Intersolar: Oerlikon’s Micromorph technology breaks 11% barrier

Oerlikon Solar reports that it has achieved a new record efficiency level for commercial thin-film silicon PV modules.

According to the company, recent test results from Oerlikon Solar's pilot production line in Switzerland show that full-size Micromorph modules (1.4 m2) have 151 W initial power, or 11% initial power conversion efficiency.

Oerlikon Solar was able to consistently reproduce modules with similar record results, demonstrating a stable and scalable process:  "This another key milestone on our path to grid parity," stated Jeannine Sargent, CEO of Oerlikon Solar.

Oerlikon Solar has previously announced an ambitious production cost target of US$0.70/Wp, and the company claims it is on track to achieve this target by the end of 2010. Increased module efficiency and power are key contributors to this goal.

Oerlikon Solar's IEC certified Micromorph technology adds a second microcrystalline absorber to the amorphous silicon (a-Si) layer. This layer converts the energy of the red and near-infrared spectrum, facilitating efficiency increases of "up to 50%". An Oerlikon statement explained that the Micromorph technology also bolsters overall module power, enabling a growing number of PV module manufacturers around the globe to produce cost-effective highperformance thin film silicon solar modules.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity