Solar Frontier Breaks Thin Film Efficiency World Record; hits 19.6% CIS Efficiency

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 0 comments

Solar Frontier’s Atsugi Research Center developed the Record Breaking Solar Cell

Solar Frontier has announced that, in joint research with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), that they have achieved a world record-breaking energy conversion efficiency of 19.7% for cadmium-free, thin-film solar cells measuring approx. 0.5 cm2. 

This was measured by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). This New Cell has surpassed the 18.6% efficiency which was recorded over 10 years back.
“This new achievement in energy conversion efficiency indicates the high level of Solar Frontier’s technology and the high potential of CIS technology,” said Satoru Kuriyagawa, Chief Technology Officer, Solar Frontier. 
The CIS thin-film modules currently available from Solar Frontier have gained a reputation for high performance in actual power generation, as they are not easily affected by shadows or high temperatures. Now, even higher real-world performance can be expected by applying this new basic technology. We will continue working to further enhance our technological capabilities with the aim of setting a world record for thin-film solar cells overall.
This world record was achieved using cells cut from a 30cm x 30cm substrate, rather than specifically-developed small area cells, demonstrating high potential for further increases. Moreover, the formation method utilized by Solar Frontier to achieve the result is the same method it uses for mass-production, a process of sputtering followed by selenization. Solar Frontier has chosen this method over co-evaporation due to greater efficiencies in mass production and aims to surpass the current record of 20.3% efficiency set with the co-evaporation method.
Currently, the CIS thin-film solar modules produced at Kunitomi have a conversion efficiency that exceeds 13%, and the amount of electricity generated (kWh) per installed capacity (kW) exceeds that of other solar modules.
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