CIGS thin-film PV tech reaches 17.4% efficiency

Solibro GmbH, a subsidiary of Q-Cells SE, has acheived 17.4% power conversion efficiency with its thin-film copper/indium/gallium/selenide (CIGS) Q.SMART PV module technology.

November 29, 2011 — Solibro GmbH, a subsidiary of Q-Cells SE, has acheived 17.4% (aperture area) power conversion efficiency with its thin-film copper/indium/gallium/selenide (CIGS) Q.SMART PV module technology.

The efficiency was confirmed by the independent Fraunhofer ISE Institute in Freiburg, Germany.

The test module was 16cm2 and fabricated using mass-production-scalable processes. The co-evaporation CIGS process uses metal flux profiles, temperature profiles as well as process time similar to Solibro?s current production. The CIGS technology uses a “light-soaking” technology to boost power about 2.5% above average in standard test conditions.

Also read: Top CIGS PV modules by efficiency

Solibro’s roadmap for the Q.SMART module targets an average aperture efficiency out of series production of up to 16.7% in 2016, said Lars Stolt, CTO of Solibro. Q.SMART outperforms in diverse environmental conditions, including low-light periods of the day and high-heat climates. The modules can be used in residential, commercial, and utility-scale installations.

The CIGS technology behind Q.SMART was developed in 1983 by the Ångström Solar Center at Uppsala University, Sweden, commercialized by the spin-off company Solibro in 2006, and acquired by Q-Cells in 2009.

Q.SMART is produced in Thalheim, Germany, at the company’s own factory with a total nominal production capacity of 135MWp.

The Q-Cells Group is a leading photovoltaics company offering solar cells and modules as well as solar power plants. Q-Cells is quoted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (QCE; ISIN DE0005558662) and also listed on the TecDAX, the German technology index. Learn more at www.q-cells.com.

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