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28 August 2018

Ascent Solar selected by US DOE for Technology Commercialization Fund projects

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc of Thornton, CO, USA – which makes lightweight, flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules that can be integrated into consumer products, off-grid applications and aerospace applications – has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE), supported by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF), for two exclusive development projects.

The TCF was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to promote promising energy technologies. The selections announced on 23 August aim to expand the DOE’s efforts to catalyze the commercial impact of its portfolio of research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. TCF funds require a 50% match of non-federal funds from private partners.

“The Department of Energy is one of the largest supporters of technology transfer within the federal government. By connecting innovators at our national labs with entrepreneurs in the private sector, DOE is breaking down barriers and finding the nexus between ingenuity and opportunity,” says US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “The projects announced today will further strengthen those efforts across a broad spectrum of energy technologies and advance DOE’s important mission of technology transfer,” he adds.

As part of the awards (worth up to $100,000 each), Ascent Solar will work towards commercialization of sputtered Zn(O,S) buffers in flexible CIGS solar cells and also the development of next-generation, high-efficiency perovskite/CIGS tandem cells. These projects are part of Ascent’s plans for next-generation lightweight and flexible solar cells. The first project will utilize sputtered Zn(O,S) buffers, which should help to reduce costs and further improve the environmental friendliness of Ascent’s CIGS manufacturing process. The perovskite/CIGS tandem junction project is designed to significantly improve efficiencies and drive further cost reduction by enabling a more complete conversion of the solar spectral energy into electricity.

“While there are challenges to be overcome with the use of perovskite-based devices, with already proven high-efficiencies, we believe that Ascent Solar is well positioned to incorporate these materials into our large-scale roll-to-roll processing,” says Dr Lawrence Woods, director and head of R&D for Ascent Solar.

“We are honored to be the only PV developer and manufacturer to have been selected for the TCF projects, let alone two projects selected at the same time,” comments Dr Joseph Armstrong, chief technology officer and founding member of Ascent Solar. “This is a strong testament to the DOE’s faith in our ability to once again demonstrate our ‘lab-to-fab’ expertise,” he adds. “In both cases, we are leveraging our significant intellectual property with flexible monolithically integrated CIGS and teaming with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to inject their substantial knowledge in novel advanced materials to create a potentially substantial leap in the advancement of our product.”

Tags: Ascent Solar CIGS NREL

Visit: https://www.energy.gov/technologytransitions/

Visit: www.nrel.gov

Visit: www.AscentSolar.com

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