RoseStreet Labs Demonstrates Tandem Nitride/Silicon Solar Cell

RoseStreet Labs Energy Inc. (RSLE) said that it has demonstrated the first known gallium-nitride/silicon tandem solar cell. Utilizing the same nitride material technology as solid state lighting and blue lasers, RSLE fabricated and tested a working photovoltaic cell that couples a silicon solar cell with a nitride thin-film.

This is a major milestone in RSLE’s product roadmap to achieve substantially higher solar efficiencies than standard silicon or other thin film solar cells, the company said. This hybrid device could achieve practical efficiencies of 25-30%, and RSLE is planning on production of this technology starting the Q4 of 2010.

“We are quite excited about this new Hybrid solar cell that marries low cost Nitride Thin Film with the massive infrastructure of silicon solar cells. Our target market for this Hybrid device is the high performance sector for photovoltaics which we estimate to be over 1% of the $34B solar cell global market. This high performance market is especially sensitive to applications which have constrained areas such as industrial rooftops and mobile devices,” said Bob Forcier, CEO of RSLE.

RSLE’s basic technology was originally developed at Cornell University and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The licensing agreement for the technology was originally announced in 2005. At the time, the company said that the nitride/silicon technology could lead to solar cells with more 48 percent efficiency.

In March 2008, the company announced the grand opening of its new solar cell development center in Phoenix, Arizona. This center includes a full spectrum photovoltaic (PV) pilot line and also a laboratory to study solar cell packaging and interconnection.

RoseStreet Energy is developing both thin film and multijunction high efficiency solar cells for both the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) and flat panel markets. RSLE is collaborating with FlipChip International and Sumika Electronic Materials, Inc. on the project.

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