Hanergy’s Solibro achieves 18.72% CIGS module efficiency record

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Hanergy says its Solibro Hi-Tech GmbH subsidiary, which it acquired from QCells in 2012, has set a world record 18.72% aperture area efficiency, and a 17.52% total area efficiency, for its double glass copper indium gallium selenium (CIGS) solar module. German testing lab, TÜV Rheinland has confirmed the achievement.

“The full size Solibro module with dimensions of 1.190 x 789.5 mm and a total area of 0.94 m² was measured with a STC power of 164.7 Wp,” said Solibro in a statement released. It added that the module was manufactured at the Solibro GmbH production facility, a sister company of the Solibro Hi-Tech, in Thalheim, Germany.

While it has been some time since Hanergy, or Solibro have announced the completion of any PV projects, the parent company says the thin film technology has been installed in a number of systems, including a 3MW project in Zoucheng Industrial Park, Shandong Province, China; and residential solar systems in France.

“Over the past two years, Hanergy has participated in the construction of nearly 40 photovoltaic poverty alleviation projects all across China, with a total installed capacity of more than 150 MW,” it added in a separate statement today.

According to NREL, record small-area single-junction efficiency now tops 22%, while several companies have confirmed module efficiencies exceeding 16%.

In December 2017, Japan’s Solar Frontier set a new world record, after achieving a 22.9% conversion efficiency for a CIS cell measuring 1cm².

The record was confirmed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan, and adds 0.3% to the previous record set by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, Baden Württemberg (ZSE) in February 2016; and 0.6% to Solar Frontier’s previous record of 22.3%, achieved in December 2015.

In 2015, meanwhile, Taiwanese CIGS manufacturer TSMC Solar, which exited the solar industry shortly afterwards, revealed a 16.5% CIGS world record module. The record dethroned German equipment supplier, Manz’s CIGS module record, which had only held the record position for two days.

The article was updated on February 2, 2018 at 16.50 to include information from Solibro.