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Taiwan thin-film solar cell maker CompSolar to focus on flexible GaAs HCPVs

by Grace Lee, Taipei; Adam Hwang
Source: DIGITIMES, 20 October 2008

Compound Solar Technology (CompSolar), the first Taiwan-based producer of glass-based high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) thin-film solar cells made from Gallium arsenide (GaAs), has been developing flexible GaAs HCPVs based on various kinds of flexible substrates which will form the basis for the company’s business operation in 2009, according to company president Jeffery Lin.

Amorphous silicon (a-Si), CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide) and CdTe are three main types of conventional thin-film solar cells, but commercial production is not really mature enough and, in addition, such cells are less reliable and deliver low power conversion efficiency. In contrast, GaAs HCPVs have advantages in terms of requiring less materials, higher energy conversion rates, as well as higher reliability and more steady power generation, pointed out Lin.

CompSolar currently holds more than 40 technology patents, including ones for III-V group compound multi-junction production, thermal sink through modular packaging, and sun tracking. CompSolar in 2007 successfully developed multi-junction solar cells with energy conversion rates exceeding 30%, Lin highlighted.

The sun tracker of a GaAs HCPV system can capture sunlight for eight hours a day on average, much longer than averages of two to three hours for fixed crystalline silicon solar cell systems. Thus, a GaAs HCPV system is able to generate more power than a crystalline silicon solar cell system of the same size, said Lin.

CompSolar is capable of designing based on various flexible substrates and manufacturing GaAs HCPV using its self-designed CVD (chemical vapor deposition) and PVD (physical vapor deposition) processes as well as delivering modules made from such thin-film solar cells.