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2 November 2023

Ascent raises its CIGS PV efficiency from 15.5% to 17.55% in just six weeks

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc of Thornton, CO, USA says that the latest test results of its proprietary flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technology show an increase in efficiency from 15.5% to 17.55%. In August, Ascent began working to optimize both the manufacturing processes and chemistry of its CIGS technology. This has resulted in a steady increase in efficiency that began with a jump from 10.8% to 15.2% on 5 September; an additional increase to 15.5% on 12 September; and now to 17.55% just six weeks later. The latest efficiency increase can be attributed to the addition of rubidium fluoride to the chemistry, combined with improvements to Ascent’s manufacturing process. The improvements will result in an increase in specific power in the space environment from 1900W/kg to 2100W/kg at AM0. This enables the solar energy system to provide additional power with the same flexible, resilient and lightweight footprint, says the firm. Ascent plans to further improve its CIGS technology efficiency through the incorporation of Zn(O,S), a thin film that is considered to be a most promising candidate for a cadmium-free buffer layer, as well as broader chemistry optimization. Utilizing Zn(O,S) increases efficiency and specific power as it expands interactions with light in the blue spectrum, as well as helps counter degradation through improvements after light soak. “We have now reached the minimum efficiency (17%) that many satellite companies require, a milestone achievement for our team and a critical step toward commercialization for our space product development program,” says CEO Paul Warley. “We are well positioned for adoption as one of the most flexible, light and suitable solar solution to reduce waste in space,” he reckons. Backed by 40 years of R&D, 15 years of manufacturing experience, and a comprehensive IP and patent portfolio, Ascent provides flexible thin-film solar panels for use in environments where mass, performance, reliability and resilience matter. Its PV modules have been deployed on space missions, multiple airborne vehicles, agrivoltaic installations, in industrial/commercial construction as well as a range of consumer goods. See related items:

Ascent Solar’s custom-designed CIGS PV retains 92% of original power during space flight experiment



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