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HelioVolt And NREL To Continue Advancement Of CIGS

HelioVolt and US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are collaborating to find ways of manufacturing the lowest cost thin-film CIGS photovoltaics.

HelioVolt is extending the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) for research carried out at NREL's facilities to jointly develop the fastest and most efficient way to manufacture low-cost thin-film CIGS photovoltaics.

Both organizations have received many awards, including the 2008 R&D 100 Editor’s Choice “Most Revolutionary Technology" Award. They were honored for their work in liquid deposition Hybrid CIGS, for their significant impact on the solar market as well as in the field of nanotechnology.

"HelioVolt is deeply committed to our collaborative efforts with NREL. We continue to invest in the relationship because of the tremendous value our teams have jointly contributed to our technology evolution roadmap. CIGS modules are entering a very exciting commercial phase in the solar industry.

We believe that high conversion efficiencies - above 15% on a full size monolithically interconnected module rather than cell level - require developing innovative methods for producing nanoscale building blocks and synthesizing them into device-quality CIGS thin-film material. Our work with NREL provides us a sound foundation for realizing these goals," said BJ Stanbery, HelioVolt’s founder and Chairman.

Many steps in conventional thin-film production require vacuum deposition, a process by which the thin-film material is coated onto the substrate in a very low-pressure vacuum chamber. Future non-vacuum deposition processes can be less capital intensive, but depositing CIGS films on large areas with the precision necessary to achieve both high performance and low manufacturing costs is difficult without the advantages of the FASST (TM) process.

HelioVolt and NREL’s efforts in developing non-vacuum atmospheric pressure deposition processes will offer a combination of lower cost, process simplicity, and reduced manufacturing time, while still delivering high-quality CIGS.

HelioVolt Corporation, based in Austin, Texas, is a manufacturer of the next generation of thin-film photovoltaic products. The company's low-cost, rapid production methods for CIGS synthesis are protected by a broad patent portfolio. To date, HelioVolt has raised over $140M in venture financing to fund the company's move to volume production and international expansion.

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