PVcomB and AVANCIS launch joint MyCIGS research project in order to improve outdoor performance of thin film CIGS solar modules

The energy yields of CIGS modules under real world conditions can be measured on a outdoor testing platform at PVcomB.

The energy yields of CIGS modules under real world conditions can be measured on a outdoor testing platform at PVcomB. © HZB

The Competence Centre Thin-Film- and Nanotechnology for Photovoltaics Berlin (PVcomB) is contributing its expertise to improving copper-indium-gallium-sulphide (CIGS) thin-film production in the MyCIGS collaborative research project. CIGS-module manufacturer AVANCIS in Munich is coordinating this project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Oldenburg University) and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) are also partners in the project.

Thin-film solar modules based on copper-indium-gallium-diselenide compounds, or CIGS for short, are highly efficient, economical, and versatile. [1] Thanks to their special properties, they can be employed not just on roofing, but for building cladding as well. Building-integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) offer diverse new aesthetic configurations for architecture and will find a place on many more surfaces in urban environments.

Improvement in energy yield

Whereas module efficiency has been the focus of previous projects, the MyCIGS project will address how to optimise the energy yield in actual applications, i.e. under realistic conditions of outdoor use. In addition to the efficiency, additional properties such as the temperature coefficients and the power output under conditions of low or diffuse illumination are critical factors. These also play an important role when employing CIGS modules in cladding and buildings. 

Expertise at PVcomB in CIGS thin film technology

“We have a lot of experience at PVcomB with characterising and tuning the performance of CIGS thin-films”, explains Dr. Reiner Klenk, in charge of the MyCIGS Project at PVcomB. Using the numerous measurement techniques that have been established at PVcomB, major parameters like temperature coefficients and behaviour under low light conditions can be traced back to physical processes in the solar module. The research project fits in with PVcomB’s strategy of going beyond manufacturing technologies and to also address topics such as encapsulation, reliability, outdoor measurements, and building integration.

New Outdoor Performance research group

As part of the Helmholtz Energy Systems Integration Project for the Future, a new research group headed by Dr. Carolin Ulbrich has just been established. This research group will now be able to measure the energy yields of CIGS modules as well as acquire data sets on local incident radiation and temperature by means of a outdoor testing platform at PVcomB.

Optimised modules

AVANCIS and PVcomB utilise differing technologies and materials in fabricating the individual layers of solar modules. Differing layers made by the project partners can be combined, thereby generating a combinatorial set of baseline data with which the influence of manufacturing technologies on the energy yield can be determined more accurately.

In addition, MyCIGS will benefit from the current PEARL TF-PV solar-era.net project in which PVcomB is augmenting its expertise in defect analysis of CIGS solar modules through collaboration with its German, Dutch, and Austrian institutional research partners, module manufacturers, and solar power station designers.

 

[1] White Paper for CIGS Thin-Film Solar Cell Technology

AVANCIS / HZB

You might also be interested in

  • Stability of perovskite solar cells reaches next milestone
    Science Highlight
    27.01.2023
    Stability of perovskite solar cells reaches next milestone
    Perovskite semiconductors promise highly efficient and low-cost solar cells. However, the semi-organic material is very sensitive to temperature differences, which can quickly lead to fatigue damage in normal outdoor use. Adding a dipolar polymer compound to the precursor perovskite solution helps to counteract this. This has now been shown in a study published in the journal Science by an international team led by Antonio Abate, HZB. The solar cells produced in this way achieve efficiencies of well above 24 %, which hardly drop under rapid temperature fluctuations between -60 and +80 Celsius over one hundred cycles. That corresponds to about one year of outdoor use.
  • NETZWERKTAG der Allianz für Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik
    Nachricht
    24.01.2023
    NETZWERKTAG der Allianz für Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik
    Der 2. Netzwerktag der Allianz BIPV findet statt am

    14.02.2023
    10:00 - ca. 16:00 Uhr

    Das HZB, Mitglied in der Allianz BIPV, freut sich, Gastgeber des branchenweiten Austausches zu sein. Neben Praxiserfahrungen von Vertretenden aus Architektur, Fassadenbau und angewandter Forschung steht der direkte Austausch und die Diskussion im Vordergrund.

  • Scientists Develop New Technique to Image Fluctuations in Materials
    Science Highlight
    18.01.2023
    Scientists Develop New Technique to Image Fluctuations in Materials
    A team of scientists, led by researchers from the Max Born Institute in Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin in Germany and from Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States has developed a revolutionary new method for capturing high-resolution images of fluctuations in materials at the nanoscale using powerful X-ray sources. The technique, which they call Coherent Correlation Imaging (CCI), allows for the creation of sharp, detailed movies without damaging the sample by excessive radiation. By using an algorithm to detect patterns in underexposed images, CCI opens paths to previously inaccessible information. The team demonstrated CCI on samples made of thin magnetic layers, and their results have been published in Nature.