Monday, July 15, 2013

A New Solar Thin-Film Process Could Cut Cost By 40%

Cadmium telluride (CdTe) has become the second most popular solar technology after silicon. It is the only thin-film technology to surpass crystalline silicon in cheapness for a significant portion of the PV market. One drawback of CdTe is small module size, stems from the use of high temperature CdTe deposition process.

REEL Solar Inc. (RSI), San Jose, U.S.A., announced that it has produced a 1.5 square meters CdTe module, doubled than the current CdTe module measured only 0.75 square meters. RSI's developed a new process called Rapid Efficient Electroplating on Large-areas that both speeds the plating step and eliminates constraints on panel area. RSI projects a manufacturing cost of less than US$0.40 per watt in 2014, which is 1/3 cheaper than current mass-produced thin-film and silicon based modules. This would be 3 years ahead of what First Solar, the world major CdTe solar manufacturer, has predicted.

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