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8 May 2008


HelioVolt partners with AGA on BIPVs

HelioVolt Corp of Austin, TX, USA, which makes thin-film copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells and modules, and Architectural Glass & Aluminum Co (AGA) of Alameda, CA, USA have partnered to develop and manufacture building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products.

The joint offering will incorporate solar energy systems directly into standardized curtain wall products, the exterior glass façades that dominate modern urban construction. By embedding thin-film PVs into building materials, the solar-enabled curtain walls are designed to improve aesthetics, simplify installation and reduce operating costs for solar energy in new construction, the firms say.

HelioVolt claims that its proprietary FASST process manufactures CIGS thin films 10-100 times more rapidly than competitive processes. Currently constructing a manufacturing facility in Austin to produce solar energy modules, HelioVolt’s agreement with AGA marks the company’s first partnership for delivering BIPV products to market.

“Driven by the inherent value of being able to generate clean electricity at the same place it’s being consumed, the market for distributed solar energy is developing at breakneck speed,” says HelioVolt’s founder and CEO Dr BJ Stanbery. “In addition to offering advances over the typical solar panel products that dominate the market today, HelioVolt’s manufacturing process enables next-generation smart building materials capable of powering cities of the future.”

“This new solar-enabled product line will add value and innovation,” says AGA’s CEO Joe Brescia. “HelioVolt’s unique manufacturing process and quality of the resulting CIGS thin film make the company a valued partner as we move into a new category of BIPV products.”

The US Department of Energy estimates that development of practical, efficient and economical BIPV products, deployed on roofs and façades of commercial buildings and homes, can generate 50% of the electrical needs of developed countries like the USA. According to analyst firm NanoMarkets, BIPV products are projected to be the largest opportunity within the thin-film market, and are expected to constitute about $800m in 2011.

See related items:

HelioVolt awarded $1m by Texas Enterprise Fund

HelioVolt plans thin film solar factory

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