Concentrator photovoltaics company GreenVolts and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have joined forces to develop inverted metamorphic (IMM) advanced multijunction solar cells and bring the technology to market. GreenVolts has inked a licensing deal with NREL to commercialize the lab’s patents, and the U.S. Department of Energy has allocated US$500,000 toward the effort.
The two-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA), which will be done in multiple phases, will facilitate the transfer of NREL’s IMM cell technology to GreenVolts, so that the San Francisco-based CPV company can develop a customized cell tailored to its optical system and accelerate the widespread commercialization of the technology through its high-volume manufacturing partners.
NREL said that it will offer the necessary technology specifications and process information as well as advice and assistance in the device optimization and technology transfer throughout the duration of the CRADA. The lab will also provide reliability and other test and measurement services to qualify the results of the transfer process.
The IMM technology has shown cell conversion efficiencies of 40.8%, one of the world’s highest, and holds promise for further substantial increases. GreenVolts says that a customized solar cell will foster the optimization of its Carousol CPV system by increasing efficiency and reliability while reducing the overall cost of energy.
“This is an exciting opportunity to make significant advancements in the performance of solar cell technology,” said Bob Cart, founder and CEO of GreenVolts. “We look forward to working closely with NREL to develop a quality high-volume, low-cost manufacturing process to ensure that this next-generation technology will be readily available.”
“We believe this new IMM technology is key to a tremendous leap forward in solar-cell efficiency,” added Dan Arvizu, director of NREL. “We are pleased to be working with GreenVolts to both refine these advancements and provide for a viable way to bring them to market.”