10 November 2010


Moser Baer India wins government grant to develop CIGS solar cells

Moser Baer India Ltd (MBI) has been awarded a grant by the Indian government's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to develop copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaic (PV) cells.

MBI will conduct the work from its corporate R&D facility in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The focus of the project is to develop a differentiated, indigenous, commercially viable technology based on the core competencies of Moser Baer.

“Through Moser Baer Solar, a subsidiary of MBI, we have a wealth of experiences in crystalline silicon, thin-film silicon and concentrator PV and PV systems businesses,” says chief technology officer Dr G. Rajeswaran. “This project, supported by MNRE, will utilize the core competencies of the Moser Baer Group and its vast resources to deliver high-efficiency CIGS solar cells, a promising next frontier in affordable thin-film PV technologies... Owing to its high efficiency and cost effectiveness, CIGS based thin-film solar cell technology is likely to emerge as one of the most promising solar cells,” he adds.

“Our aim is to address the gap between large-scale efficiencies (11–14%) and lab level efficiencies (19–20%) of CIGS technology,” Rajeswaran continues. CIGS cells have shown 20.3% efficiencies under laboratory conditions, which is the highest of any thin-film technology.

However, few firms have succeeded in maintaining such efficiency and yield while scaling up manufacturing for high-volume commercial production. “This indicates that there is lot of room for innovation to develop a stable production process for this technology,” says Rajeswaran. “We are working to develop the CIGS solar cells similar to the size of a typical crystalline silicon solar cell and thus avoiding the scale-up issues,” he adds. “We plan to achieve cells with efficiencies of 15%, along with benchmark yield. Our initial estimate suggests that it is possible to achieve module price of less than $1/Wp [Rs.44.67/W]... Achieving these targets would place Moser Baer in a very unique position in the market.”

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