Moser Baer gets Indian government grant to develop CIGS thin-film PV

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Another solar PV company has joined the growing ranks of players attempting to bring CIGS thin film to market. India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has awarded a grant to Moser Baer India to engage in the developmental activity of copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide cells. MBI will conduct the development work from its corporate R&D facility in Greater Noida, Pradesh, with the efforts focused on developing a differentiated, indigenous, commercially viable CIGS technology.

The monetary value of the grant or other details about the program have not disclosed.

“Using leading-edge technologies and high-volume manufacturing, Moser Baer India has consistently delivered world-class, high-quality products at an affordable price to the market,” said MBI Group CTO G. Rajeswaran. “Through Moser Baer Solar, a subsidiary of MBI, we have a wealth of experience in crystalline silicon, thin-film silicon, and concentrator PV and PV systems businesses.

“This project supported by MNRE will utilize the core competencies of the Moser Baer Group and its vast resources to deliver high-efficiency CIGS solar cells, a promising next frontier in affordable thin-film PV technologies. Our aim is to address the gap between large-scale efficiencies (11-14%) and lab-level efficiencies (19-20%) of CIGS technology.

“We have a team of competent scientists in India and have provided them world-class facilities to compete with the best in the world. The support of MNRE through this grant in fostering industrial R&D in India is a great step forward.”

“Through our new innovative process, we are working to develop the CIGS solar cells similar to the size of a typical crystalline silicon solar cell and thus avoiding the scale-up issues,” he continued. “We plan to achieve cells with efficiencies of [at least] 15%, along with benchmark yield. Our initial estimate suggests that it is possible to achieve module price of less than $1/Wp.

“Very few companies have been successful in the commercialization of CIGS technology due to the problems in scaling up and maintaining yield. This indicates that there is lot of room for innovation to develop a stable production process for this technology. Achieving these targets would place Moser Baer in a very unique position in the market,” Rajeswaran concluded.

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