Stion (stion.com) introduced its Elevation Series 3 copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film PV modules, available in 140, 145, and 150 W models. Module efficiencies are listed at 13.1%, 13.5% and 14%, respectively. While thin-film modules have historically had low efficiency as a primary drawback, these efficiencies are comparable with crystalline modules that generally range from 12% to about 20%.
Advantages over crystalline include better high- temperature performance (i.e. a lower power temperature coefficient of -0.26% per °C) and less output impact from shade since it is harder to shade the entire cell because it runs the length of the module. Stion modules are available framed (STO model) or frameless (STL model), with glass-on-glass architecture, and are U.S.-made—in California and Mississippi. They are low amperage, high voltage modules (open-circuit voltage (Voc) is around 80 volts), so fewer modules are allowed in series when using string inverters.