Polycrystalline Thin-Film Photovoltaic Technologies: Progress and Technical Issues

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Polycrystalline thin-film materials based on copper indium diselenide (CuInSe2, CIS) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) are promising thin-film solar cells for various power and specialty applications. Impressive results have been obtained in the past few years for both thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells and thin-film CdTe solar cells. NCPV/NREL scientists have achievedworld-record, total-area efficiencies of 19.3% for a thin-film CIGS solar cell and 16.5% for thin-film CdTe solar cell. A number of technical R&D issues related to CIS and CdTe have been identified. Thin-film power module efficiencies up to 13.4% has been achieved thus far. Tremendous progress has been made in the technology development for module fabrication, and multi-megawatt manufacturingfacilities are coming on line with expansion plans in the next few years. Several 40-480 kW polycrystalline thin-film, grid-connected PV arrays have been deployed worldwide. Hot and humid testing is also under way to validate the long-term reliability of these emerging thin-film power products. The U.S. thin-film production (amorphous silicon [a-Si], CIS, CdTe) is expected to exceed 50 MW by theend of 2005.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2004
Event19th European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibit - Paris, France
Duration: 7 Jun 200411 Jun 2004


Conference19th European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibit
CityParis, France

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-520-36241


  • cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic solar cells modules
  • copper indium diselenide (CIS)
  • PV
  • thin films


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