Thin Film Takes Solar Efficiency Crown

German researchers have broken the record for thin-film PV efficiency, achieving 20.8%. This milestone is especially important because it is the first time thin-film has exceeded the efficiency of standard multicrystalline silicon solar, which currently reaches 20.4% for peak performance. One of the reasons silicon-based PV still dominates the market is its greater ability to convert sunlight into electricity. When thin-film PV first became viable, […] Read more

Solar Acronyms 101

“I applied for an ITC rather than a PTC and my neighbor has a PPA, but we both get SRECs that our utility can purchase to fulfill the state’s RPS…” What did you just say? For those who are new to the world of clean energy, the plethora of acronyms that are thrown around when discussing […] Read more

IBM Wants More Solar & Wind in the Smart Grid

Computing giant IBM has developed an advanced power and weather modeling technology that will increase the reliability of renewable energy resources. The IBM solution combines weather prediction and analytics to accurately forecast the availability of wind power and solar energy. This will help utilities integrate more renewable energy into the power grid. The solution, named […] Read more

Will Nanosolar Survive?

Earlier this year Nanosolar went through a round of layoffs. Our sources claimed 75 percent of the staff was let go with 60 days’ pay. Here’s a California WARN notice showing all 170 employees to be lost on April 15. We spoke with two sources close to the company under conditions of anonymity. There are […] Read more

Dow Chemical Gobbles Up NuvoSun

NuvoSun, a thin-film solar firm founded by former MiaSolé CEO Dave Pearce, was just acquired by Dow Chemical. Dow had invested in the firm in early 2010. According to sources close to the deal, NuvoSun is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical. Dow has not yet responded to our inquiries. Presumably, the NuvoSun […] Read more

Rumor: More Layoffs at Nanosolar?

The slashing continues at CIGS solar PV aspirant Nanosolar. Last week Nanosolar went through a round of layoffs, according to sources and verified with a company spokesperson. The spokesperson would not reveal the magnitude of the staff cuts. Sources claimed 75 percent of the staff was let go. The spokesperson said that Nanosolar was “in […] Read more

Empa Scientists Acheive 20.4% Flexible CIGS Efficiency

A record breaking thin film solar cell has been developed by scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. A team of researchers led by Ayodhya N. Tiwari at the institute’s Laboratory for Thin Film and Photovoltaics have achieved 20.4 percent energy conversion efficiency for their C.I.G.S. solar cells on flexible […] Read more

Peel and Stick Solar

A new ‘transfer’ style application process allows thin, flexible solar panels to be applied to virtually any surface from business cards to roofs to windowpanes. For all their promise, solar cells have frustrated scientists in one crucial regard – most are rigid, reports Stanford University’s Glen Martin. They must be deployed in stiff and often […] Read more

Will Future Cell Phones Save Flexible Solar?

Copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, also known as CIGS solar cells are enabling a new suite of flexible applications from solar roof tiles to consumer electronics such as Apple and Samsung smartphones. CIGS have the competitive advantage that they can be deposited on flexible substrates as opposed to conventional solar panels, which enables a variety of niche products. A […] Read more

Stion Grabs $25M to Boost Production

Just in time for the holidays, Stion Corp. has announced its latest, $25 million round of financing to allow the start-up photovoltaic maker to move forward with its plans to start commercial manufacturing of its next generation photovoltaics. The company is working to bring it’s unique, tandem copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) module thin-film photovoltaic […] Read more

Ascent Solar Wins Phase 2 Air Force Award

The Air Force recently awarded Colorado-based Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. with a Phase 2 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) award to help develop its next generation of flexible thin-film copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaic devices. Under the award the company is developing new module designs that the Air Force will test. Ascent’s technology already passed the first […] Read more

What Went Wrong at Suntech Power?

Suntech Power was the biggest solar panel supplier in 2011 shipping almost 2000 MW of solar modules to various countries around the globe. Suntech, which is also one of the oldest Chinese solar companies has been the biggest solar panel manufacturer in China in the recent past despite losing market share to other Chinese companies […] Read more

Ascent Solar Lands Pilot Program at Foxconn

Ascent Solar, a thin-film manufacturer based in Thornton, Colo., has penned an agreement to provide solar panels to major electronics manufacturer Foxconn in China. The agreement is for a small pilot project, said Ascent president and CEO Victor Lee. Foxconn’s name will be printed in Ascent Solar’s CIGS thin-film solar photovoltaic panels across its canvas […] Read more

In Focus: Folding Solar Panels

Are lightweight and portable devices, used for charging rechargeable batteries, cell phones, GPS, computers, satellite phones, 12 Volt car battery, portable USB power packs and laptops. The solar panels are generally less than 5 pounds and are less than 2 inches thick when folded. They are designed to use for outdoor purposes. These are foldable […] Read more