No stranger to developing sustainable organic photovoltaic (OPV) technologies, Global Photonic Energy Corp. (GPEC), has created a thin-film solar cell that has the ability to provide electricity at grid parity or the cost of traditionally provided electricity.
This breakthrough is the direct result of drastically reduced production costs and is based on a method that reuses a Gallium Arsenide wafer multiple times in order to produce solar cells. The traditional method uses a conventional epitaxial lift off technology that ultimately causes wafer damage after only one or two uses. The new approach can reduce the cost of a Gallium Arsenide solar cell to under $1 per watt.
Scientists are particularly excited by this development since it means solar cells can be ultra-highly efficient and may, one day, produce electricity below grid parity, in fact electricity may one day be produced for as little as $.45 cents per watt.
GPEC is excited by the discovery. With this new discovery, the cost structure is dramatically reduced and can be used in numerous applications. The high efficiency, light weight and flexible solar cells are deployed on roll up plastic sheets. GPEC anticipates their use in spot powering vehicles, mobile military equipment and satellites, and off-grid locations. The company has big plans and want to license its intellectual property in order to commercialize the technology. To date, GPEC has a total of 425 patents.
Leigh is a Senior Technical Writer at Ambit Energy in Dallas, Texas. Prior to her work in the energy sector, Leigh spent years specializing in life saving engineering projects for the US Department of Defense. In her spare time, Leigh pursues her passions of environmental awareness, dog rescue, and defending the place of art, literature, and music in a world that values science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.