Recent advances in the efficiency and manufacturing technology of CuInSe2 (CIS) thin films demonstrate the opportunity for low-cost large-scale production of photovoltaics for utility applications. Large area (0.4 m2) submodules with 9.7 percent aperture efficiencies yielding 37.8 watts have been fabricated. Thin film fabrication techniques used in the production of modules enable reduced production costs compared with those for single crystal silicon. The performance of 0.4 m2 modules is projected to exceed 50 watts, based on performance achieved to date on 0.1 m2 modules and small area test devices. Preliminary tests packaged (encapsulated and framed) modules show no significant losses after 15 1/2 months of continuous outdoor exposure. Fabrication of 0.4 m2 modules to demonstrate the feasibility of large-scale commercialization of CIS thin film photovoltaics for utility applications is currently under way.

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