A new efficiency record of 21.4% for flexible CIGS solar cell on polymer film has been achieved by scientists at the Swiss institute Empa. Solar cells of this type are especially suited for applications on roofs, transport vehicles or mobile devices.
A group of scientists at Empa has pushed the efficiency of flexible solar cells to a new limit. Independent measurements revealed an efficiency of 21.4 percent when these types of solar cells convert light into electricity. For comparison: the best efficiency of a non-flexible solar cell made of crystalline silicon is reported at 26.7 percent.
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The details of the research achievement was presented yesterday at the 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy and Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC).
High efficiency flexible solar cells are processed on a polymer film by a low temperature co-evaporation method for the growth of the thin film Cu(In,Ga)Se2 semiconductor that absorbs the light. Empa scientist Shiro Nishiwaki optimized the composition of the layer and alkali dopants for achieving performance improvement.
Flexible and lightweight solar modules with this technology are especially suited for applications on roofs and facades of buildings, greenhouses, transport vehicles, airships and portable electronics. Empa collaborates with Swiss company Flisom for roll-to-roll manufacturing of lightweight flexible solar modules for such applications.
Cover foto: CIGS flexible solar cells. (c) Empa
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