The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

New CIGS Solar Cell Efficiency Record

Researchers from the Germany Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) have broken a new efficiency record for thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide solar cells.

The researchers produced a 20.3 percent efficient cell, only a fraction less than the best multi-crystalline cells on the market. However, producing a cell in a lab is much different than mass production. CIGS cells typically reach about 10-11 percent when manufactured in large numbers.

The area of the world record cell is 0.5 square centimeters. The semiconducting CIGS layer and the contact layers have a total thickness of only four thousandths of a millimeter, making them 50 times thinner than standard silicon cells.

CIGS cells have received a lot of attention in recent years because of their high efficiency. But scaling the technology outside of the lab has been difficult because of the complexity of manufacturing. Many companies have been bogged down in building new manufacturing lines and have burned through copious amounts of capital with little to show.

Within the next years, the efficiency of the relatively low-priced CIGS thin-film solar modules will rise from about 11 percent to about 15 percent, say ZSW researchers. The question is: Will companies be able to finally capitalize on that efficiency gain? Or will they continue to be bogged down by high capital requirements and low product volumes?

Some companies, like the start-up Applied Quantum Technologies, have learned from the problems that have hurt CIGS producers and are taking a more modular, incremental approach to building manufacturing lines.

One of the older companies in the CIGS space, MiaSole, announced this week that it will be supplying the developer juwi Solar with 7.5 MW of modules for projects in Germany. Miasole said earlier this year that it would ship over 20-MW of product. However, it is still unclear if it will sell that much in the remainder of 2010.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Hybrid solar minigrid to power Tanzanian island village

Tildy Bayar

A hybrid solar photovoltaic-battery energy storage-diesel minigrid project aims to provide power for around 400 households in the remote island village of Lake Victoria (pictured) in Tanzania. 

World Moves Toward 100 Percent Renewable Energy – First Electricity, Then Heating/Cooling, and Finally Transportation

Junko Movellan The exclusive use of energy from renewable resources in at least one sector has now become a feasible goal for 8 countries. Diane Moss, Founding Director of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, discussed this remarkable develop...

Solar power growth impacting UK electricity sector

Diarmaid Williams

Q2 of 2015 saw a large increase in the generation of electricity from solar PV in the UK, with the growth having a significant impact on electricity market prices and other supply factors.

PACE Finance Opening Doors for C&I Solar In California

Susan Kraemer, Correspondent With its excellent renewable policy, California leads the nation in solar. Over the years both the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the California Solar Initiative drove utility scale and residential solar deployment. But w...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Grid-connected and Off-grid Photovoltaics

This training covers all aspects of planning, installation, maintenance,...

5th Annual Hydro Plant Maintenance

Join maintenance professionals to discuss the challenges in maintenance ...

2015 Green Energy Expo

Stop by and visit Canadian Solar at the Green Energy Expo in Mexico City!

COMPANY BLOGS

LSX rises with sustainable wine making in Mexico

his custom LSX solar canopy shades the upper deck organic gard...

Do Your Goals Match Your Values?

Before you set goals for your company or your personal work performance ...

A Networking Story

When you’re at a networking event and you meet someone who works i...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS