Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQGM:ASTI), 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."