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20 March 2008


Ascent awarded second phase of tandem solar cell program

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc of Littleton, CO, USA, which develops copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules, has been selected by the US Air Force to continue development of a flexible thin-film tandem solar cell, with a goal of achieving photovoltaic conversion efficiencies of 20%.

The tandem solar cell is a combination of two stacked cells, with the top and bottom cells gathering energy from separate parts of the solar spectrum, and with not only the desired electrical and optical properties but also compatible manufacturing processes.

The project is expected to be performed under the second phase of an Air Force Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract, and under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Ascent expects the contract value of the project to be about $750,000, pending negotiation. Phase I of the SBIR contract was awarded last May.

“This Phase II project follows our success in Phase I of the US Air Force program, and builds upon work already performed by our scientists in the areas of wide-bandgap and durable bottom cell thin-film photovoltaic technologies,” says Dr Joseph Armstrong, VP and chief technology officer. “Our objective in Phase II is to demonstrate an ability to make tandem solar cells using new material systems we developed during Phase I,” he adds.

See related items:

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Ascent installs 1.5MW CIGS PV production line

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