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Global Photonic Energy launches low cost solar cells

CTBR Staff Writer Published 10 December 2012

Organic Photovoltaic technology developer Global Photonic Energy has unveiled a thin-film solar cell that is made of the Gallium Arsenide wafer reused several times.

The company claims the cells have the potential to reduce the cost of solar power generation and bring it on par with that of traditionally provided electricity.

The technology was introduced at the Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society.

University of Michigan member Dr. Stephen R. Forrest said that the unlimited wafer reuse approach to conventional "epitaxial lift off" technology typically leads to wafer damage, and hence only a very limited number (one to two) of wafer reuses, has the potential to reduce the cost of a typical Gallium Arsenide solar cell to below $1 per Watt (peak).

"This exciting development implies that ultra-high efficiency solar cells based on Gallium Arsenide can eventually produce electricity at or below grid parity.

"Using integrated solar concentrators and our adhesive-free, cold-weld bonding technology to plastic substrates, we estimate electricity could be produced as low as $0.45 cents per Watt, compared to traditional grid parity of $1 per Watt," added Forrest.

Global Photonic Energy president and CEO Dean Ledger said that the high-efficiency solar cells, deployed on roll-up plastic sheets, are ultra-lightweight and flexible. These applications include use in off-grid locations, spot powering of vehicles, mobile military equipment and satellites.