A new project increased the efficiency of solar cells in CIGS to 25%, achieving the performance of crystalline silicon solar cells.

An international consortium of European researchers has achieved the latest big boost in the performance of thin-film or thin-film photovoltaic panels.

This group has achieved 25% efficiency for the first time with CIGS solar cells ((di) copper, indium and gallium selenide). This semiconductor has a high solar absorption power and therefore requires very little amount to do its job. With a much lower cost than other materials and potentially lower manufacturing costs, CIGS PV has been the most likely rival to crystalline silicon in recent years. However, the efficiency of converting light into electricity has always been a cut below.

Today this is no longer the case: in Belgium, scientists from the University of Hasselt, imec, VITO, EnergyVille and international partners of the PERCISTAND consortium have filled this gap. open the door to a new future for thin-film photovoltaic panels.

This group was the first in the world to achieve 25% conversion efficiency with a 1 cm² cell. This means that this unit is capable of producing the same electricity as a traditional silicon cell.

In addition, our photovoltaic energy is thin and flexible, which makes it ideal for integration into facades and roofs of buildings. With these thin film solar cells, we are really competitive with the traditional solar panel industry for the first time.

Teacher. Bart Vermang, University of Hasselt.

To achieve this, the team used two types of overlapping materials that reinforce each other.

Our consortium is a collaboration of what we can safely call the best thin-film solar cell research teams in the world. Some colleagues work in the lower cell, others in the upper cell. In recent weeks, we have combined our best results, and this is how we have already achieved this high level of efficiency of 25%. Our ambition is now to generate 30% energy efficiency over the next three years.

Bart Vermang.

When will the new thin film photovoltaic panels be purchased?For the time beingVermang replied,we got these results in units of about 1 square centimeter. I imagine the actual modules will be available on the market within eight years. “

More information: www.imec-int.com