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Nanosolar CIGS achieve 17.1% aperture efficiency

Using a non-vacuum printed process, the firm says it has raised the bar for efficiency and cost savings.

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has certified an aperture efficiency of 17.1% for a CIGS solar cell fabricated using Nanosolar's non-vacuum, low cost printing on flexible foil technology.

"This achievement demonstrates that a non-vacuum CIGS deposition process can deliver world-class efficiency," said Nanosolar CEO Geoff Tate. "At the same time, Nanosolar's unique roll-to-roll printing process delivers substantial manufacturing cost benefits."

Nanosolar's mission is to become the lowest cost solar cell and panel manufacturer, independent of subsidies. The firm says this is possible because of its unique thin film printing process which enables significant cost savings when compared to conventional vacuum based deposition techniques.

In addition, the company says its high-throughput roll-to-roll printing method delivers a higher capital efficiency and better materials utilisation. Together, these advantages could give Nanosolar a path to lower manufacturing costs than competing photovoltaic technologies.
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