26 August 2010


ISET begins pilot production of printable CIGS PV modules

International Solar Electric Technology Inc (ISET) of Chatsworth, northwest of downtown Los Angeles‚ CA, USA says it has begun pilot manufacturing operations to validate its proprietary low-cost printing technology in preparation for expansion to volume production of its copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules.

Since being founded in 1985, ISET has focused over 25 years of technology development on cost-effective methods of producing PV modules, targeting grid parity. The firm claims that its patented non-vacuum nanoparticle ink-based process for printing solar cells on glass offers substantial cost advantages over competing high-vacuum technologies due to efficient use of semiconductor materials and low-cost capital equipment.

ISET’s pilot line produces monolithically integrated CIGS modules on glass substrates with an area of 1ft2. Recent production runs have achieved 11% cell average conversion efficiency, and ISET’s R&D team has fabricated laboratory devices with 14.3% efficiency. Research efforts are on track to reach 16% in the near term, according to founder, president & CEO Dr Vijay K. Kapur.

The pilot line is “a critical step in transferring our unique technology from the lab to large-scale production without requiring heavy capital investment,” says Kapur. “By demonstrating high quality and performance through this intermediate step, we have significantly reduced the possibility for costly delays in implementing our capacity ramp,” he believes. “We have also identified valuable methods of improving performance, yield, throughput, and materials utilization.”

ISET reckons that its 24‚000ft2 facility can accommodate expansion in annual capacity to 30MW while generating over 100 new jobs.

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