The module was produced on Manz production equipment at a Würth Solar plant Germany. The two companies have been working in partnership on CIGS thin-film technology; with a third partner being the not-for-profit research body Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württmberg (ZSW).
The partnership was formed in 2010 and this weeks claim that they have achieved a world is a significant result. The ZSW has also claimed a laboratory CIGS thin-film technology record world-record efficiency level of 20.3 percent.
Manz has developed a turnkey CIGS plant called the CIGSfab. "Since worldwide module manufacturers are currently facing a considerable decline in prices, the only manufacturers who will survive financially are those who position themselves as cost leaders and can offer products with the best possible efficiency. Our CIGSfab perfectly meets these two demands and, in addition, is also based on the thin-film technology with the most potential," explained CEO Dieter Manz.
The CIGS technology that Manz has developed works on a: vacuum deposition? Target? Temperature? Due to the lack of Cadmium, which is utilized by rival CadTel thin-film producers, CIGS manufacturers can claim to have a greener or more environmentally friendly product.
CIGS is seen as a rival technology to the poly and mono-silicon as some believe the potential for production cost reduction and efficiency gains with CIGS to be large. In July Californian-based manufacturer XsunX claimed the previous efficiency record. Japans Solar Frontier has also been backing CIGS, last month announcing that all lines are open at its new 900 megawatt Kunitomi plant.
In the September edition of pv magazine, there is a full report on the thin-film market and on Solar Frontiers new facility.
Manz will present a CIGS forum on Tuesday, September 6th at the EUPVSEC convention in Hamburg.