Another day, another record, as new measurements made by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) have confirmed that flexible CIGS thin-film solar modules from SoloPower have produced an aperture area efficiency of 13.4%, a record for the flexible substrate-based technology. The modules were produced at SoloPower's 20MW pilot production plant in San Jose, California.

“SoloPower’s achievement of an aperture efficiency of 13.4% for our flexible CIGS modules is a result of efficiency improvement projects that have been in place during the past two years,” said Dr. Mustafa Pinarbasi, CTO at SoloPower. “We were the first company to certify flexible CIGS modules to UL 1703 and IEC standards (61646 and 61730) in 2010. We have improved the efficiency from 11.2% to 13.4% with new processes implemented in our roll to roll production line and have a strong pipeline of improvements yet to come this year.”

Although SoloPower’s CEO Tim Harris was quick to note that the cells were produced at its pilot production plant in Silicon Valley, the company did not allude to when such high-performing substrates would actually enter volume production.

The company had said back in December 2010 that it had begun shipping 260Wp substrates with 12.1% aperture efficiency, again measured by NREL.

SoloPower reiterated its plans to start production at its 400MW nameplate capacity plant in Portland, Oregon later this year.