• Print

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.

PV-Tech Storage Promo


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


  • Photovoltaics International 26th Edition

    Looking back, 2014 was a year of convalescence for a PV industry still battered and bruised from a period of ferocious competition. End-market demand continued apace, with analysts towards the end of 2014 predicting the year would see between around 45 and 50GW of deployment. That has begun to feed through to the supplier end of the market, with all the main manufacturers announcing capacity expansions in 2015 and further ahead.

  • Manufacturing The Solar Future: The 2014 Production Annual

    Although the past few years have proved extremely testing for PV equipment manufacturers, falling module prices have driven solar end-market demand to previously unseen levels. That demand is now starting to be felt by manufacturers, to the extent that leading companies are starting to talk about serious capacity expansions later this year and into 2015. This means that the next 12 months will be a critical period if companies throughout the supply chain are to take full advantage of the PV industry’s next growth phase.



Solar Media