ZSW research institute claims 19.6% CIS solar cell efficiencies


A new European record has been claimed by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, for copper-indium-gallium-diselenide thin film solar cell, which has produced under pilot production conditions. ZSW said that a 19.6% conversion efficiency had been recorded using an inline multistage process in its automated coating plant. The results have been certified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

“What’s really special about our success is not the actual efficiency level in itself,” commented Dr. Michael Powalla, Member of the Board at ZSW. “The decisive fact is that we’re producing solar cells and small modules with a CIS plant designed to perform all process steps over the area of 30 cm by 30 cm, representing a pre-industrial scale. This level of development creates the prerequisites for cutting costs as well as increasing efficiency. For such a production-level plant, the
19.6 percent for an active cell area of almost 0.5 square centimetres is actually a world record.”

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ZSW has been collaborating with commercial partner, Würth Solar for many years. The thin film PV manufacturer has recorded average volume production efficiencies of 12 percent at its 30MW capacity plant.

Powalla said that he expects commercial module efficiency levels of between 14 and 15% to be achieved within the next few years.


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