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Yield Comparison of 7 Currently Available Thin Film Modules
S. Janke, M. Strasser
Degradation, Performance, Yield, Thin Film (TF)
Components for PV Systems
Subtopic: PV Modules
Event: 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4BV.2.32
3335 - 3338
ISBN: 3-936338-28-0
Paper DOI: 10.4229/27thEUPVSEC2012-4BV.2.32
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


This paper discusses the yield performance of currently available thin film modules that were installed on the SOLON test-site in Berlin, Germany. To get uninfluenced results all modules were bought anonymously at wholesalers. After the initial characterization with flasher and EL camera, 7 thin film modules were chosen (4x CIGSe, 2x a-Si and 1x CdTe) and installed on a 30° fix tilt rack. One standard multi-crystalline silicon module was installed as a reference (also purchased anonymously). Every module was connected to its own individual MPP tracker and from there to a data acquisition system. The findings after 11 months of operation show two things: (1) The commonly assumed advantages of higher yields could not be confirmed for present thin film modules. Especially low light efficiency was underperforming (in correlation to shunted areas in EL pictures and a STC-optimized module power). With regard to temperature coefficients, only CdTe and a-Si show any advantage on hot summer days. (2) It is a key for a credible yield prediction to have reliable STC power data. However CIGSe modules show notable light-soaking effects and a-Si modules a typical seasonal efficiency variation. Both lead to high measurement uncertainties and a hardly predictable annual yield.