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Stion awarded $2 million by DOE SunShot initiative

The firm aims to expand its CIGSSe thin film module manufacturing in California and Mississippi
Stion, a manufacturer of high-efficiency CIGS  thin-film solar modules, has been granted an award of $2 million from the US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.

The company aims to continue pilot production and scale-up of its ultra high-efficiency thin film modules based on proprietary tandem junction technology in California and Mississippi.

Stion CIGS solar cell structure

The award is a Tier 2 grant under the Sunshot’s Incubator 7 Program and is designed to accelerate the transition to commercial production.

It is a follow-on to the Tier 1 award given to Stion in February 2011. As part of Tier 1, Stion successfully advanced its technology into commercial prototype stage and produced tandem junction prototype modules at 18.8 percent aperture efficiency, the highest for any module prototype based on thin-film technology.

“We are extremely excited to continue working with DOE to help address America’s critical need for clean, secure sources of energy”, says Chet Farris, Stion’s President & CEO. “Our progress on the tandem technology demonstrates that thin films can achieve industry-leading efficiencies on a scalable, low-cost production platform.”

Stion’s unique approach to thin film PV leverages proprietary materials and device expertise along with a robust, high-volume manufacturing process based on readily available, standardised equipment. Stion began shipments of products in March based on its single junction CIGSSe technology, and has produced commercial modules with as high as 15.6 percent aperture efficiency.

The tandem junction module would increase efficiency by enabling broader and more effective harvesting of available light using an additional thin film device. It utilises mechanically stacked top and bottom devices to eliminate the design and manufacturing challenges associated with traditional junction integration, and maintains the same glass / glass packaging design as Stion’s current commercial modules.

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