Renewable Energies Solar CellsSolar Cell
Scientists have wrestled for decades to establish cost effective processes to convert sunlight into energy. In 2002, Nanosolar set out to revolutionize the solar energy manufacturing processes and by 2010 Nanosolar had the first solar modules ready for field installations. Our proprietary approach to printing CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenium) and nanoparticle inks minimizes our use of expensive, high vacuum manufacturing equipment.
Nanosolar has achieved 17.1% efficiency on laboratory devices, certified by NREL, which shows the potential of our technology to compete with the efficiency of crystalline silicon panels in the next several years. Moreover, the Nanosolar Utility Panel’s innovative design significantly reduces balance-of-system costs through less mounting hardware, electrical cabling and installation labor.
Nanosolar is a market leading thin-film PV solutions manufacturer helping globally dispersed customers and partners reduce system costs, thus driving solar energy adoption in existing and new markets. Our proprietary approach to “industrial” roll-to-roll printing of CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenium) and patented nanoparticle inks minimize our use of expensive, high vacuum manufacturing equipment. We produce light weight solar cells independently from solar panels. This allows us to locate panel assembly factories near the demand for solar energy in local markets, further optimizing supply chains, reducing transportation costs, leveraging local resources, and shortening product cycle- and delivery times to project sites.
Nanosolar’s new proprietary, next-generation CIGS technology platform, Print2Power™, enables our technology roadmap to increase power conversion efficiencies to 16 percent and beyond eventually matching if not potentially surpassing current c-Si efficiency rates, while reducing total costs and enabling new applications.
Print2Power™ delivers further optimization of our manufacturing flow to reduce the Costs of Goods Sold (COGS) of our PV cells at new performance points – for example, energy yields and temperature coefficients—that will enable new competitively priced products for innovative applications and market opportunities.
We aim to design innovative products that will accelerate the adoption of solar power and create a sustainable energy system both domestically and globally. There are so many geographic locations where thin film delivers a competitive advantage. Moreover, Nanosolar’s Print2Power™ technology promises better energy conversion efficiencies and tangible cost advantages over c-SI that are or real value to our customers and partners.
Technological innovation on solar cell level:
Use of a highly conductive, low-cost aluminum foil as the substrate and bottom electrode of the cell
CIGS ink with pre-defined ratio and a high-yield, high-throughput printing process to form an electronic-grade CIGS semiconductor
Novel Metal-Wrap-Through (MWT) back-contact design based on high-throughput foil lamination
Thin/printed transparent top electrode
The result of the front-end cell production is a roll of inexpensive aluminum foil substrate coated with multiple thin film layers totalling less than two microns. Our printed CIGS solar cells and panels are on track to reach efficiencies competitive with crystalline silicon panels in the next several years. Moreover, the Nanosolar Utility Panel’s innovative design significantly reduces balance-of-system costs through less mounting hardware, electrical cabling and installation labor. The end result is a lower levelized cost of energy than competing solar technologies.