Manz reaches 14.6% CIGS panel efficiency

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Setting a new thin film photovoltaic record, Manz says its mass produced CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) panel has achieved an efficiency of 14.6% and an aperture efficiency of 15.9%. The news has been certified by TÜV Rheinland.

Having already achieved an efficiency of 20.3% in the lab, the company is confident further gains can be made. "Out of all thin-film technologies CIGS has the greatest potential to further increase efficiency rates and cut costs," it says in a statement released.

Significant cost reduction

Manz says its fully automated Manz CIGSfab production line has helped cut investment costs for a production line by around 40% over the past 2 years. "This was primarily made possible thanks to new developments related to the systems in the process, such as the CIGS co-evaporator, a significant increase in throughput, and the standardization of the equipment used," it explains.

Founder and CEO, Dieter Manz adds, "This means the cost of solar power is now at similar level as electricity from fossil power plants and is significantly less expensive than electricity from offshore wind parks."

Furthermore, Manz says that by using a 200 MW CIGSfab line, it is possible to reduce manufacturing costs to just US$0.55/Wp (around €0.43). If the line is scaled up to a GW level, they can reportedly be lowered to under $0.40/Wp. "In comparison, Chinese crystalline solar cell manufacturers’ production costs are close to $1 / Wp on average, and the lion’s share are sold for less than the production costs," continues the statement.

In line with these cost reductions, the German engineering company claims it will be able to supply power costing €0.04/kWh in Spain and €0.08/kWh in Germany "depending on the location", in the future.