High-Efficiency CdTe and CIGS Thin-Film Solar Cells: Highlights and Challenges; Preprint

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Thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules of CdTe and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) have the potential to reach cost-effective PV-generated electricity. These technologies have transitioned from the laboratory to the market place. Pilot production and first-time manufacturing are ramping up to higher capacity and enjoying a flood of venture-capital funding. CIGS solar cells and modules have achieved 19.5% and 13% efficiencies, respectively. Likewise, CdTe cells and modules have reached 16.5% and 10.2% efficiencies, respectively. Even higher efficiencies from the laboratory and from the manufacturing line are only a matter of time. Manufacturing-line yield continues to improve and is surpassing 85%. Long-term stability has been ... continued below

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6 p.

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Noufi, R. & Zweibel, K. May 1, 2006.

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Description

Thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules of CdTe and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) have the potential to reach cost-effective PV-generated electricity. These technologies have transitioned from the laboratory to the market place. Pilot production and first-time manufacturing are ramping up to higher capacity and enjoying a flood of venture-capital funding. CIGS solar cells and modules have achieved 19.5% and 13% efficiencies, respectively. Likewise, CdTe cells and modules have reached 16.5% and 10.2% efficiencies, respectively. Even higher efficiencies from the laboratory and from the manufacturing line are only a matter of time. Manufacturing-line yield continues to improve and is surpassing 85%. Long-term stability has been demonstrated for both technologies; however, some failures in the field have also been observed, emphasizing the critical need for understanding degradation mechanisms and packaging options. The long-term potential of the two technologies require R&D emphasis on science and engineering-based challenges to find solutions to achieve targeted cost-effective module performance, and in-field durability. Some of the challenges are common to both, e.g., in-situ process control and diagnostics, thinner absorber, understanding degradation mechanisms, protection from water vapor, and innovation in high-speed processing and module design. Other topics are specific to the technology, such as lower-cost and fast-deposition processes for CIGS, and improved back contact and voltage for CdTe devices.

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6 p.

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  • Presented at the 2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-4), 7-12 May 2006, Waikoloa, Hawaii

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  • Report No.: NREL/CP-520-39894
  • Grant Number: AC36-99-GO10337
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 891540
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc875506

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  • May 1, 2006

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • April 6, 2017, 12:53 p.m.

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Noufi, R. & Zweibel, K. High-Efficiency CdTe and CIGS Thin-Film Solar Cells: Highlights and Challenges; Preprint, article, May 1, 2006; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc875506/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.