Thin-film solar cell with 20.1% efficiency, produced by ZSW - Solar energy & PV news

Thin-film solar cell with 20.1% efficiency, produced by ZSW

Published on Solar energy & PV  |  April 29, 2010, 10:24

Scientists at the Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg, Germany have set a new world record for thin-film solar cells, record held for 16 years by NREL from US.


Made of copper, indium, gallium and selenium - or CIGS for short - was produced in the ZSW research laboratory in Stuttgart. This breakthrough in materials development should significantly improve the cost-effectiveness of CIGS thin-film photovoltaics over the medium term.

"This record is for thin-film technology in general and not just CIGS solar cells", says Dr. Michael Powalla, Member of the Board and Head of the Photovoltaics Division at ZSW. "It is the result of continuous systematic research which has been supported for years by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics and the European Community. A major factor in achieving this top position was the close cooperation between basic research at the university, applied research at the ZSW, and production development at our industrial partner Würth Solar."

The ZSW is an international leader in the development of CIGS thin-film modules. Together with the company Würth Solar, the institute has advanced this technology to enable industrial production. In 2006, Würth Solar launched the world’s first mass production of CIGS solar modules in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany. It now achieves a capacity of 30 megawatts per year. The ZSW is the research and development partner of Würth Solar.


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