Solar cell efficiency tables (version 43)

Authors


ABSTRACT

Consolidated tables showing an extensive listing of the highest independently confirmed efficiencies for solar cells and modules are presented. Guidelines for inclusion of results into these tables are outlined, and new entries since July 2013 are reviewed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1 INTRODUCTION

Since January 1993, Progress in Photovoltaics has published six monthly listings of the highest confirmed efficiencies for a range of photovoltaic cell and module technologies [1-3]. By providing guidelines for the inclusion of results into these tables, this not only provides an authoritative summary of the current state of the art but also encourages researchers to seek independent confirmation of results and to report results on a standardised basis. In version 33 of these tables [2], results were updated to the new internationally accepted reference spectrum (IEC 60904-3, Ed. 2, 2008), where this was possible.

The most important criterion for inclusion of results into the tables is that they must have been independently measured by a recognised test centre listed elsewhere [1]. A distinction is made between three different eligible definitions of cell area: total area, aperture area and designated illumination area, as also defined elsewhere [1]. ‘Active area’ efficiencies are not included. There are also certain minimum values of the area sought for the different device types (above 0.05 cm2 for a concentrator cell, 1 cm2 for a one-sun cell and 800 cm2 for a module).

Results are reported for cells and modules made from different semiconductors and for subcategories within each semiconductor grouping (e.g. crystalline, polycrystalline and thin film). From version 36 onwards, spectral response information is included when available in the form of a plot of the external quantum efficiency (EQE) versus wavelength, either as absolute values or normalised to the peak measured value. Current–voltage (I–V) curves have also been included where possible from version 38 onwards.

2 NEW RESULTS

Highest confirmed ‘one-sun’ cell and module results are reported in Tables 1 and 2. Any changes in the tables from those previously published [3] are set in bold type. In most cases, a literature reference is provided that describes either the result reported or a similar result (readers identifying improved references are welcome to submit to the lead author). Table 1 summarises the best measurements for cells and submodules, whereas Table 2 shows the best results for modules. Table 3 contains what might be described as ‘notable exceptions’. Although not conforming to the requirements to be recognised as a class record, the cells and modules in this table have notable characteristics that will be of interest to sections of the photovoltaic community, with entries based on their significance and timeliness.

Table 1. Confirmed terrestrial cell and submodule efficiencies measured under the global AM1.5 spectrum (1000 W/m2) at 25 °C (IEC 60904-3: 2008, ASTM G-173-03 global).
ClassificationaEfficiency (%)Areab (cm2)Voc (V)Jsc (mA/cm2)Fill factor (%)Test centrec (and date)Description
  1. UNSW, University of New South Wales; PERL, Passivated Emitter and Rear Locally-diffused; NREL, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

  2. a

    CIGS, CuInGaSe2; a-Si, amorphous silicon/hydrogen alloy; nc-Si, nanocrystalline or microcrystalline silicon.

  3. b

    (ap), aperture area; (t), total area; (da), designated illumination area.

  4. c

    FhG-ISE, Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme; AIST, Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

  5. d

    Spectral response reported in version 36 of these tables.

  6. e

    Recalibrated from original measurement.

  7. f

    Spectral response and current–voltage curve reported in version 41 of these tables.

  8. g

    Reported on a ‘per cell’ basis.

  9. h

    Spectral response and current–voltage curve reported in version 40 of these tables.

  10. i

    Not measured at an external laboratory.

  11. j

    Spectral response reported in version 37 of these tables.

  12. k

    Spectral response and current–voltage curve reported in the present version of these tables.

  13. l

    Spectral response and/or current–voltage curve reported in version 42 of these tables.

  14. m

    Light soaked at Oerlikon prior to testing at NREL (1000 h, 1 sun, 50 °C).

  15. n

    Stability not investigated. References [8] and [9] review the stability of similar devices.

  16. o

    Stability not investigated. References [11] and [12] review the stability of similar devices.

  17. p

    Light soaked under 100 mW/cm2 white light at 50 °C for over 1000 h.

  18. q

    Stabilised by manufacturer.

  19. r

    Spectral response and current–voltage curve reported in version 39 of these tables.

  20. s

    Stabilised by 174 h, 1 sun illumination after 20 h, 5 sun illumination at a sample temperature of 50 °C.

  21. t

    Measured under IEC 60904-3 Ed. 1: 1989 reference spectrum.

Silicon
Si (crystalline)25.0 ± 0.54.00 (da)0.70642.7d82.8Sandia (3/99)eUNSW PERL [[20]]
Si (multicrystalline)20.4 ± 0.51.002 (ap)0.66438.080.9NREL (5/04)eFhG-ISE [[21]]
Si (thin-film transfer)20.1 ± 0.4242.6 (ap)0.68238.14f77.4NREL (10/12)Solexel (43 µm thick) [[22]]
Si (thin-film minimodule)10.5 ± 0.394.0 (ap)0.492g29.7g72.1FhG-ISE (8/07)eCSG Solar (<2 µm on glass; 20 cells) [[23]]
III–V cells
GaAs (thin film)28.8 ± 0.90.9927 (ap)1.12229.68h86.5NREL (5/12)Alta Devices [[24]]
GaAs (multicrystalline)18.4 ± 0.54.011 (t)0.99423.279.7NREL (11/95)eRTI, Ge substrate [[25]]
InP (crystalline)22.1 ± 0.74.02 (t)0.87829.585.4NREL (4/90)eSpire, epitaxial [[26]]
Thin-film chalcogenide
CIGS (cell)19.8 ± 0.6i0.9974 (ap)0.71634.91k79.2NREL (11/13)NREL, on glass [[27]]
CIGS (minimodule)18.7 ± 0.615.892 (da)0.701g35.29g, k75.6FhG-ISE (9/13)Solibro, four serial cells [[4]]
CdTe (cell)19.6 ± 0.41.0055 (ap)0.857328.59l80.0Newport (6/13)GE Global Research [[28]]
Amorphous/microcrystalline Si
Si (amorphous)10.1 ± 0.3m1.036 (ap)0.88616.75d67.8NREL (7/09)Oerlikon Solar Lab, Neuchatel [[29]]
Si (microcrystalline)10.8 ± 0.3i1.045 (da)0.52328.24k73.2AIST (9/13)AIST [[5]]
Perovskite/dye sensitised
Dye sensitised11.9 ± 0.4n1.005 (da)0.74422.47f71.2AIST (9/12)Sharp [[7]]
Dye sensitised (minimodule)9.9 ±0.4n17.11 (ap)0.719g19.4g, l71.4AIST (8/10)Sony, eight parallel cells [[30]]
Dye (submodule)8.8 ± 0.3n398.9 (da)0.697g18.42g, k68.7AIST (9/12)Sharp, 26 serial cells [[7, 8]]
Organic
Organic thin film10.7 ± 0.3o1.013 (da)0.87217.75f68.9AIST (10/12)Mitsubishi Chemical (4.4 × 23.0 mm) [[31]]
Organic (minimodule)8.5 ± 0.3o25.02 (da)0.800g15.81g, k67.3AIST (8/13)Toshiba (four series cells) [[10]]
Organic (submodule)6.8 ± 0.2o395.9 (da)0.798g13.50f, g62.8AIST (10/12)Toshiba (15 series cells) [[10]]
Multijunction devices
5J GaAs/InP bonded38.8 ± 1.91.021 (ap)4.7679.5685.2NREL(7/13)Spectrolab 5 junction [[33]]
InGaP/GaAs/InGaAs37.9 ± 1.21.047 (ap)3.06514.27l86.7AIST (2/13)Sharp [[33]]
a-Si/nc-Si/nc-Si (thin film)13.4 ± 0.4p1.006 (ap)1.9639.52f71.9NREL (7/12)LG Electronics [[34]]
a-Si/nc-Si (thin-film cell)12.3 ± 0.3q0.962(ap)1.36512.93r69.4AIST (7/11)Kaneka [[35]]
a-Si/nc-Si (thin-film minimodule)11.7 ± 0.4s, t14.23 (ap)5.4622.9971.3AIST (9/04)Kaneka [[36]]
Table 2. Confirmed terrestrial module efficiencies measured under the global AM1.5 spectrum (1000 W/m2) at a cell temperature of 25 °C (IEC 60904-3: 2008, ASTM G-173-03 global).
ClassificationaEffic.b (%)Areac (cm2)Voc (V)Isc (A)FFd (%)Test centre (and date)Description
  1. UNSW, University of New South Wales; NREL, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

  2. a

    CIGSS, CuInGaSSe; a-Si, amorphous silicon/hydrogen alloy; a-SiGe, amorphous silicon/germanium/hydrogen alloy; nc-Si, nanocrystalline or microcrystalline silicon.

  3. b

    Effic., efficiency.

  4. c

    (t), total area; (ap), aperture area; (da), designated illumination area.

  5. d

    FF, fill factor.

  6. e

    Recalibrated from original measurement.

  7. f

    Spectral response and current–voltage curve reported in version 42 of these tables.

  8. g

    Spectral response and/or current–voltage curve reported in version 40 of these tables.

  9. h

    Spectral response and current–voltage curve reported in version 41 of these tables.

  10. i

    Spectral response reported in version 37 of these tables.

  11. j

    Stabilised at the manufacturer under the light-soaking conditions of IEC61646.

  12. k

    Spectral response and current–voltage curve reported in the present version of these tables.

Si (crystalline)22.9 ± 0.6778 (da)5.603.9780.3Sandia (9/96)eUNSW/Gochermann [[37]]
Si (large crystalline)22.4 ± 0.615775 (ap)69.576.341f80.1NREL (8/12)SunPower [[38]]
Si (multicrystalline)18.5 ± 0.414661 (ap)38.979.149g76.2FhG-ISE (1/12)Q-Cells (60 serial cells) [[39]]
Si (thin-film polycrystalline)8.2 ± 0.2661(ap)25.00.32068.0Sandia (7/02)ePacific Solar (<2 µm on glass) [[40]]
GaAs (thin film)24.1 ± 1.0858.5 (ap)10.892.255h84.2NREL (11/12)Alta Devices [[41]]
CdTe (thin film)16.1 ± 0.57200 (t)68.682.252f74.8NREL (2/13)First Solar, monolithic [[42]]
CIGS (thin film)15.7 ± 0.59703 (ap)28.247.254i72.5NREL (11/10)Miasole [[43]]
CIGSS (Cd free)13.5 ± 0.73459 (ap)31.22.1868.9NREL (8/02)eShowa Shell [[44]]
a-Si/a-SiGe/nc-Si (triple)10.9 ± 0.4j14305 (t)224.31.015g, k68.3AIST (9/13)LG Electronics [[13]]
Table 3. ‘Notable exceptions’: ‘top ten’ confirmed cell and module results, not class records measured under the global AM1.5 spectrum (1000 Wm−2) at 25 °C (IEC 60904-3: 2008, ASTM G-173-03 global).
ClassificationaEfficiency (%)Areab (cm2)Voc (V)Jsc (mA/cm2)Fill factor (%)Test centre (date)Description
  1. AIST, Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology; NREL, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; FhG-ISE, Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme; ESTI, European Solar Test Installation.

  2. a

    CIGSS, CuInGaSSe; CZTSS, Cu2ZnSnS4 − ySey; CZTS, Cu2ZnSnS4.

  3. b

    (ap), aperture area; (t), total area; (da), designated illumination area.

  4. c

    Spectral response and current–voltage curves reported in version 42 of these tables.

  5. d

    Spectral response reported in version 37 of these tables.

  6. e

    Spectral response and current–voltage curves reported in the present version of these tables.

  7. f

    Stability not investigated.

  8. g

    Spectral response and current–voltage curves reported in version 41 of these tables.

Cells (silicon)
Si (large crystalline)24.7 ± 0.5101.8(t)0.75039.5c83.2AIST (12/12)Panasonic HIT, n-type [[45]]
Si (large crystalline)24.2 ± 0.7155.1(t)0.72140.5d82.9NREL (5/10)Sunpower n-type CZ substrate [[46]]
Si (large multicrystalline)19.5 ± 0.4242.7(t)0.65239.0d76.7FhG ISE (3/11)Q-Cells, laser fired contacts [[47]]
Cells (other)
GaInP20.8 ± 0.60.2491 (ap)1.455016.04c89.3NREL (5/13)NREL, high bandgap [[48]]
CIGS (thin film)20.8 ± 0.60.5005 (ap)0.757434.77e79.2FhG-ISE (10/13)ZSW on glass [[14]]
CIGSS (Cd free)19.7 ± 0.50.496 (da)0.68337.06c77.8AIST (11/12)Showa Shell/Tokyo University of Science [[49]]
CZTSS (thin film)12.0 ± 0.30.4348 (ap)0.498234.80e69.4Newport (7/13)IBM solution grown [[50]]
CZTS (thin film)8.5 ± 0.2f0.2382 (da)0.70816.83c70.9AIST (1/13)Toyota Central R&D Labs [[51]]
Perovskite (thin film)14.1 ± 0.3f0.2090 (ap)1.00721.34c65.7Newport (5/13)EPFL [[52]]
Organic (thin film)11.1 ± 0.3f0.159 (ap)0.86717.81g72.2AIST (10/12)Mitsubishi Chemical [[31]]
Luminescent submodule7.1 ± 0.225 (ap)1.0088.84d79.5ESTI (9/08)ECN Petten, GaAs cells [[53]]

To encourage discrimination, Table 3 is limited to nominally 10 entries with the present authors having voted for their preferences for inclusion. Readers who have suggestions of results for inclusion into this table are welcome to contact any of the authors with full details. Suggestions conforming to the guidelines will be included on the voting list for a future issue.

Table 4 shows the best results for concentrator cells and concentrator modules (a smaller number of notable exceptions for concentrator cells and modules additionally are included in Table 4).

Table 4. Terrestrial concentrator cell and module efficiencies measured under the ASTM G-173-03 direct beam AM1.5 spectrum at a cell temperature of 25 °C.
ClassificationEffic.a (%)Areab (cm2)Intensityc (suns)Test centre (and date)Description
  1. FhG-ISE, Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme; NREL, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; N/A, not applicable.

  2. a

    Effic., efficiency.

  3. b

    (da), designated illumination area; (ap), aperture area.

  4. c

    One sun corresponds to direct irradiance of 1000 Wm−2.

  5. d

    Not measured at an external laboratory.

  6. e

    Spectral response reported in version 36 of these tables.

  7. f

    Measured under a low aerosol optical depth spectrum similar to ASTM G-173-03 direct [59].

  8. g

    Spectral response and current–voltage curve reported in present version of these tables.

  9. h

    Spectral response and current–voltage curve reported in version 42 of these tables.

  10. i

    Spectral response reported in version 37 of these tables.

  11. j

    Recalibrated from original measurement.

  12. k

    Referenced to 1000 W/m2 direct irradiance and 25 °C cell temperature using the prevailing solar spectrum and an in-house procedure for temperature translation.

Single cells
GaAs29.1 ± 1.3d, e0.0505 (da)117FhG-ISE (3/10)FhG-ISE
Si27.6 ± 1.0f1.00 (da)92FhG-ISE (11/04)Amonix back-contact [[54]]
CIGS (thin film)22.8 ± 0.9d, g0.100 (ap)15NREL (8/13)NREL [[18]]
Multijunction cells (monolithic)
InGaP/GaAs/InGaAs44.4 ± 2.6h0.1652 (da)302FHG-ISE (4/13)Sharp, inverted metamorphic [[55]]
Submodule
GaInP/GaAs; GaInAsP/GaInAs38.5 ± 1.9i0.202 (ap)20NREL (8/08)DuPont et al., split spectrum [[56]]
Modules
Si20.5 ± 0.8d1875 (ap)79Sandia (4/89)jSandia/UNSW/ENTECH (12 cells) [[57]]
Triple Junction35.9 ± 1.8k1092 (ap)N/ANREL (8/13)Amonix [[19]]
Notable exceptions
Si (large area)21.7 ± 0.720.0 (da)11Sandia (9/90)jUNSW laser grooved [[58]]

Eleven new results are reported in the present version of these tables. The first new result in Table 1 documents a small improvement in the performance of a 1-cm2 CuInxGa1 − xSe2 (CIGS) cell to 19.8%. The cell was fabricated and measured at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This also represents an outright record for any polycrystalline thin-film cell, slightly better than the 19.6% result reported for a CdTe cell in the previous version of these Tables. A second new result in Table 1 represents a significant improvement in the performance of a small CIGS submodule (minimodule) to 18.7%. The four-cell minimodule was fabricated by Solibro [4] and measured at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. The third new result in Table 1 records a slight improvement in efficiency to 10.8% for a 1-cm2 microcrystalline silicon cell fabricated and measured by the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) [5].

The fourth new result in Table 1 represents a new record for energy conversion efficiency for a reasonably large-area 399-cm2 dye-sensitised submodule fabricated by Sharp [7], with an efficiency of 8.8% measured at AIST. Along with other emerging technology devices, the stability of this device was not investigated, although the stability of related devices is reported elsewhere [8, 9]. The fifth new result in Table 1 is for a small submodule, with an improved efficiency of 8.5% measured for a 25-cm2 four-cell organic minimodule cell fabricated by Toshiba [10] and measured at AIST. Again, the stability of this device was not investigated, although the stability of earlier devices is also reviewed elsewhere [11, 12]. An earlier 6.8% result for a much larger organic cell submodule (396 cm2) fabricated by Toshiba, first appearing in version 41 of these tables, is also reinstated.

The final new result in Table 1 represents a new outright record for the conversion of the global solar spectrum by any photovoltaic device. An efficiency of 38.8% has been measured by NREL for a five junction cell fabricated by Spectrolab. The details of an earlier device demonstrating 37.8% efficiency are to be reported in an upcoming issue of the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. The top three higher bandgap subcells were grown inverted on a GaAs substrate while the bottom two subcells were grown upright on an InP substrate. After polishing and bonding, the GaAs substrate was removed.

A new result in Table 2 is a new record for a large-area a-Si/a-SiGe/nc-Si module (a, amorphous; nc, nanocrystalline, also referred to as microcrystalline). A stabilised efficiency of 10.9% is reported for a 1.4-m2 module of this type fabricated by LG Electronics [13] and measured at AIST.

An additional new result in Table 3 is an increase to 20.8% efficiency for a small-area 0.5-cm2 CIGS cell fabricated by the Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg [14] and measured by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. The cell area is too small for classification of this result as an outright record for a CIGS cell, with this now at 19.8% efficiency (Table 1). Research solar cell efficiency targets in US [[15]], Japanese [[16]] and European [[17]] programs, for example, generally have been specified in terms of a minimum cell area of greater than 1 cm2. The 20.8% result is only slightly higher in efficiency than a 20.65% result also reported for a CIGS cell of similar size fabricated and measured at NREL.

A second new result in Table III is an improvement to 12.0% efficiency for a small area copper-zinc-tin-sulphide/selenide (CZTSS) cell fabricated by IBM and measured at the Newport Technology and Application Center, improving upon the 11.1% result reported earlier by the same group.

Table 4 reports two new results for concentrator cells and systems. A new record of 22.8% is reported for a 0.1-cm2 thin-film CIGS cell operating at a concentration of 15.4 suns (direct irradiance of 15.4 kW/m2). The cell was fabricated and measured at NREL, improving upon an earlier 21.5% result for a similar cell from the same group [18]. The final new result in Table 4 is the confirmed measurement of a concentrator photovoltaic module with energy conversion efficiency above 35%. An efficiency of 35.9% was measured by NREL for a 1092-cm2 aperture area concentrator module fabricated by Amonix [19], under conditions approximating draft IEC standard 62670-1 ‘Concentrator Standard Test Conditions’ (1000 W/m2 direct irradiance, 25 °C cell temperature).

The EQE spectra for the new dye and organic submodule results as well as for the four new CIGS cell results and the CZTSS cell result reported in the present issue of these tables are shown in Figure 1(a). Figure 1(b) shows the EQE for the new nc-Si cell and a-Si/a-SiGe/nc-Si module results.

Figure 1.

(a) External quantum efficiency (EQE) for the new dye and organic submodule and CIGS and CZTSS cell results in this issue. (b) EQE for the new nc-Si cell and a-Si/a-SiGe/nc-Si module entries (*normalised value; other values are absolute values).

Figure 2 shows the current density–voltage (J–V) curves for the corresponding devices. For the case of modules, the measured current–voltage data have been reported on a ‘per cell’ basis (measured voltage has been divided by the known or estimated number of cells in series, whereas measured current has been multiplied by this quantity and divided by the module area). For the concentrator cell, the current density has been normalised to 1000 W/m2 irradiance by dividing by the sunlight concentration ratio.

Figure 2.

Current density–voltage (J–V) curve for nine of the new results in this issue (for the concentrator cell, the current density is normalised to an irradiance of 1 kW/m2).

3 DISCLAIMER

Although the information provided in the tables is provided in good faith, the authors, editors and publishers cannot accept direct responsibility for any errors or omissions.

4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics commenced operation in February 2013 with support from the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Responsibility for the views, information or advice expressed herein is not accepted by the Australian Government.

Ancillary