Clean Power

Published on June 20th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


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

June 20th, 2012 by  


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 tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • 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

    • 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

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

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