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Posted: April 12, 2010
Cambrios Technologies Selects Ascent Solar as PV Partner for DoD Flexible Solar Cell Contract
(Nanowerk News) Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., a developer of state of the art flexible thin-film solar modules, announced today that Cambrios Technologies Corporation, a firm that has developed innovative, wet-processed, transparent conductive films, has selected Ascent as their research partner to investigate how these films can be applied to lightweight, flexible copper-indium-gallium-selenium (CIGS) photovoltaics, which is a topic of a recently-awarded United States Army contract W911QY-BAA-09-11-1 from the U.S. Army’s Natick research facility.
As part of the program, which will be undertaken on behalf of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), Cambrios will deliver flexible solar cells that incorporate a Cambrios ClearOhm™ electrode layer. Because of the material’s improved transparency and light handling capability, it is expected that these cells will be 1 to 3 percent more efficient than the equivalent cells made with the conventional transparent electrode material.
“Ascent Solar has very high efficiency CIGS solar cells so they are the perfect partner for this program,” said Cambrios CEO Dr. Michael Knapp. “Unlike transparent conductive oxides typically used as thin film solar cell electrodes, Cambrios’ ClearOhm™ material is also highly flexible. Together our companies have the right technologies to provide the Army with lightweight, flexible CIGS solar cells with better efficiency than what has been possible to date.”
The U.S. military is the single largest consumer of energy in the world, and energy supply is an important issue for each and every soldier. Solar energy has been widely deployed by the U.S. military to power permanent and temporary military installations and to reduce the weight carried by soldiers. Flexible PV cells can facilitate the use of this power source by making them more easily deployed on a variety of surfaces such as tents, clothing, and backpacks.
Farhad Moghadam President and CEO of Ascent Solar, stated, “We are pleased that Cambrios selected Ascent Solar as their CIGS partner. Their technology, with its higher optical transmission and improved electrical performance, offers us the potential to enhance the performance of our photovoltaic modules. Combined with the potential to implement direct write deposition technology, it is possible to simplify our manufacturing process. Finally, the performance of their technology matches up well with our future needs in high-performance flexible PV modules.”
Cambrios is an electronic materials company that develops proprietary, competitive products using nanotechnology. Cambrios implements its novel technology to simplify electronics manufacturing processes, improve end-product performance and identify ways to satisfy unmet industry needs. The company’s first product is ClearOhm™ coating material that produces a transparent, conductive film by wet processing. ClearOhm™ films have improved properties by comparison to currently used materials such as indium tin oxide and other transparent conductive oxides. Applications of ClearOhm™ coating material include transparent electrodes for touch screens, liquid crystal displays, e-paper, OLED devices, and thin film photovoltaics.
About Ascent Solar Technologies
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. is a developer of thin-film photovoltaic modules with substrate materials that can be more flexible and affordable than most traditional solar panels. Ascent Solar modules can be directly integrated into standard building materials, commercial transportation, space applications, consumer electronics for portable power or configured as stand alone modules for large scale terrestrial deployment. Ascent Solar is headquartered in Thornton, Colo.