We report the results of an extensive study employing numerous methods to characterize carrier transport within copper indium gallium sulfoselenide (CIGSS) photovoltaic devices, whose absorber layers were fabricated by diverse process methods in multiple laboratories. This collection of samples exhibits a wide variation of morphologies, compositions, and solar power conversion efficiencies. An extensive characterization of transport properties is reported here—including those derived from capacitance–voltage, admittance spectroscopy, deep level transient spectroscopy, time-resolved photoluminescence, Auger emission profiling, Hall effect, and drive level capacitance profiling. Data from each technique were examined for correlation with device performance, and those providing indicators of related properties were compared to determine which techniques and interpretations provide credible values for transport properties. Although these transport properties are not sufficient to predict all aspects of current-voltage characteristics, we have identified specific physical and transport characterization methods that can be combined using a model-based analysis algorithm to provide a quantitative prediction of voltage loss within the absorber. The approach has potential as a tool to optimize and understand device performance irrespective of the specific process used to fabricate the CIGSS absorber layer. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.