview Latest
Subscribe
We won't share your details - promise!

Publications

  • Photovoltaics International 23rd Edition

    This issue of Photovoltaics International, our 23rd, offers key insights into some of the technologies that are ready to move from lab to fab in support of these goals. ISC Konstanz offer a glimpse of what the low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells of the future might look like. On page 35 the institute’s authors give an overview of what they call Konstanz’ “technology zoo”, encompassing their so-called BiSoN, PELICAN and ZEBRA cell concepts, all of which are aimed at increasing energy yield at the lowest possible cost.

  • Manufacturing The Solar Future: The 2013 Production Annual

    In the ever-changing global solar markets, cost reduction and measures to increase cell efficiencies are the key tools available to PV manufacturers to create new opportunities and drive your business to the next level. Manufacturing the Solar Future 2013 is the third in the Photovoltaics International PV Production Annual series, delivering the next instalment of in-depth technical manufacturing information on PV production processes designed to help you gain the competitive edge.

Partners

Acknowledgements

Solar Media