News Article

Global Solar Energy’s Thin Film CIGS Achieves 13.2 Percent Efficiency

NREL Verifies First Thin Film Module to Reach Record Efficiency on Flexible Substrate

Global Solar Energy today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the nation’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development, confirmed 13.2 percent aperture area efficiency for a module made by Global Solar Energy applying its production-line thin film solar material. Global Solar Energy is the first manufacturer to exceed the 13 percent milestone using thin film on a flexible substrate. This benchmark advances the thin film photovoltaic market and underscores Global Solar Energy’s leadership as the only manufacturer of Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) cells on a flexible substrate in full-scale production.

“Global Solar Energy is the first company to exceed the 13 percent efficiency target using thin films on a flexible stainless steel substrate, and joins a small number of PV companies who have met this high efficiency milestone for large thin film power modules," said Dr. Ryne P. Raffaelle, Director of NREL’s National Center for Photovoltaics. “This result is remarkable, given that the module was made using standard production equipment and manufacturing processes at Global Solar Energy."

Global Solar Energy, a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency CIGS solar products, has been selling CIGS thin-film products on a flexible substrate for over six years and bringing the low cost, high efficiency and high-performance of CIGS technology to a variety of applications. From portable solar chargers, to traditional glass modules, to next generation building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products, Global Solar Energy’s cells are the enabling technology behind several growing market segments. 

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work the Global Solar Energy team has applied, which has enabled us to be the first company to achieve the milestone of a 13.2 percent NREL-verified module efficiency," said Dr. Jeff Britt, chief executive officer, Global Solar Energy. “This achievement elevates us into the ranks of the few thin film companies to surpass this efficiency and is the culmination of a year of steady and rapid improvement in efficiency and yield at our production plants in both Arizona and Germany. Global Solar Energy continues to be a standard bearer in this growing industry, and the quality and outstanding performance of our products have clear benefits for our customers."

About CIGS Thin-Film Technology

Global Solar Energy, Inc., has developed a proprietary process for manufacturing thin-film CIGS photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules. Global Solar is the only company reliably producing CIGS that can be encapsulated in either traditional glass modules or in a flexible laminate. CIGS creates more electricity from the same amount of sunlight compared to other thin-film PV technologies. This higher “conversion efficiency" leads to lower cost. CIGS conversion efficiency is extremely stable over time; performance continues unabated for many years.

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