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Solar Frontier contends that the achievement is at roughly the same level** in terms of efficiency as mass-marketed polycrystalline silicon modules (around 15 percent). Solar Frontier also says that its success in manufacturing this new CIS module on a production line at the Kunitomi Plant suggests an accelerated outlook for transferring this technology to full mass production.
Other recent milestones include the highest aperture area efficiency of 17.8% for a 30cm x 30cm CIS Solar module, and a world-record energy efficiency of 19.7% for a cadmium-free CIS solar cell (approx. 0.5 cm2).
“Champion modules are a key validation of technology transfer from Solar Frontier’s laboratories,” said Solar Frontier CTO, Satoru Kuriyagawa. “This is the kind of result we look for in the production factory once we have confirmed experimental results and simulation in our pilot plant at Atsugi Research Center.”
**As of April, 2013, the conversion efficiency of polycrystalline silicon modules is considered to be around 15%, according to Shyam Mehta, Senior Solar Analyst, GTM Research in “The module market landscape”, GTM Solar Summit 2013.