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Global Photonic Energy unveils potential grid parity GaAs solar cell

The cell which reuses gallium arsenide is 20 percent efficient and is ultra-lightweight and flexible and has a potential of $0.45 per watt
Global Photonic Energy Corporation ("GPEC"), a developer of a sustainable Organic Photovoltaic technology, has demonstrated a thin-film solar cell that could provide electricity at grid parity, or the cost of traditionally provided electricity.

Stephen R. Forrest of the University of Michigan says the breakthrough, presented at the Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society, is the result of substantially reduced production costs.

 It is based on a patent-pending invention that reuses the same GaAs wafer multiple times to produce solar cells. This unlimited wafer reuse approach to conventional "epitaxial lift off" technology typically leads to wafer damage. Hence a very limited number (1 to 2) of wafer reuses, has the potential to reduce the cost of a typical GaAs solar cell to below $1 per Watt (peak).

"This exciting development implies that ultra-high efficiency solar cells based on gallium arsenide can eventually produce electricity at or below grid parity." Forrest states. "Using integrated solar concentrators and our adhesive-free, cold-weld bonding technology to plastic substrates, we estimate electricity could be produced as low as $0.45 cents per Watt, compared to traditional grid parity of $1 per Watt."

"This is a historic development for GPEC," states Dean Ledger, President and CEO of GPEC. "In addition to its dramatically reduced cost structure, this demonstration in the University of Michigan laboratories can be used for numerous applications because these high-efficiency solar cells, deployed on roll-up plastic sheets, are ultra-lightweight and flexible. These applications include use in off-grid locations, spot powering of vehicles, mobile military equipment and satellites." Ledger says GPEC will commercialise its technology through licensing of its intellectual property, becoming part of its foundational portfolio of more than 425 patents.

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