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28 August 2009


Sunovia and EPIR complete closed space sublimation system

Sunovia Energy Technologies Inc of Sarasota, FL and its partner EPIR Technologies Inc of Bolingbrook, IL (in which Sunovia has a stake) have completed the design and construction of a closed space sublimation (CSS) system for fabricating polycrystalline cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cell devices.

“We now know that two-junction CdTe-on-silicon (CdTe/Si) devices can reach efficiencies comparable to those of three-junction III-V solar cells on the market today, so the fabrication of three-junction and inverted three-junction CdTe-based devices have the potential to achieve efficiencies greater than 50%,” says EPIR’s founder & CEO Dr Siva Sivananthan. “In addition, multi-junction CdTe-on-silicon photovoltaic devices can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost of the existing III-V solar cells,” he adds.

“Our technology combines high-quality, single-crystal CdTe with silicon substrates for high-efficiency, two- and three-junction solar cells,” Sivananthan continues. “We already have a baseline silicon solar cell fabrication process in-house that results in over 15% efficiency. Setting up the CSS now gives us the baseline CdTe process, which furthers our extensive understanding of II-VI materials and solar cells, and allows us to accelerate the commercialization of our CdTe/Si products,” he reckons.

“EPIR is well known in the field of infrared detectors and they are now using this expertise to develop a novel photovoltaic technology,” comments Dr Timothy Coutts, former fellow of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and founder of its Device Development Group. “This tool gives EPIR state-of-the-art research ability in polycrystalline CdTe in addition to its already industry-leading single-crystal CdTe-on-silicon epitaxial layer growth and device fabrication capabilities,” he adds. Deposition rates using CSS are very high compared to other thin-film deposition techniques, suiting high-volume manufacturing.

See related items:

Sunovia and EPIR expanding R&D and pilot manufacturing facility

Second DOE contract for Sunovia/EPIR targets IR detectors

DOE selects EPIR/Sunovia’s CdTe-on-Si PV technology

Sunovia and EPIR win $9m SBIR award from DoD

Sunovia finalizes $33m order for EPIR’s MWIR wafers

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