Swiss Researchers Claim 18.7 Percent Efficiency for Flexible CIGS Solar Cells
News - Staff reports
Author: CompoundSemi News Staff
May 23, 2011... A team of researchers at at Empa's Laboratory for Thin Film and Photovoltaics, led by Ayodhya N. Tiwari, claimed a new record of 18.7 percent efficiency for flexible copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells.
"The new record value for flexible CIGS solar cells of 18.7% nearly closes the "efficiency gap" to solar cells based on polycrystalline silicon (Si) wafers or CIGS thin film cells on glass," says Tiwari.
CIGS solar pundits suggest that such CIGS cells can potentially have lower manufacturing costs through roll-to-roll processing. At the same time such solar modules might offer a much higher efficiency than the ones currently on the market.
The researchers point out that lightweight and flexible solar modules reduce the so-called "balance of system" costs through reduction of costs associated with transportation, installation, structural frames for the modules etc.
The researchers assert that monolithically-interconnected flexible CIGS solar modules with efficiencies above 16% should be achievable with the recently developed processes and concepts.
The scientists worked closely with engineers at Flisom, a start-up company scaling up and commercializing the technology.
The researchers say that the efficiency improvements came from both defect reduction and lower temperature growth of the CIGS layers, which thereby reduced recombination losses. The researchers say that in situ doping with Na in the final step also apparently added to the improvement.
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