31 January 2011

Avancis raises monolithic thin-film PV module efficiency record to 15.5%

Avancis GmbH of Torgau, Germany (a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Courbevoie, France since autumn 2009) has boosted the photovoltaic (PV) conversion efficiency of its copper indium selenide (CIS) thin-film PV modules from the record of 15.1% that it claimed in January 2010 to a new record of 15.5% for a monolithic thin-film solar module measuring 30cm x 30cm, as verified by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, USA.

“The increase in efficiency was achieved by using a zinc oxide (ZnO) front electrode with higher conductivity,” says chief technology officer Dr Franz Karg. “We also improved the structuring process, thereby enlarging the active area of the module,” he adds. “This enabled us to optimize the width of the individual cells once more, allowing us to increase efficiency as a result.”

So that the findings of the research department could be implemented in industrial applications as quickly as possible, Avancis says that its engineering department worked exclusively with processes and materials that are actually in use in series production. The firm plans to implement many of the improved processes in the new factories that it is currently building.

Avancis is adding to its first 20MWp/a-capacity plant by building a second plant in Torgau with a production capacity of 100MWp/a, while preparing to establish a third plant in South Korea (also with a capacity of 100MWp/a) after forming the joint venture Hyundai Avancis with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd (HHI) last October.

Efficiencies are also evident in series production: modules in Avancis’ PowerMax range are already delivering 12% in the 130W class.

Tags: Avancis CIS PV module

Visit: www.avancis.de/en

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