21.4% Efficiency For Flexible CIGS Solar Cell

Empa Scientists Achieve 21.4% ‘New Efficiency Record’ For Flexible CIGS Solar Cell On Polymer Film; Independently Measured By Fraunhofer ISE

21.4% Efficiency For Flexible CIGS Solar Cell

Empa scientists have been working on flexible thin film solar for several years now and have reported improvements in the efficiency recorded since 2005. In 2019, the efficiency for their flexible CIGS cell reached 20.8%, and now it has been reported by the institute at 21.4%. (Photo Credit: Empa)

  • Empa reports 21.4% power conversion efficiency for flexible CIGS solar cell on polymer film
  • It processed the high efficiency flexible solar cells on a polymer film using a low-temperature co-evaporation method
  • Fraunhofer ISE has independently measured Empa’s claim for a ‘new efficiency record’

In a research work supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa) has achieved 21.38% power conversion efficiency for flexible CIGS solar cells on polymer film, which the team terms as a new efficiency record.

This efficiency was independently measured at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) of Germany.

For their research work, the scientists processed high efficiency flexible solar cells on a polymer film with the help of a low temperature co-evaporation method for the growth of the Cu((In,Ga)Se2 based thin film semiconductor. Empa Scientist Shiro Nishiwaki, explained the institute, optimized the composition of the layer and alkali dopants to improve performance further.

Resulting effects of combined heat and illumination exposure were studied by the researchers after processing solar cells and they found improved PV performance that ‘remains stable after several months’.

The researchers see the application of these flexible CIGS solar cells for roofs and facades, greenhouses, transport vehicles, airships and portable electronics. Empa said it collaborates with Swiss CIGS module company Flisom for roll-to-roll manufacturing of lightweight flexible solar modules for such applications. Flisom is a spin-off of the Laboratory of Solid State Physics of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich).

This 21.38% efficiency level is an improvement over the previous efficiency levels achieved by the scientists starting from 12.8% in 1999, increasing to 14.1% in 2005, 17.6% in 2010, 18.7% in 2011, 20.4% in 2013, and 20.8% in 2019 (see Empa Achieves 20.8% CIGS Flexible Solar Cell Efficiency).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power.Before joining our team, Anu worked in various positions at publications of the Times Group in New Delhi. As a Principal Correspondent, she conceptualized special features and supplements for both The Times of India and The Economic Times. While Anu delved deep into solar at TaiyangNews, environment topics have been close to her heart before. As Assistant Editor, she was responsible for launching Planet Earth for The Economic Times, a special series on environment. Before joining the Times Group, Anu was a Copy Editor at the Hindustan Times.Anu holds a Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Rajasthan. She also studied at the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi on E-Outreach: New Media Technologies for Advocacy and Strategic Communication, Social Media

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