The U.S.-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has confirmed a new conversion efficiency record for CIS (copper indium selenide) thin film modules fabricated by Avancis. Published in the journal ‘Progress in Photovoltaics,’ NREL confirmed a 15.1 % conversion efficiency for a 30 x 30 cm², fully encapsulated CIS solar module, based on the aperture area of 668 cm². Avancis produced the results in its R&D lab in Munich, Germany. The thin film start-up has produced 11% efficiency levels at its 20MWp/pa capacity plant in Torgau, Saxony.
“This world record is testimony to the fact that CIS boasts the best performance of all thin-film technologies and, with our patented, two-stage manufacturing method, we have an unrivalled production process at our disposal,” explained Dr. Franz Karg, CTO of Avancis. “Since start of production in October 2008, we have been able to increase the efficiency of standard production modules from an initial 9% to 11%.”
Avancis started CIS production in October, 2008. A year later it had said that it had reached full capacity ramp. The company is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain.