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IBM, Solar Frontier join forces on thin-film PV tech

Posted: 22 Oct 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:thin-film  PV tech  CZTS material 

Solar Frontier Inc. has inked an agreement with IBM to jointly develop thin-film solar cell technology based on the elements copper, zinc, tin, sulphur, and selenium (CZTS). IBM and Solar Frontier will collaborate to expand upon IBM's technology in this area. In February of 2010, IBM announced record results of 9.6 per cent efficient solar cells using CZTS material.

The research for this joint development programme will mainly take place at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Centre in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Like Solar Frontier, DelSolar Co. Ltd has also recently partnered with IBM in developing this technology.

Solar Frontier, a subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., develops thin-film solar cell technology. It currently has two manufacturing facilities with a third facility that will become operational in 2011.

At 900MW, the third plant boasts of becoming the world's largest photovoltaic production facility. This will bring Solar Frontier's total photovoltaic device manufacturing output to 1GW of production.

CZTS-based technology utilises materials that avoid heavy metals and are readily available at a lower cost. By virtue of these materials, the goal of this project is to create next generation solar technology that lowers the cost of producing electricity, enabling solar energy to become an alternative to carbon-based energy sources.

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