Independently verified by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Ascent Solar says that its copper-indium-gallium- (di)selenide (CIGS) monolithically integrated 429cm2 sized thin-film modules have reached 10% conversion efficiencies. NREL had also witnessed module efficiencies of 10.4%, all produced from Ascent’s 1.5MW production line in Colorado.
Dr. Harin S. Ullal, Senior Project Manager for the National Center for Photovoltaics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, commented, “Ascent Solar has made progress in advancing the state-of-the-art flexible, lightweight thin-film CIGS PV technology. NREL has independently verified module conversion efficiency of more than 10.0% for several thin-film CIGS monolithically integrated modules deposited on flexible, lightweight plastic substrates.”
“Ascent’s high-volume 30MW commercial plant is scheduled to commence initial production at the beginning of 2010,” noted Dr. Prem Nath, Sr. Vice President of Production Operations for Ascent Solar “Module efficiency of 10% is a vital element for our low-cost-per-watt manufacturing goal in high volume and will establish Ascent Solar as a leader in the production of lightweight flexible photovoltaics used for portable power and building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products.”
Ascent Solar is also collaborating with NREL with the company’s proprietary deposition process to use a zinc-magnesium-oxide (ZnMgO) layer to replace the standard window layer of a CIGS device. The ultimate aim is to replace all the top layers of the device.