Solar Frontier

Japan-based Solar Frontier has developed a copper, indium, selenium (CIS) solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 20.9%.

The cell was produced in collaboration with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

The company said that the new efficiency record was attained at the Atsugi Research Center (ARC) in Kanagawa, Japan.

Solar Frontier’s latest record results surpass its previous CIS cell record of 19.7%.

Europe’s major application-oriented research organisation the Fraunhofer Institute has verified the latest result. Solar Frontier CTO Satoru Kuriyagawa said that its new 20.9% efficiency record resulted from a CIS cell cut from a 30cm by 30cm substrate produced using a sputtering-selenisation formation method.

Kuriyagawa said, "The significance is twofold: it ensures we can transfer our latest achievement into mass production faster, and it proves the long-term conversion efficiency potential of Solar Frontier’s proprietary CIS technology.

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"Actual performance after installation depends on how differing PV technologies react to their surrounding environment and climate."

"Solar Frontier has entered into the next phase in the development of CIS technology, and we look forward to building on this achievement and driving our efficiency even higher."

Actual performance after installation depends on how differing PV technologies react to their surrounding environment and climate.

Solar Frontier said that its CIS modules are proved to produce more electricity output in real operating conditions when compared to crystalline silicon modules.

The ARC focuses on enhancing the conversion efficiency of its CIS modules, developing its proprietary mass production machinery, and reducing overall system costs for end users.

Image: Solar Frontier’s CIS cells achieve record 20.9% efficiency. Photo: courtesy of pakorn /