New Record in Thin-Film Solar Technology Efficiency

Layout of Manz's CIGSfab (Source: Manz)

Layout of Manz’s CIGSfab (Source: Manz)

With 22.6 %, the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW), Manz AG’s exclusive research partner in the field of CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide solar cell) thin-film solar technology on glass, has brought the world record for CIGS thin-film solar cell efficiency back to Germany. According to Manz, it is the highest efficiency factor ever achieved in thin-film solar technology and exceeds even the previous record held by today’s market-leading multicrystalline silicon solar technology. The world record was officially confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg.

As part of ZSW and Manz’s collaborative research, which is supported nationally by Germany and regionally by Baden-Wuerttemberg, cost reduction of solar energy will continue to be promoted. The competitiveness of solar power increases steadily through the increase of the efficiency rate and simultaneous decline in cost. In many parts of the world, solar power is now at a similar price level as power from fossil energy sources and considerably below the price of power gained from offshore wind farms.

Dieter Manz explained, “CIGS technology is currently the superior solar technology in every respect and combines the best of about 40 years of German development history funded by the Federal Republic (…). The close collaboration between research and industry was a key to success along Germany’s path towards playing a leading role in this area. The next step is helping to bring this technology throughout the world. The environment for this is now better than ever. Particularly in large markets with regulations regarding local value creation, CIGS technology can make the most of its unique advantages. Due to the high level of integration, the production process is faster and considerably more affordable than any other solar technologies. The required materials can largely be procured on location. Because CIGS solar plants will make power generation more efficient and affordable worldwide, I am optimistic that CIGS thin-film technology will gain significant market shares. As the only worldwide provider of a fully integrated production line for CIGS thin-film modules, major opportunities for growth are opening up to us, which we want to take advantage of.” (Source: Manz)

Links: Manz AG, Reutlingen, Germany • Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW), Stuttgart, Germany


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