Solar Frontier’s latest champion module from its flagship Kunitomi Plant in Miyazaki, Japan, has achieved 14.6% conversion efficiency.
- The CIGS thin-film module with the efficiency of 14.6% was produced in Kunitomi plant
The rated capacity of this 1257mm x 977mm module has been certified by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) at 179.8W.
This achievement is at the same level in terms of efficiency as mass-marketed polycrystalline silicon modules. Solar Frontier’s success in manufacturing this new CIS module on a production line at the Kunitomi Plant suggests an accelerated outlook for transferring this technology to full mass production.
2013 marks the 20th anniversary of R&D on CIS technology at Showa Shell Sekiyu, Solar Frontier’s parent company. Other recent milestones include the world’s highest aperture area efficiency of 17.8% for a 30cm x 30cm CIS Solar module, and a world-record energy efficiency of 19.7% for a cadmium-free CIS solar cell (approx. 0.5 cm2).
CIS technology has the potential to achieve even higher energy conversion efficiency, and there is also room for further production cost reductions. Solar Frontier’s manufacturing process requires a lower quantity of raw materials and energy, which also means its CIS solar modules have a lower environmental impact. The higher efficiencies strengthen the competitive edge of a CIS solar module that is rapidly gaining a reputation for higher actual output in real world conditions.