Torgau, February 13, 2014
AVANCIS increased its last externally certified efficiency record of 2011 and heads again the international efficiency ranking of encapsulated CIS thin-film modules. The aperture efficiency of 16.6 % of the champion module has been certified by NREL in January 2014 and will be listed in the official record efficiency table of the journal Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications released in the next edition (Solar Efficiency Tables, Table II: Confirmed terrestrial module efficiencies). Together with the recently published efficiency of ZSW´s 20.8 % efficiency on a laboratory cell, the result demonstrates the extraordinary potential of the CIS based thin-film technologies.
"The increased efficiency shows the enormous potential of our CIS production process," comments Dr. Jörg Palm, Head of Process Development at AVANCIS. "A transfer of the pilot process to the production would lead to an impressive module performance of nearly 160 Wp of the approximately 1 m² sized PowerMax ® modules. The very good homogeneity of the CIS absorber properties based on production dimensions of 158 x 66 cm² were demonstrated by the minor deviation of 0.15 % absolute between different 30 x 30 cm² modules from the same full-size absorber."
The 30 x 30 cm² sized champion module is taken by a mass-produced CIS absorber of the second AVANCIS factory in Torgau, and was further processed from the buffer processing in the research and development center in Munich.
The improvement in efficiency is based on the optimization of the buffer layer with respect to InxSy bandgap, band matching, and in particular transmission in a short wavelength range. In addition, the transmittance and the sheet resistance of the sputtered ZnO:Al front contact was optimized and the dead area between the series-connected cells was reduced by the use of picosecond laser process
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Dr. Jörg Palm
AVANCIS develops and produces thin film modules based on Copper-Indium-Selenide composite, so called CIS-Modules. The innovative production process relies on the second generation CIS technology, developed by the AVANCIS R&D lab in Munich and implemented in its production sites in Torgau. Siemens, Shell and Saint-Gobain are big names that helped to encourage AVANCIS´ recent thin film technology right from the beginning. The successes achieved in the field of photovoltaics are largely due to their efforts. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain since autumn 2009, Avancis benefits from Saint-Gobain’s long-term expertise in glass coating and heat treatment, both core competencies of this leading global construction and automotive glass supplier.