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Jan 8th, 2013
Solar Frontier achieves record 19.7% CIS efficiency
Solar Frontier, in joint research with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), has achieved a world record-breaking energy conversion efficiency of 19.7% for cadmium-free, thin-film solar cells measuring approx. 0.5 cm2, as measured by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).
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  • This is the world record for a CIS (CIGS) cell made by sputtering.
  • The record for co-evaporated CIS cell is only slightly higher: 20.3%.

It has been ten years since the previous record of 18.6% was surpassed.

This world record was achieved using cells cut from a 30cm x 30cm substrate, rather than specifically-developed small area cells, demonstrating high potential for further increases. Moreover, the formation method utilized by Solar Frontier to achieve the result is the same method it uses for mass-production, a process of sputtering followed by selenization. Solar Frontier has chosen this method over co-evaporation due to greater efficiencies in mass production and aims to surpass the current record of 20.3% efficiency set with the co-evaporation method.
Solar Frontier’s CIS modules are manufactured at the company’s Kunitomi Plant, which boasts world-class production capacity and cutting-edge technology. Since the Kunitomi Plant started commercial production in February 2011, it has steadily increased its production efficiency. Currently, the CIS thin-film solar modules produced at Kunitomi have a conversion efficiency that exceeds 13%, and the amount of electricity generated (kWh) per installed capacity (kW) exceeds that of other solar modules. Showa Shell Sekiyu and Solar Frontier intend to contribute even further to the expansion of Japan’s energy industry and local production and consumption using environmentally-friendly CIS thin-film solar modules made in Japan.


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