Clean Power

Published on October 31st, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Thin-Film Solar Cell Efficiency Record Set By Centre For Solar Energy & Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg

October 31st, 2013 by  

Originally published on Solar Love.

thin film solar cell efficiency recordThe Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) has announced that it has set a new copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cell efficiency record.

The 20.8% record beats ZSW’s own previous record of 20.3% as well as the 20.4% multicrystalline PV cell record — the first time that thin-film solar cell efficiency has surpass multicrystalline PV cell efficiency.

“Our new record shows that CIGS thin-film technology still has untapped technological and economic potential,” says Michael Powalla, head of the photovoltaics division at ZSW.


The record was confirmed by Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.

Of course, thin-film solar PV has some advantages. “Compared to standard solar cells, thin-film photovoltaics saves materials and energy since the coating used is just micrometres thick. This is a considerable cost reduction factor for future production. The experts all agree that the new record demonstrates the great potential of CIGS technology for even more cost-effective and efficient photovoltaics.”

Thin-film solar has always had that low-cost advantage. But for its efficiency (typically its weak spot) to rise, it could really see some market growth. If this can be translated into commercial products.

So, what will this actually translate into in commercial products? “It may take a little time for the higher efficiency to be reflected in production,” Powalla says. “But 16 to 18% in commercial modules is possible over the next few years.”

For more solar records and solar facts, check out our Solar Energy & Solar Power Facts page.





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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.



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