2 December 2010

MiaSolé hits 15.7% efficiency with commercial-scale CIGS PV module

MiaSolé of Santa Clara, CA, USA, which was founded in 2001 to make copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic panels, says that the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has independently confirmed the 15.7% efficiency of its large-area production modules (1m2 in size).

Closely following the 14.3% efficiency announced just in September, this is claimed to be the highest efficiency demonstrated for commercial-size thin-film modules, effectively closing the gap with polycrystalline silicon module efficiencies.

“This is a significant accomplishment as it represents the ability to manufacture full-scale CIGS modules with efficiencies equal to or better than that of polycrystalline silicon modules available in the world today but manufactured at a thin-film cost structure,” says CEO Dr Joseph Laia. “We are executing ahead of our roadmap for efficiency improvements and feel confident in our ability to bring high-efficiency CIGS technology to the market place,” he adds.

MiaSolé has previously announced that it would start shipping its 13% efficiency modules in second-quarter 2011 upon completion of UL and IEC certifications.

“An almost 1.5% absolute increase in efficiency in such a short time on a continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing line is impressive and demonstrates good process control and a validation of the MiaSolé approach,” comments NREL solar researcher Dr Rommel Noufi. “This achievement significantly narrows the efficiency gap between manufacturing performance and cells produced in the laboratory (20.3%),” he points out. “It also moves CIGS technology well on its way to achieving DOE’s target of $1 per Wp photovoltaic systems.”

MiaSolé says that it now offers bank-financeable solar modules with efficiency comparable to polysilicon combined with the lower manufacturing costs of thin-film modules.

The firm’s unique manufacturing process deposits CIGS on a flexible stainless-steel substrate and produces all of the layers required for the solar cell in a single continuous process. MiaSolé claims to be the only thin-film solar firm that uses sputtering processes in every step of the module's coating process, reducing manufacturing time and cost of production.

MiaSolé operates two manufacturing facilities and will ship 22MW in 2010. Products are designed for utilities and independent power producers to use in industrial-scale deployments such as large-scale rooftop and ground-mount installations.

See related items:

Miasolé exceeds 14% efficiency with commercial-scale CIGS thin-film PV modules

Tags: MiaSolé CIGS

Visit: www.MiaSolé.com

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