Germany’s Avancis GmbH has received official certification from the US National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) for its 19.64% world record efficiency claim for a completely encapsulated thin-film module, with an integrated series connection measuring 30cm x 30cm.
The German CIGS solar module manufacturer says the NREL certification is for the peak value, based on the aperture are of 671 cm². With this, Avancis says, it has broken the previous world record of 19.16% for CIGS modules of this size.
Sharing details of the technology and research process deployed, Avancis says its champion module for this research was developed in the research and development center in Munich and is based on a Cu (in, Ga) (S, Se) 2 absorber, a Na-based post-treatment of the absorber and a Cd-free, sputtered ZnOS buffer.
Even though the research project used a smaller sample, part of China’s CNBM Group since 2014, Avancis asserts all essential processes are compatible with the series production of large-area CIGS modules.
“The increase in efficiency is based on an improved homogeneity of the CIS formation process, in the optimal coordination of the properties of the individual functional layers as well as in the reduction of reflection losses,” said Avancis CTO Dr. Jörg Palm while terming it an important step for CIS thin-film technology. He added, “This success continues the long history of peak efficiency levels at AVANCIS and is an important milestone on the way to module efficiency levels of CIGS modules over 20%.”
In May 2016, Avancis announced 17.9% world record efficiency for its thin-film module technology for a 30cm x 30cm aperture area, and was certified by Fraunhofer ISE (see CIGS On The Record).