Thin Film CIS has a faster energy payback
Energy Payback Time (EPT) is the amount of time required in operation to recover the energy spent in producing the modules themselves. Simply put, CIS modules require less energy to produce — 60% less than the current industry standard crystalline silicon. CIS cells are typically 100 times thinner than crystalline cells, requiring less natural resources, and the manufacturing process for a complete module involves significantly fewer steps, with the entire process happening under one roof — from raw materials to finished product.
“This efficiency achievement marks a major milestone on the road toward equaling or surpassing the performance of polycrystalline silicon cells with mass-production CIS modules,” said Satoru Kuriyagawa, Chief Technology Officer at Solar Frontier. “Solar Frontier’s Atsugi Research Centre is one of the most advanced solar R&D labs in the world and the work done here is the foundation on which our products are built. We constantly apply the technological advances made in Atsugi to mass production through our integrated research and production framework, which includes a pilot plant equipped with the machines on which our gigawatt-scale Kunitomi plant’s machinery is based. As we improve conversion efficiency in our labs, these achievements will be applied to our production modules so we can continue to provide our customers with ever higher performance thin-film CIS modules.”If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on ycombinator or StumbleUpon. Thanks
The new record surpasses Solar Frontier’s previous achievement of 16.3% set in September, 2010. Details of the 17.2% achievement will be made available at the 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, to be held June 19-24, 2011 at the Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Washington.
Solar Frontier’s next-generation modules are currently manufactured at the Kunitomi plant, which started commercial production in February 2011.