Showa Shell Solar Co. Ltd exhibited its second-generation CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) photovoltaic panel at PV EXPO 2010, a trade show that took place last week in Tokyo.

The PV panel was developed with a technology that will be introduced to the company's third plant, which is now being built in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. Showa Shell Solar showcased it under the name "Solar Frontier," which will officially go into effect as of April 1, 2010. The new panel measures 977 x 1,255mm.

"We use a new technology to realize a conversion efficiency of 16% with a cell measuring 30 x 30cm," the company said. "Panels made by using this technology will have a module conversion efficiency of 12.2% in 2011 and 13.0% in 2014 because of improvement in optical designs."

Execs and analysts have talked about CIGS for years. Some companies have come out with limited numbers of CIGS panels, but volumes are expected to start creeping up in the near future.

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