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CIGS

Cross-sectional SEM image showing the various compounds of a new chalcopyrite solar cell c...

Traditional solar cell production techniques are usually time consuming and require expensive vacuum systems or toxic chemicals. Depositing chemical compounds such as CIGS on a substrate using vapor phase deposition also wastes most of the expensive material in the process. For the first time, engineers at Oregon State University (OSU) have now developed a process to create "CIGS" solar cells with inkjet printing technology that allows for precise patterning to reduce raw material waste by 90 percent and significantly lower the cost of producing solar cells with promising, yet expensive compounds.  Read More

Flexible thin film CIGS solar cell on polymer substrate developed at Empa (Photo: Empa)

Swiss researchers have claimed a new world record efficiency of 18.7% for flexible copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) solar cells on plastics. Flexible CIGS solar cells have the potential to drive down the price of solar electricity because they are cheaper to produce and this latest breakthrough brings them closer to the highest efficiency levels achieved by crystalline silicon and rigid CIGS cells.  Read More

Honda Soltec announces smaller, more efficient thin film solar cell design

A few years back we reported on the establishment of Honda Soltec, a Honda subsidiary devoted to the development of thin-film solar technology. This week that same group announced that it would be releasing a new thin-film cell that will rank among the world's most efficient with an expected module conversion efficiency of more than 13%.  Read More

Researchers at the University of Twente's MESA  Institute for Nanotechnology has allowed f...

In a new, more efficient approach to solar powered microelectronics, researchers have produced a microchip which directly integrates photovoltaic cells. While harnessing sunlight to power microelectronics isn't new, conventional set-ups use a separate solar cell and battery. What sets this device apart from is that high-efficiency solar cells are placed straight onto the electronics, producing self-sufficient, low-power devices which are highly suitable for industrial serial production and can even operate indoors.  Read More

Honda has begun work on a domestic solar-powered hydrogen refueling station that is smalle...

Honda has begun work on a smaller solar hydrogen station prototype intended for use as a home refueling appliance. Capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles it is designed to be a single, integrated unit that will fit in the user's garage. Honda's next generation Solar Hydrogen Station, though not as big as the previous systems, will still produce enough hydrogen (0.5kg) via an eight-hour overnight fill for daily commuting (10,000 miles per year) for a fuel cell electric vehicle.  Read More

Chemical engineering Professor Brian Korgel tests one of his printed solar cells

Cheaper solar cells – roughly one-tenth the cost of current day prices – could be available within three to five years thanks to a manufacturing procedure that uses nanoparticle ‘inks’ to print them like newspaper or to spray-paint them onto the sides of buildings or rooftops. Even windows could become solar cells thanks to the semi-transparent inks. 'Painting' solar cells on buildings has been an idea in the making for some time – Gizmag investigated the possibilities of 'solar paint' in 2008.  Read More

First Solar has broken the $1 per watt price barrier

Arizona based First Solar has achieved a major milestone in reducing the manufacturing cost for solar panels below the $1 per watt price barrier - the target necessary for solar to compete with coal-burning electricity on the grid or grid-parity. Using cadmium telluride (CdTe) technology in its thin-film photovoltaic cells, First Solar claims to have the lowest manufacturing cost per watt in the industry with the ability to make solar cells at 98 cents per watt, one third of the price of comparable standard silicon panels. The efficiency is in part due to a low cycle time - 2.5 hours from sheet of glass to solar module - about a tenth of the time it takes for silicon equivalents.  Read More

SOLON Corporation solar modules are being used in the new installation

Arizona is now home to the world’s largest solar array using Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells. The 750-kilowatt (kW) system, located at Global Solar’s manufacturing facility in Tuscon, is the first commercial-scale deployment of the company’s CIGS technology.  Read More

Thin film solar cell production breakthrough

May 15, 2008 Advancing a viable market for photovoltaic solar energy involves a balancing act between creating efficient solar cells and at the same time reducing the cost of the manufacturing process. Solar efficiency has been demonstrated to levels as high as 22% (a record set by SANYO last year), and although HelioVolt Corporation's latest announcements concern technology that is only delivering 12.2% conversion, the company has made great strides on the other side of the equation. Its proprietary FASST reactive transfer printing process has produced solar cells in a record setting six minutes, according to HelioVolt that's 10 to 100 times faster than current production of thin-film photovoltaics and could lead to manufacturing costs of less than $1 per watt.  Read More

Honda opens new solar cell plant

November 14, 2007 Honda, a name usually associated with all things transport, has opened a new production plant in Kumamoto to supply Japanese homes and businesses with solar cells.  Read More

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