7 September 2011

Avancis raises monolithic thin-film PV module efficiency record again 

At this week’s European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC 2011) in Hamburg, Germany (5–8 September), Avancis GmbH of Torgau, Germany (a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Courbevoie, France since autumn 2009) has reported that it has raised the photovoltaic (PV) conversion efficiency of its copper indium selenide (CIS) thin-film PV modules again, from the record of 15.5% that it set in January to a new record of 15.8% for monolithic thin-film solar modules. The firm had previously set a record of 15.1% in January 2010.

The latest aperture efficiency for the fully encapsulated and framed champion module has already been confirmed by TÜV Rhineland. The result represents a new, independently certified efficiency record for a thin-film photovoltaics module measuring 30cm x 30cm, according to the August issue of the journal Progress in Photovoltaics vol19 (2011) p565.

“The renewed efficiency improvement can be traced back to the reduction of the layer thickness of the CIGSSe absorber by approximately 10% and an optimized in-line selenization process for the thinner absorbers,” says chief technology officer Franz Karg. “In addition, the P1 laser structuring was optimized and the structuring process between P1, P2 and P3 improved, with the aim of further enlarging the active surface,” he adds.

Avancis says that it is important for future application of the new technology that the efficiency improvement is not achieved at the expense of impaired long-term stability. Its R&D department has hence performed climate tests (damp heat tests, in accordance with the IEC) with several of the efficiency-optimized modules. All tests demonstrated long-term stability comparable with that of the firm’s previous products.

Also, so that the findings of the research department can be implemented in industrial applications as quickly as possible, the development department is working only with processes and materials that are actually in use in series production. For example, with the most recent record modules, the same series-identical float glass substrates with a SiN/Mo back electrode were used as for Avancis’ PowerMax products.

Avancis is presenting the complete findings of its efficiency program in a presentation ‘Towards module efficiencies of 16% with an improved CIGSSe device design’ at EU PVSEC today.

Tags: Avancis CIS PV module

Visit: www.avancis.de/cis-technologie/cis-weltrekorde

See Latest IssueRSS Feed