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Title: Evaluating the economic viability of CdTe/CIS and CIGS/CIS tandem photovoltaic modules

In this paper, we analyze the potential cost competitiveness of two frameless, glass–glass thin-film tandem photovoltaic module structures, cadmium telluride (CdTe)/CuInSe 2 (CIS) and CuIn 0.3Ga 0.7Se 2 (CIGS)/CIS, based on the demonstrated cost of manufacturing the respective component cell technologies in high volume. To consider multiple economic scenarios, we base the CdTe/CIS module efficiency on the current industrial production of CdTe modules, while for CIGS/CIS, we use an aspirational estimate for CIGS efficiency. We focus on four-terminal mechanically stacked structures, thus avoiding the need to achieve current matching between the two cells. The top cell in such a tandem must have a transparent back contact, which has not been successfully implemented to date. However, for the purpose of understanding the economic viability of both tandems, we assume that this can be implemented at a cost similar to that of sputtered indium tin oxide. The cost of both tandem module structures was found to be nearly identical on an equal-area basis and approximately $30/m 2 higher than the single-junction alternatives. Both tandem modules are about 4% (absolute) more efficient than a module by using the top-cell material alone. We find that these tandem modules might reduce total system cost bymore » as much as 11% in applications having a high area-related balance-of-system cost, such as area-constrained residential systems; however, the relative advantage of tandems decreases in the cases where balance-of-system costs are lower, such as in commercial and utility scale systems.« less
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1062-7995
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Progress in Photovoltaics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 25; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1062-7995
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; tandems; photovoltaics; cost modeling; CIGS; CIS; CdTe; thin-film solar cells
OSTI Identifier: