Torgau, September 06, 2011
Avancis thus improves its last efficiency record of 15.5% from the beginning of the year in time for the EU PVSEC and once again takes the lead in the efficiency ranking list of externally certified thin-film modules. The new aperture efficiency degree of 15.8% on the fully-encapsulated and framed Champion module has been confirmed by TÜV Rhineland in an advance announcement.
According to the current efficiency record table of the magazine Prog. Photovolt. 19 (2011) 565 from August of this year, the Avancis result represents a new, independently certified efficiency record for a thin-film photovoltaics module with a size of 30 x 30 cm².
“The renewed efficiency improvement can be traced back to the reduction of the layer thickness of the CIGSSe absorber by approximately 10 percent and an optimised in-line selenization process for the thinner absorbers. In addition, the P1 laser structuring was optimised and the structuring process between P1, P2 and P3 improved with the aim of further enlarging the active surface. The result was the achievement of an aperture efficiency of 15.8 %", Franz Karg, CTO of Avancis, explains the most recent success.
Important for the future application of the new technology from Avancis is also that the efficiency improvement not be achieved at the expense of impaired long-term stability. To this purpose the research and development department has carried out climate tests (so-called damp heat tests in accordance with the valid IEC storms) with several of the efficiency-optimised modules. All tests demonstrated long-term stability comparable with that of the previous products. Avancis will present the complete findings of its efficiency programme in the context of a lecture on the EU PVSEC this Wednesday under the title "TOWARDS MODULE EFFICIENCIES OF 16 % WITH AN IMPROVED CIGSSe DEVICE DESIGN". You can also find an excerpt from the lecture online at: www.avancis.de/cis-technologie/cis-weltrekorde/
So that the findings of the research department can be implemented in industrial applications as quickly as possible, the development department is here too working only with processes and materials that are actually in use in series production. Thus, for example, with the most recent record modules, the same series-identical float glass substrates with a SiN/Mo back electrode were used as for Avancis PowerMax® products.
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Avancis develops and produces photovoltaic modules based on CIS (copper indium selenide) technology. The innovative manufacturing process relies on the second-generation CIS technology that has been developed by the AVANCIS R&D department in Munich. The first plant at the company’s business location in Torgau has a production capacity of 20 megawatt peak per year (MWp p.a). The company is currently constructing a second plant with a production capacity of 100 MWp p.a. on this site. Avancis is also involved in a production joint-venture with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) via its parent company Saint-Gobain and is building a third plant in South Korea to manufacture CIS modules (also with a capacity of 100 MWp p.a.).
Siemens, Shell and Saint-Gobain are some of the big names that have helped cultivate the technology now available from AVANCIS while it was still in its infancy. 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 many years of expertise in glass coating and tempering, both core competencies of this leading global construction and automotive glass supplier.