DelSolar is making a move outside of its comfort zone and starting the process to develop compound thin-film solar cells with the help of IBM. The two companies are working towards improving the next-generation thin-film technology and bringing it into commercial production with hopes of making it potentially available for use in vaulted roof tops, curved glass curtain walls, other non-flat BIPV application or extended applications such as curtains or shutters.
“This agreement is a step in the effort to create efficient solar cells using earth-abundant materials with novel processes,” said T.C. Chen, VP of science and technology IBM Research. “We already have an excellent collaboration with Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Company for developing manufacturing tooling and the chemistries required for this technology. Recently IBM demonstrated record solar cell efficiencies using a copper zinc tin sulfur selenide (CZTS) material. This new collaboration between DelSolar, TOK, and IBM now puts us firmly on the path to commercially viable technologies and processes for solar cells that could bring us closer to grid parity.”
DelSolar and IBM look towards developing a solar cell with a larger spectrum sensitivity, lower working irradiance, more extensive temperature latitude and higher net power output. Additionally, the companies are calling upon the use of earth-based components for the technology, which they feel will have a longer future than the future availability for larger volumes of cadmium or other like materials.