Samsung now holds the record for the most efficient CIGS solar panels — 15.7% on a 1.44 square-meter substrate. This efficiency was achieved using a two-stage process similar to that of Solar Frontier.
Solar Frontier isn’t terribly far behind with its 14.7% efficiency rating, which was achieved on a 1.23 square-meter substrate. Samsung’s 15.7% efficiency was confirmed by TÜV Rheinland, a company that tests and certifies the quality of products.
Samsung intends to construct a 200 MW production facility in 2014 and scale it up to 1 GW in 2015. It plans to catch up to Solar Frontier’s capacity (which is over 1 GW) rather quickly.
A company official said:
“As the CIGS [modules] have strengths in a high-temperature environment, [demand] will gradually increase in the so-called Sun Belt, including the Middle East. Samsung SDI is expected to decide when to start production while mulling over when the building-centered stable market will be formed while lowering the production cost.”
Speaking of learning: Virtually every industry has to go through rough patches, particularly when in their infancy. However, one thing to keep in mind is the fact that the money invested in research and development of technology doesn’t all go to waste if the receiving company fails. Once they learn from their failures and other discoveries, that knowledge doesn’t die. Others can pick up after them and move forward.
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Image Credit: Ascent Solar.
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