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12 February 2014

CIGS PV firm Siva Power achieves 18.8% efficiency in 10 months

Solar device and manufacturing technology firm Siva Power of San Jose, CA, USA says that its copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) panel technology has achieved near-record solar energy conversion efficiency – approaching 19% – in just 10 months.

Also, solar energy expert Charlie Gay Ph.D. has joined the firm’s Technical Advisory Board. Dr Gay joins Rommel Noufi Ph.D., John Benner and Markus Beck Ph.D. to support Siva Power as it aims to create a profitable path to sub-$0.40 per watt solar power as well as what it reckons will be unprecedented production scale.

Siva Power repositioned itself in February 2013 by transitioning to CIGS thin-film technology. In December 2013, the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has now certified Siva Power as achieving a laboratory efficiency of 18.8% – less than a year after the firm shifted its technology focus.

Siva Power says that, in achieving 18.8% efficiency, it has nearly equaled accredited international research institutes such as NREL, the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) and ZSW Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, all of which have engaged in R&D on CIGS for up to 20 years. Siva Power also claims to have surpassed most solar companies using CIGS technology, many of which have taken more than five years to achieve this level of panel efficiency. Siva Power says that its success is directly attributable largely to the deposition approach that it selected. All CIGS efficiency records over the past two decades have been achieved using three-stage co-evaporation, which is the method that Siva Power has chosen to scale to high-volume manufacturing.

“This efficiency milestone speaks to our team’s expertise, and we welcome Charlie's knowledge and experience as a critical component toward helping us achieve even more,” says CEO Brad Mattson.

With more than 30 years of solar industry experience, Gay is an internationally recognized pioneer in photovoltaics, says Siva Power. In 2013, he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering. Currently, he is co-founder & president of Greenstar Foundation, which is dedicated to enabling micro-enterprise development in rural communities.

Gay began the early part of his career working for ARCO Solar, where he forged the transition of single-crystalline silicon from R&D to mass production. In 1994, he was elected director of NREL, where he managed an annual budget of over $235m, with a staff of more than 1000. He was subsequently president of ASE Americas. From 2001 to 2005, Gay served as chairman of the SunPower Advisory Board. He then joined Applied Materials in 2006 as corporate VP & general manager of the Solar Business Group. He was named president of Applied Solar and chairman of the Applied Solar Council in 2009.

“I am honored to join such an experienced team with Beck, Noufi, and Benner,” says Gay. “Collectively, they represent one of the most experienced groups ever assembled for CIGS technology and high-volume manufacturing.”

See related items:

Solexant rebrands as Siva Power, refocusing on Gigawatt-scale CIGS PV production

Tags: CIGS

Visit: www.sivapower.com

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