WEDNESDAY 13 MAY, 2009 |
Thin Film Solar Cell 19.6% Efficiency Achieved
A record has been set by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW
in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, for thin film solar cell conversion efficiency, which has produced under pilot production conditions.
ZSW said that a 19.6% conversion efficiency had been recorded using an inline multistage process in its automated coating
plant and the results have been certified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.
The thin film cells are made from from copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIS or CIGS for
Manufacturers have produced almost 90 percent of all solar cells from crystalline
silicon, such as is seen in polycrystalline
, but thin-film technology is becoming more popular. In 2008,
thin film solar cells accounted for 12 percent of total installed photovoltaic
capacity globally and 20 to 30 percent is forecast for 2010.
One of the current challenges of thin
film solar panels
are their relative inefficiency compared to other module
types; meaning that more thin film panels are required to create the same amount
of electricity. This can pose a problem where suitable roof space is limited,
such as on the average house. However, ZSW board member Michael Powalla predicts
that efficiency levels of between 14 and 15 percent can also be achieved for commercial
thin film modules within the next few years.
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