27 April 2010


SoloPower hits record 11% aperture efficiency for flexible module

SoloPower Inc of San Jose, CA, USA, which makes photovoltaic (PV) cells and lightweight flexible solar modules for rooftop installations, says that the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) in Golden, CO has verified that its current flexible solar panels have achieved an aperture efficiency of 11%.

Manufactured using the firm’s proprietary low-cost thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) process on its roll-to-roll volume manufacturing line, the flexible modules were submitted by SoloPower to NREL for verification earlier this year. The devices are laminated in an encapsulation system that provides a moisture barrier and environmental integrity. The firm says that the rugged high-efficiency module is expected to address the rapidly expanding commercial and industrial rooftop and distributed solar power generation market.

“We have focused on the development of innovative, lightweight flexible modules that are rugged and add significant value in commercial and industrial rooftop applications, utility-scale ground-mounted facilities, and the emerging building-integrated PV market (BIPV),” says VP of marketing Arthur Rudin.

“These results are based on the company’s simultaneous advances in many separate disciplines; including thin-film process and cell structure, roll-to-roll manufacturing, module design and implementation as well as encapsulation and testing,” explains Mustafa Pinarbasi, senior VP of technology development.

Using its patented electroplating process, SoloPower had previously demonstrated 13.4% efficiency on 11.8cm2 lab cells (also verified by NREL). The firm submitted its flexible module for independent laboratory certification to standard UL1703 following successful internal verification, including damp-heat testing. Internal results demonstrated minimal power degradation (<5% Pmax) with over 1000 hours at 85% humidity and 85°C temperature.

Search: SoloPower CIGS