United Solar Reaches 16.3% Efficiency With Nano-Crystalline Technology

(Nanowerk News) United Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) and a leading global manufacturer of light-weight, flexible thin-film solar modules, today announced that it has achieved a world record efficiency of 16.3% for thin-film silicon solar technology. This achievement is higher than the previous record of 15.4%, also reached by United Solar. United Solar attained a small-area (0.25 cm2) initial cell efficiency of 16.3% using a triple-junction structure incorporating the recently patented Nano-Crystalline™ silicon technology.
The cells will be sent to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), an official U.S. Department of Energy laboratory, for independent testing and confirmation. Earlier this year, United Solar announced that NREL had confirmed that the company's Nano-Crystalline technology achieves 12% initial conversion efficiency in a large-area encapsulated cell (400 cm2), also a world-record for thin-film silicon solar technology.
"This represents another substantial milestone for the company as we continue to develop our technology through a focus on conversion efficiency," said Jay Knoll, Interim President of Energy Conversion Devices, United Solar's parent company. "Our core technology can now reach conversion efficiencies of 16.3% in the lab, an increase from 15.4%, leading the way in thin-film silicon technology development."
The results will be reported at the Intersolar North America Conference in San Francisco, California by Dr. Subhendu Guha, Chairman of United Solar, on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at the session on "Thin-Film -- Technological Advancements."
About Energy Conversion Devices/United Solar
Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) is a global leader in building-integrated and rooftop photovoltaics. The company manufactures, sells and installs thin-film solar laminates that convert sunlight to energy using proprietary technology. ECD's UNI-SOLAR® brand products are unique because of their flexibility, light weight, ease of installation, durability, and real-world efficiency. The company also designs, manufactures and installs rooftop photovoltaic systems, which enable customers to transform unused rooftop space into a value-generating asset. ECD's Ovonic Materials Division includes the Ovonic Battery Company, the inventor and worldwide licensor of nickel-metal-hydride battery technology and advanced lithium-ion cathode materials, along with other emerging energy storage technologies. ECD's Ovonyx joint venture is the inventor and worldwide licensor of phase change memory (PCM) technology. For more information, please visit ECD on the web at energyconversiondevices.com and on Facebook, and follow ECD on Twitter @ECD_ENER.
Source: United Solar
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