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09.06.2010 00:00

Q-Cells sets a new 13.0 % efficiency record for mass-produced CIGS thin-film modules


Bitterfeld-Wolfen, 9 June 2010 – Q-Cells sets again a world efficiency record for mass-produced CIGS thin-film modules. The Fraunhofer ISE has confirmed a total area efficiency of 13.0 % for a Q-Cells Q.SMART UF solar module manufactured by Solibro GmbH.

The record efficiency was measured on June 1, by the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany. With a power output of 97.4 Watt peak (Wp) under standard test conditions for a Q.SMART UF (former CIGS SL1) module with 0.750 m² area, a total area efficiency of 13.0% was confirmed. Moreover, with an aperture area of 0.684 m², the module's aperture area efficiency is 14.2%, which brings it to the world lead based on the record efficiency table compiled by  Progress in Photovoltaics. According to the journal, the previous record of 13.5% was held by a module just half the size which – unlike the Q-Cells Q.SMART was not mass-produced. 

In September 2009, the previous record (13.5% aperture are efficiency, 12.3% total area efficiency,) was already achieved with a SL1 module out of series production. The achievement of the 13.0% total area efficiency benchmark and the 14.2% aperture area efficiency record is the result of continuous and persistent optimization of the CIGS production processes, and confirms the position of the Q-Cells CIGS modules as a premium product for residential, commercial and industrial roof-tops and façades. Furthermore, the increase of average efficiency associated with the new  record result further provides the basis for a future introduction of a new “95 Wp power class” (with positive sorting +5/-0 Wp) for the “Q.SMART (SL1-Framed) and Q.SMART UF (SL1) modules within the following next months.

Q.SMART UF spec at a glance

  • ? Module type: Q.SMART UF (former SL1 CIGS module) 
  • ? Power classes /efficiency: 70–90Wp;* 9.3–12.0% 
  • ? Format (height x width): 1190mm x 630mm 
  • ? Thickness: 7.4mm 
  • ? Weight: 13.2kg 

* With positive power sorting (+5W/–0W)