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28 April 2015

Manz sets CIGS PV module efficiency record of 16% using mass-production line

At the 9th SNEC PV Power Expo in Shanghai, China (27-30 April), Manz AG of Reutlingen, Germany (a supplier of integrated production lines for crystalline silicon solar cells and thin-film solar modules) has announced that it has set a record solar energy conversion efficiency of 16% for a copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module, as certified by testing organization TÜV Rheinland.

Made on Manz's mass-production line in Schwäbisch Hall, the record CIGS modules are based on transfer of the laboratory cells of exclusive development partner ZSW (Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung — or Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research — Baden-Württemberg) of Stuttgart, Germany, which in autumn 2014 demonstrate record efficiency of 21.7% (superiority to that of crystalline solar cells).

The performance increase was achieved mainly using the next generation of CIGS semiconductor material, which Manz applies to a glass substrate in a co-evaporation process. Additional innovation includes a new module design for increasing the active module surface area. In addition, Manz was able to sustainably reduce optical losses.

"Building on the know-how of ZSW and our own experts, it is thus absolutely realistic that we will already be able to present module efficiencies of significantly higher than 17% in the near future, produced on our innovative production line in Schwäbisch Hall," says founder & CEO Dieter Manz. "We have already mastered the necessary processes in the lab, such as the after-treatment of CIGS coatings. The goal of our joint efforts is the further reduction of electricity costs – around the world, under all climatic conditions," he adds. 

"With significantly lower production costs compared to crystalline solar cells, CIGS technology will play a large role in the coming investment cycle of the photovoltaics industry," believes Manz. The firm's CIGS modules already offer the lowest electricity generation costs compared with existing crystalline silicon technology, it is claimed.

The firm adds that it offers potential investors in CIGS production systems a long-term roadmap for further efficiency increases, whose milestones have always been achieved ahead of schedule in recent years.

See related items:

ZSW raises thin-film PV efficiency record from 21% to 21.7%

ZSW raises thin-film PV efficiency record from 20.3% to 20.8%

ZSW raises its thin-film solar cell efficiency record to 20.3%

Tags: Manz CIGS PV

Visit: www.zsw-bw.de

Visit: www.manz.com

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