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25 March 2013

Magnolia, CNSE and PVMC demo 13%-efficient flexible CIGS solar cell

Magnolia Solar Corp of Woburn, MA and Albany, NY, USA says that its subsidiary Magnolia Solar Inc has demonstrated a flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cell with an energy conversion efficiency of 13%, rivaling the average efficiency of current PV technologies and proving that flexible thin-film solar cells are potentially a viable solution for various energy needs, reckons the firm.

The flexible CIGS solar cell, made using thin stainless-steel and titanium substrates, was developed and produced by the US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) on behalf of Magnolia Solar at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s (CNSE) Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC) in Halfmoon, NY, USA (which provides a prototyping and demonstration line for next-generation CIGS thin-film solar cells). Spearheaded by CNSE and international research consortium SEMATECH in Albany, NY, as part of the Department of Energy's SunShot Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative (PVMI), PVMC is an industry-led consortium for cooperative R&D among industry, university and government partners to accelerate the development, commercialization, and manufacturing of next-generation solar systems, acting as a proving ground for innovative solar technologies and manufacturing processes.

The flexible solar cell demonstration is a result of continuing collaborative research between Magnolia Solar, CNSE and PVMC, and is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). To increase the adoption of clean energy, Magnolia Solar intends to continue to work with CNSE to further develop high-efficiency flexible solar cells for defense and commercial applications, making use of their advantages over inflexible solar cells (made using crystalline silicon and thin-film solar cells on glass).

“We are working with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering through our R&D center located at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex to further improve the PV production process and demonstrate AR [anti-reflection] coating technology on high-efficiency solar cells,” says Magnolia Solar Corp’s president & CEO Dr Ashok K. Sood. “We are also grateful for NYSERDA's support and for our collaboration with CNSE and the PVMC,” he adds.

The results of CNSE’s collaboration with Magnolia Solar is a further testament to state Governor Andrew Cuomo’s vision in catalyzing New York's innovation-driven economy, comments CNSE professor & VP for Clean Energy Programs Dr Pradeep Haldar.

Magnolia says that it has filed multiple patents to protect its intellectual property, and continues to add to its patent portfolio. The firm is also making progress with further improvements to the CIGS solar cells and nanostructured AR coating technology (which uses oblique-angle nanostructure growth, enhancing energy absorption and minimizing reflection loss).

Tags: Magnolia Solar Flexible CIGS PVMC CNSE


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