Global Photonic creates solar cell potentially reaching grid parity
Dec 10, 2012 - US organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology developer Global Photonic Energy Corp (GPEC) said Friday it had demonstrated a thin-film Gallium Arsenide solar cell that could potentially generate electricity at grid parity.
The company's research partner, the University of Michigan, has produced a 20% efficient, ultra-lightweight and flexible solar cell, according to the announcement. Stephen Forrest of the university said the development suggested that Gallium Arsenide-based solar cells could eventually produce power at or below grid parity. It is estimated that electricity could be generated at a price per watt as low as USD 0.45 (EUR 0.35), compared to traditional grid parity of USD 1/watt, Forrest added.
The achievement is the result of significantly reduced production costs, based on a patent-pending technology that reuses the same Gallium Arsenide wafer a number of times to produce solar cells, Forrest said.
The solar cells demonstrated at the university's laboratories can be used for many applications, including off-grid locations, spot powering of vehicles, mobile military equipment and satellites, as the cells, deployed on roll-up plastic sheets, are ultra-lightweight and flexible, GPEC president and chief executive Dean Ledger said.
Ledger also said that the company would commercialise its technology through licensing of its intellectual property.