CIS is the abbreviation for the elements copper, indium and selenium. CIS is currently one of the most innovative technologies for serial production of solar modules and has many advantages in terms of generation of power, conversion efficiency and environmental impact.
CIS solar cells technology
CIS solar cells stands for copper indium gallium selenium solar which is a thin film solar cell used to convert solar energy into electrical energy. CIS is manufactured by depositing a thin layers of copper, indium and selenium on plastic or glass backing, besides the electrodes on the front and back sides to collect current. Since the material has a high absorption coefficient and absorbs sunlight strongly, a much thinner film is required in comparison to other semiconductor materials.
There are three mainstream technologies for thin film PV, CIS is one and the other two are cadmium telluride and amorphous silicon.
CIS and the two other materials have similar properties and are all thin enough to be flexible, allowing their simple deposition on flexible substrates. Yet, since all of these technologies typically use techniques that utilize high temperature deposition, the optimum performance normally comes from cells deposited on glass material, despite the advancement in low temperature deposition of CIS cells erasing nearly all of this performance difference. CIS performance is much better than polysilicon at the cell level, but the module efficiency is still lower, because of less developed upscaling.
CIS is mostly used in the polycrystalline form. The best efficiency achieved for CIS was 21.7% which was recorded in 2014.
Benefits of CIS Solar cells
The CIS solar cells have many benefits which are listed below:
Higher energy yield in comparison with conventional crystalline silicon modules
Higher efficiency than other thin film modules
Properties of CIS technology allows for good low light behavior and shade tolerance
Good performance in higher temperatures
CIS modules can be free from lead and cadmium, thus having good environmental impact.
The same benefits of typical thin film technology, which are low cost, light weight and compact design which allows for flexibility in installation
CIS solar cells technology market share and development
The market share of thin film PV is around 15 percent, with conventional solar cells made of crystalline silicon still leading the most of the PV market. The market share of CIS presents nearly about 20 percent of all thin film technologies combined market share.