Dr. Stephen R. Forrest of the University of Michigan, a research partner of GPEC, said this technology is the result of substantially reduced production costs. It is based on a patent-pending invention that reuses the same gallium arsenide wafer multiple times to produce solar cells. This multiple wafer reuse innovation, compared to conventional technology that typically allows only a very limited number of wafer reuses, is said to have the potential to reduce the cost of a typical gallium arsenide 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 said. “Using integrated solar concentrators and our adhesive-free, cold-weld bonding technology to plastic substrates, we estimate electricity could be produced as low as 45 cents per watt, compared to traditional grid parity of $1 per watt.”
“This is a historic development for GPEC,” said 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.”
Ledger said GPEC will commercialize its technology through licensing of its intellectual property, becoming part of its portfolio of more than 425 patents.
Located in Medford Lakes, N.J., GPEC has research partnerships with the University of Michigan, Princeton University, and the University of Southern California. For more information, visit www.globalphotonic.com.
Publication date: 1/14/2013