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Solar Frontier’s CIS Thin-Film Submodule Achieves Highest Efficiency World Record of 19.2%2017-02-27

Solar Frontier’s CIS Thin-Film Submodule Achieves Highest Efficiency World Record of 19.2%

New technology to be applied to mass-produce new solar panels from summer


Tokyo, February 27, 2017 – Solar Frontier K.K., the world’s largest provider of CIS solar energy solutions, announced today that it has achieved 19.2% efficiency on a 30cm×30cm CIS submodulei. This new world record not only surpasses Solar Frontier’s February 2012 world record of 17.8% on a CIS submoduleii but also places Solar Frontier’s panels at the forefront of all thin-film solar panel submodules worldwide. The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has independently verified this result.


This achievement was the result of improvements of CIS absorber layers and buffer layers performed under joint research between Solar Frontier’s Atsugi Research Centre (ARC) and the National Research and Development Agency’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan. The technological advances made at ARC are swiftly being applied to mass production through Solar Frontier’s integrated research and production framework, which includes a pilot plant with production equipment on which the Kunitomi Plant’s machinery is based. With the new technology applied to this latest global record-breaking submodule, Solar Frontier is planning to start mass production of CIS modules with much greater efficiency at its Kunitomi Plant from this summer. The Kunitomi plant, which came online in February 2011, is one of the world’s largest CIS solar panel production plants, with an annual capacity of 900MW.


In addition to the submodule record, Solar Frontier also achieved another world efficiency record of 19.8% on a 7cm×5cm-sized CIS thin-film mini-moduleiii. This result was independently verified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, and significantly exceeds the previous world record for all thin-film solar cell mini-modules of 18.7%.


Il Centro

The Solar Frontier’s Atsugi Research Centre team that achieved the 19.2% world record efficiency on a CIS thin-film submodule.



About Solar Frontier

Solar Frontier is the world’s largest provider of CIS solar panels, system solutions and services. Our solar panel technology delivers economical and environmental advantages in real-world conditions – where it counts - and our solutions range from innovative rooftop systems to professional power plant development services. We harness the power of the sun to provide a cleaner, more comfortable life for all.


Solar Frontier K.K. is a 100% owned subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (TYO:5002) (“Solar Frontier”) and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Visit  or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn . You can now find our latest corporate video on YouTube. 



For Solar Frontier global media inquiries, please contact:


Akane Yamiya

PR Team, Corporate Administration Department, Solar Frontier

Tel: +81 (3) 5531-5792


iThis result was verified in January 2017.
iiThis result was measured by Solar Frontier and announced in February 2012 (press release)
iiiThis result was verified in December 2016.

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