AVANCIS, one of the leading international manufacturers of CIGS solar modules, advances consistently the performance of CIGS solar technology. With the efficiency of 17.9% of its latest champion module, the German company reaches the current efficiency world record for encapsulated CIGS thin-film modules. This record value was achieved with a Cd-free encapsulated module showing an aperture area of 622 cm2 and it has been certified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE).
‘This achievement is not just another world record for CIGS solar modules, it generally shows the unbroken dynamics of thin-film development’, explains Dr. Jörg Palm, CTO of AVANCIS. ‘Transferring that result into production would lead to CIGS modules with the impressive power of 170 Wp on a PowerMax® product size of 1m². With this result we have once again demonstrated leadership in developing CIGS technology. Our products exhibit not only typical application advantages of thin-film modules, but also efficiency ranges previously restricted to poly-silicon based products. Our products are therefore increasingly eligible for area constraint installations, which have been previously dominated by conventional silicon modules.’
The 30 x 30 cm² champion module is based on a mass-produced CIGS absorber from the AVANCIS production plant in Torgau and completed with refined window and module process steps by the research and development center in Munich.
The optimized indium-based buffer is deposited in an environmentally benign manner and with enhanced material yield by a completely dry vacuum coating processes. The improvement in efficiency was achieved by a modified design with reduced cell width, optimized ZnO: Al front contact and through the improved application of laser processes to reduce the dead zone between the series-connected cells.
This best performance of AVANCIS is based on intensive research and development work of the CIGS pioneer with its own pilot line, production sites in Germany and South Korea and its strong aspiration to be always among the best in performance and quality. The last certified aperture efficiency of 16.6% of the Champion module has been certified by NREL in January, 2014.