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World record solar cells

Sunovia Energy and partner EPIR Technologies have announced that they have fabricated single-junction and twojunction cadmium telluride (CdTe) based solar cells that have far surpassed the longstanding world record open circuit voltage (Voc) for thin film CdTe solar cells.
The Partners’ single-junction and two-junction devices exceeded the highest Voc values ever reported publicly by research institutions on thin film CdTe solar cells (including NREL and others) by over 45%.



The results reported by the partners will enable the companies to create solar cells with much higher efficiencies than other CdTe-based solar cell technologies. Open circuit voltage has traditionally been the most difficult performance metric to optimize in CdTe solar cells and the Partners’ CdTebased (also known as II-VI materials) solar cells achieved open circuit voltages of 1.34 V and 1.75 V in the single-junction and twojunction configurations, respectively. The 1.34 V value in the single-junction configuration is more than 95% of the theoretical upper limit for the II-VI alloy used by the Partners.



In contrast, the highest reported Voc for a CdTe solar cell is 0.91 V, representing about 76% of the theoretical maximum for CdTe. By fabricating II-VI solar cells with open circuit voltages close to the theoretical upper limit for the materials utilized, the Partners have developed high efficiency CdTe-based solar cells, which will accelerate the push of clean solargenerated electricity towards grid parity.



The Partners recently announced the expansion of their pilot production facilities, and are working to complete the initial 100 MW of manufacturing capacity. Their proprietary cell manufacturing process requires substantially less space than competing solar technologies, and is scalable at a fraction of the previous cost.



According to Dr. Michael Carmody, Senior Director for Development of Photovoltaic Materials at EPIR Technologies, “These are by far the highest Voc measurements ever exhibited by a CdTe-based solar cell. There is no data in the literature that comes close to what we have achieved, and we believe that our two-junction device also represents the first ever high efficiency monolithic, twojunction solar cell using CdTe or any other IIVI material.”



Dr. Siva Sivananthan, founder and CEO of EPIR Technologies says, “Over the past 2 years, EPIR and Sunovia have collectively grown from 25 to almost 70 employees and will add many more manufacturing jobs as we commercialize this technology. These breakthroughs are a tremendous step forward for our national security and energy independence goals. I am tremendously proud of the team at EPIR, and am pleased to be partnered with such an outstanding group of professionals at Sunovia.”



Carl Smith, founder and CEO of Sunovia Energy Technologies added, “In one of the most difficult economic climates in history, we have remained intently focused on our goals, and together we have grown rapidly. This new solar technology that Dr. Sivananthan’s team has invented has farreaching benefits that will not only positively impact national security, energy and our environment, but will also bring manufacturing jobs back to the States.”
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