Two projects commercialise lightweight perovskite solar cells for flight

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The projects from the DoE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) aim to commercialise the use of perovskite materials in solar cells. 

Ascent Solar is to work towards commercialization of sputtered Zn(O,S) buffers in flexible CIGS (Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide) solar cells and also development of next-generation, high-efficiency Perovskite/CIGS Tandems cell for the next generation of lightweight and flexible solar cells.  The first project will use sputtered Zn(O,S) buffers, which will help reduce costs and would further improve the environmental friendliness of the current CIGS manufacturing process. The Perovskite/CIGS tandem junction project is designed to significantly improve efficiencies and drive further cost reduction by enabling a more complete conversion of the solar spectral energy into electricity.

“We are honored to be the only PV developer and manufacturer to have been selected for the TCF projects, let alone two projects selected at the same time. This is a strong testament to the DOE’s faith in our ability to once again demonstrate our ‘lab-to-fab’ expertise,” says Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technology Officer and founding member of Ascent Solar Ascent Solar. “In both cases, we are leveraging our significant intellectual property with flexible monolithically integrated CIGS and teaming with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to inject their substantial knowledge in novel advanced materials to create a potentially substantial leap in the advancement of our product.” 

“These are challenging yet exciting projects,” says Dr. Lawrence Woods, Director and Head of Research & Development for Ascent Solar. “While there are challenges to be overcome with the use of perovskite based devices, with already proven high-efficiencies, we believe that Ascent Solar is well positioned to incorporate these materials into our large-scale roll-to-roll processing.”

“The Department of Energy is one of the largest supporters of technology transfer within the federal government. By connecting innovators at our national labs with entrepreneurs in the private sector, DOE is breaking down barriers and finding the nexus between ingenuity and opportunity,” said Rick Perry, US Secretary of Energy. “The projects announced today will further strengthen those efforts across a broad spectrum of energy technologies and advance DOE’s important mission of technology transfer.”

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