Under their PREDICTS2 award, researchers at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign are examining how to reduce the instability of materials used for copper indium gallium selenide solar (CIGS) cells or thin film photovoltaics (PV) when they are exposed to water and light. By improving material stability, manufacturers will be able to boost the long-term reliability of their products and improve performance guarantees. In addition, developments from this project may help to drive down the cost of solar energy and boost solar deployment. This project was announced on September 16, 2015 at the Solar Power International conference. Read the press release.
Researchers will work with six different module manufacturers to improve manufacturing processes that may help to reduce material instabilities. In order to improve these processes, new microanalysis techniques will be developed and used alongside device testing, modeling, and simulation techniques to help detect electronic defects causing the instabilities.
The project will develop a more comprehensive experimental and modeling approach will help better understand degradation of CIGS modules.