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Miasolé claims 17% efficient CIGS device, 14% in production

Miasolé says it has created a 17.3 percent "champion" thin-film copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar photovoltaic device, and has started making 14 percent efficient modules in production.

February 2, 2012 - Miasolé says it has created a 17.3 percent "champion" thin-film copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar photovoltaic device, results obtained in its own labs and not (yet) independently verified. The company also says it has started making 14 percent efficient modules in production at its facility in Silicon Valley, up from the 13.5 percent average-efficiency modules in volume production since last fall. Those milestones, the company says, represent a 30 percent increase in efficiency from a year ago, and beat its own roadmap by a full year.

"Our ability to deliver 14 percent in production with the capability to achieve efficiency up to 17 percent further emphasizes the progress we are continuously making against our roadmap," said Miasolé CEO John Carrington in a statement. The company handily provided a chart for its module efficiency roadmap, showing an intersection with poly-Si efficiency sometime in 2013.

Miasolé ranked tops among CIGS solar PV modules in a recent Solarplaza study. (Note that top poly-Si module suppliers are currently around 15-16 percent efficiency as ranked by Solarplaza; mono-Si cell makers are at 21-22 percent, which translates to around 19-20 percent module efficiency.)

Miasolé sits alongside a couple of other firms (and behind leader Solar Frontier) in the CIGS universe, as recently drawn out by Lux Research, as potential "champions" if things shake out in their favor, from execution across module efficiency and production yields to building relationships with customers and partners. The company raised over $100 million during 2011, and though it has ties with Intel to help improve its manufacturing, it continues to seek out "the right partner that could help make Miasolé a more long-term enduring company that's good for our shareholders and our employees," according to Carrington. The company claims 55MW of panels shipped to date for projects in North America, Europe, and Asia.

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