Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany — Q-Cells has set an efficiency record for mass-produced CIGS thin-film modules. The Fraunhofer ISE has confirmed a total area efficiency of 13.0% for a Q-Cells Q.SMART UF solar module manufactured by Solibro GmbH. The record efficiency was measured on June 1 by the Fraunhofer Institute.
With a power output of 97.4 Watt peak (Wp) under standard test conditions for a Q.SMART UF module with 0.750m² area, a total area efficiency of 13.0% was confirmed. With an aperture area of 0.684m², the module’s aperture area efficiency is 14.2%, which brings it to the world lead based on the record efficiency table compiled by Progress in Photovoltaics. According to the journal, the previous record of 13.5% was held by a module just half the size which, unlike the Q-Cells Q.SMART, was not mass-produced.
In September 2009, the previous record (13.5% aperture are efficiency, 12.3% total area efficiency,) was already achieved with a SL1 module out of series production. The achievement of the 13.0% total area efficiency benchmark and the 14.2% aperture area efficiency record is the result of continuous and persistent optimization of the CIGS production processes, and confirms the position of the Q-Cells CIGS modules as a premium product for residential, commercial and industrial roof-tops and façades.