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Inexpensive Solar Cells: Low-cost Solution Processing Method Developed For CIGS-based Solar Cells

Source: ScienceDaily, July 11, 2009
Adapted from materials provided by University of California – Los Angeles.

Though the solar industry today predominately produces solar panels made from crystalline silicon, they remain relatively expensive to make. New players in the solar industry have instead been looking at panels that can harvest energy with CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide) or CIGS-related materials. CIGS panels have a high efficiency potential, may be cheaper to produce and would use less raw materials than silicon solar panels. (more…)

AxunTek set to upgrade CIGS thin-film solar cell production

Taipei, By Deborah Kuo /3 July 2009
Source: Central News Agency /eTaiwanNews

AxunTek Solar Energy, the first company in Taiwan to have developed cutting-edge CIGS thin-film technology for green energy, is set to upgrade and expand its production of CIGS thin-film solar cells and related products in a new plant, company officials said Friday.  The Export Processing Zone Administration (EPZA) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs gave the green light that day to a new investment plan proposed by AxunTek to build a manufacturing plant at an EPZ in the southernmost county of Pingtung for expanded research and production of CIGS thin-film solar cells. Under the plan, AxunTek will invest NT$6.99 billion (US$212.43 million) for the expansion of CIGS thin-film solar cell research and production, according to the EPZA. (more…)

Semprius absorbs $6M for cheaper, printed solar cells

by Camille Ricketts, June 10, 2009

Semprius is one of a few companies focused on thin, printed solar modules — a relatively new technology that could save a tremendous amount of solar cell waste if widely implemented. The modules are considered “printed” because they consist only of a very thin layer of active solar cells stripped off the top of a normal solar wafer. Based in Durham, N.C., the company has raised $6.4 million in a second round of funding to continue developing this design. (more…)

Signet Solar applies for federal funds to fuel thin-film strategy

by Camille Ricketts, June 25, 2009

Signet Solar, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based maker of thin-film solar panels, has applied for federal loan guarantees in addition to capital-raising efforts to aggressively expand its operations in the United States in the next three years.  The company’s plan is to install four production lines with the capacity to manufacture 65 to 80 megawatts-worth of solar panels a year in New Mexico. Each of these lines is predicted to cost $200 million to build and is dependent on technology acquired from Applied Materials. Construction will begin this year in hopes of ramping up panel production by 2011. Signet says it filed its application to the Department of Energy in February and is in talks with several private backers for the project already. (more…)

Transparent plastic solar cells fitted into windows

by Martin LaMonica, May 17, 2009
Source: Crave /

Solar company Konarka has developed a transparent solar cell that it hopes will be built onto electricity-generating windows.  The Lowell, Mass.-based company on Tuesday said it has reached an agreement with Arch Aluminum & Glass to use Konarka’s plastic solar cells in building materials, including windows. A transparent solar cell Konarka hopes will be fitted into power-generating windows. Under its Arch Active Solar Glass development, the company has built prototypes of windows with the solar cells between two panes of glass. The photovoltaic cells can be tinted different colors. (more…)

PrimeStar Solar Preps for CdTe Panel Launch

by Ucilia Wang, June 26, 2009

The success of First Solar has given startup companies developing cadmium-telluride solar panels hope. Why, if First Solar could claim to be the lowest-cost producer in the industry while raking in good profits, then we could do it, too.  PrimeStar Solar is no exception. Brian Murphy, CEO of PrimeStar in Golden, Colo., said at a recent conference that “cadmium-telluride is the only technology proven to move below $1 per watt in manufacturing cost.”  The company is moving toward the launch of its commercial product, set to take place by the end of this year, Murphy said. Murphy was rather mum about his company’s product specs and production plans, however. He said the commercial factory would have a production capacity in the “tens of megawatts.” PrimeStar produced its first thin-film panel in April 2007 and began pilot production last October, he added. (more…)

Auria Solar receives TUV certification for micro-Si tandem thin-film PV

Nuying Huang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES, 25 June 2009

Taiwan-based Auria Solar announced on June 24 that it has obtained certification from Germany-based TUV Rheinland for micromorphous silicon (micro-Si) tandem-junction thin-film PV modules and has kicked off volume production. Its micro-Si tandem-junction thin-film PV module has an energy conversion rate of 9% to generate 120 watts currently and the conversion rate is expected to rise to 10% to generate 130 watts by the end of 2009, according to company chairman and CEO CY Tsai. The conversion rate is expected to further increase to 11% in the first half of 2010, Tsai indicated. (more…)

New Toyota Prius Debuts with Kyocera’s Solar Cells

Motonobu Kawai, Nikkei Microdevices, May 19, 2009
Souce: TechOn

Polycrystalline Si solar cells manufactured by Kyocera Corp are used for the solar panel that comes as an option for the new Prius, which Toyota Motor Corp announced May 18, 2009, in Japan.  The solar panel is composed of a total of 36 cells arranged in six rows and six columns. Each cell is half the size of the standard 15 x 15cm cell. With a cell conversion efficiency of 16.5%, the maximum output of the entire panel reaches fifty-odd watts. The portions where three bus bars are believed to exist were covered with a black component. (more…)

Sharp Introduces ‘Thinnest’ Solar Module for Mobile Devices

Nikkei Electronics Asia, May 29, 2009
Source: TechOn

Sharp Corp has developed what it claims is the industry’s thinnest solar module, the LR0GC02. The module achieves a thickness of just 0.8mm by effective use of compact semiconductor packaging technology.  The solar cells that make up the module are based on polycrystalline silicon and deliver a maximum power of 300mW, and as an auxiliary power source for mobile devices, will contribute to saving energy. In addition, the electrode pattern on the cell surface can be formed to meet the requirements of device manufacturers, leading to increased design flexibility for mobile devices. The product will be introduced to the global market. Mass production is expected to start in July this year.

LG Display to Invest in Thin-Film Solar Cell Business as Future Growth Driver

Nikkei Electronics Asia, Jun 17, 2009
Source: TechOn

LG Display Co Ltd has announced plans to focus its R&D capabilities on a thin-film type solar cell and nurture it as a future growth driver. With an investment of 50 billion won, the company plans to build a pilot line within its Paju display complex in Korea later this year and build an outdoor test power generation facility. (more…)

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