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Your location: Home > Related Articles > The Empa research team has developed flexible thin film photovoltaic panels with a conversion rate of up to 21.4%

The Empa research team has developed flexible thin film photovoltaic panels with a conversion rate of up to 21.4%

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-01 Click:29

A research team from the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) has just demonstrated a thin and flexible thin film material that is expected to bring new possibilities to green photovoltaic energy while reducing the production cost of solar panels. Specifically, after years of research and development, Empa scientists have finally created this CIGS flexible photovoltaic panel made of copper (Cu), indium (In), gallium (Ga), and selenium (Se), setting a conversion record of 21.4%.

New Atlas points out that CIGS is only one of the few thin film solar cells in the mainstream development stage with flexible application prospects. However, the Empa team's technological accumulation in this field has also given them a significant advantage for 20 years.

The currently known non flexible photovoltaic panels with high conversion rates are still made of crystalline silicon, which can reach up to 26.7%. Although CIGS's flexible photovoltaic solution has not yet achieved such high success, the Empa team has not given up since 12.8% in 1999.

In 2005, its efficiency increased to 14.1%. In 2010/2011/2013, it set a record of 17.6%/18.7%/20.4%. Then in 2019, this number continued to grow to 20.8%.

As we have seen, the path of technological development is quite long. But now, the Empa research team has made another breakthrough and is one step closer to their ultimate goal.

In order to manufacture new flexible photovoltaic panels, scientists used a technique called low temperature co evaporation to grow semiconductor thin films above thin polymer layers.

By adjusting the cost of the thin film and using alkaline dopants to equip it with electrical performance, the Empa team was able to achieve higher photoelectric conversion efficiency.

During the testing period, the new photovoltaic panel with an efficiency of up to 21.38% was able to maintain stable performance for several months and was independently validated by scientists from the Fraunhofer Solar System Research Institute in Germany.

Finally, in addition to Empa's CIGS battery, we also saw a 24.16% conversion rate achieved by combining perovskite with other photosensitive materials on a stacked flexible thin film (series cell).

As for the commercial application prospects of flexible solar panels, scientists have envisioned using them on roofs and exterior walls of buildings, mobile electronics, airplanes, and ground vehicles.

However, in addition to being lighter in weight and able to adhere to complex curved surfaces, the new thin-film photovoltaic panels have the potential to further reduce costs, thereby significantly reducing the overall cost of renewable energy.