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Published on June 20th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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Stion Sets New Solar Efficiency Record of 14.8% for Commercially Available Monolithic CIGS Modules



 

Stion, a US company manufacturing high-efficiency, thin-film solar modules, today announced that it has achieved a new aperture efficiency record for fully certified, monolithically integrated CIGS, commercial modules (65 cm x 165 cm). The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) verified the 14.8% aperture efficiency (and 13.4% module efficiency).

These solar modules are manufactured at Stion’s Hattiesburg, MS factory.

“Reaching 14.8% efficiency on a commercial module out of our factory in MS is a significant operational and technical advancement,” said Chet Farris, Stion’s President and CEO. “We plan to continue driving our technical roadmap while maintaining our focus on capital costs and product costs.”

Just this March, Stion’s first commercial shipment of these modules from its 100-megawatt production was sent out.

 

 

“This is a truly outstanding result and we congratulate Stion on its rapid progress in Hattiesburg,” said Rommel Noufi, the lead researcher for thin-film solar cells at NREL. “Achieving 14.8% efficiency using a large-area production process indicates that Stion is continuing to make significant innovations in CIGS technology that are reproducible and scalable. It speaks to the continued importance of US-made thin-film modules in helping meet the Department of Energy’s SunShot goals.”

Due to the rapid price in conventional PV solar panels, some have declared the imminent death of thin-film solar. However, thin-film certainly still has some advantages and with continued advancements combined with a balancing of supply and demand in the conventional PV market, thin-film solar may still have a promising future.

“Stion’s unique approach to CIGS leverages proprietary materials and device expertise along with a robust, high-volume manufacturing process based on readily available, standardized equipment,” the company notes. “Utilizing a monolithically integrated circuit design instead of assembling individual cells into a module enables a lower bill of materials and more streamlined manufacturing process.”

For those who have mentioned this in the past, or might be curious about this, I am planning to create a “Solar Facts” page that lists all current solar efficiency records, as well as other key solar facts… but it’s going to take a little while longer for me to get to that. In the meantime, we’ll be sure to update you on any new solar records (like the one above) that come across our desk.

Source: Business Wire
Image Credit: Stion

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Brent

    Keep it coming Zach, I’m sure you and eye view much of the same information based on your bio, I’ve been a frequent of all things alternative or architectual for sometime. Maybe someday when I finish it I’ll leave it to you to inform people on my project. I’ve been working on a nasa grade aluminum polycarbonate dome sheilded 3 level biosphere. Some pretty ahead of the curve concepts in structual suspension/impact absorption systems. Some innovative heat exchange energy creating techniques, ultra high density poly/aqua/perma/aero culture. It’s my life goal to achieve sustainablity as my own mortality and finiteness motivates me. Still got some work to do, but perhaps in a few month I’ll shed some light. Knowledge+Imagination=Application Application+Goal=Creation

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Sounds totally awesome! Look forward to hearing about it when it finishes.

  • Jonas lundstrom

    Looking forward to the Solar facts page and in the meantime – thank Yoy for this interesting and most educational site!

    Jonas Lundström

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      thanks a ton! i am too :D just have to find the time to get it rolling…

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