Pacific Solar Unveils Thin-Film PV Technology

Pacific Solar has released the first technical and commercial details of its solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.

SYDNEY, Australia – May 24, 2002 [] In a paper selected for the opening plenary session of the 29th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, Dr. Paul Basore, Pacific Solar’s Deputy Research Director, outlined the dramatic progress made over the last four years in developing the company’s thin-film PV technology of crystalline silicon on glass (CSG). “We have demonstrated that our technology is right and ready for the final stages of commercialization,” said Basore. “Extensive accelerated durability testing has indicated no loss in performance of our CSG modules. We have achieved a balance between efficiency and cost that if in production today would see manufacturing costs at just US$1.95 per watt, about two-thirds those of conventional PV technology.” “We have achieved a world first and done what many thought impossible,” said Professor Martin Green, Pacific Solar’s Research Director. “Our thin-film CSG technology has shown consistent improvement since 1998 and by 2005 we expect in manufacture that our costs will be as low as US$1.25 per watt, well below the cost at which PV starts to compete with the residential price of electricity in most developed countries.” When in mass production, the thin-film CSG technology will be used extensively in Pacific Solar’s innovative rooftop PV system called SunEmpower™ in the US and Plug&Power™ in the rest of the world. This appliance approach to grid-connected rooftop PV currently uses significantly higher cost conventional PV panels coupled with Pacific Solar’s module inverters and modular mounting systems to deliver an appliance that makes electricity instead of using electricity. “Before this decade is out I expect to see CSG factories around the world producing our rooftop PV system at a cost that will make it the first choice for electricity production,” said David Hogg, Pacific Solar’s Managing Director. “Our biggest challenge will then be meeting the global demand for what is a truly sustainable, non-polluting way of making electricity for the betterment of all. Our vision “to have developed solar cells seen across the rooftops of the world” is now closer than ever to fulfillment.”
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