11 March 2010


Showa Shell unveils 2nd-gen CIS PV panel with 16% cell efficiency

At last week’s PV EXPO 2010 in Tokyo, Japan (3–5 March), Showa Shell Solar Co Ltd (a subsidiary of Tokyo-based oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.) exhibited its second-generation CIS (copper indium selenium) photovoltaic panel (measuring 977mm x 1255mm), according to a report in Nikkei Electronics. Showa Shell Solar showcased the new panel under the name Solar Frontier, to which the company will change its name in April.

The PV panel was developed with technology that will be introduced to the firm's third plant being built in Miyazaki Prefecture, southern Japan (costing ¥100bn). Scheduled to open in mid-2011, the plant is expected to be the world’s largest CIS production facility, at 900MW. This will boost the firm’s annual production capacity ten-fold to 1GW, joining two existing plants in the prefecture, which began production in 2007 (at 20MW/year) and June 2009 (80MW/year), respectively.

“We use a new technology to realize a conversion efficiency of 16% with a cell measuring 30cm x 30cm,” the firm said. “Panels made by using this technology will have a module conversion efficiency of 12.2% in 2011 and 13% in 2014 because of improvement in optical designs,” it added.

Showa Shell Solar is also planning to build a fourth-generation plant, although it has not yet decided a specific date or place.The plant will use the firm’s third-generation technology, which should realize a cell conversion efficiency of 17% at the aperture area and a module conversion efficiency of 14%.

See related items:

Showa Shell to open US and Europe offices as it becomes Solar Frontier

Solar cell to return to high growth in 2010

Showa Shell to boost CIS PV panel capacity to 1GW

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