Thin-Film photovoltaic (TFPV) offers the potential to integrate solar electricity seamlessly into building components, devices or vehicles. Prerequisites for an economical and technical useful integration of thin-film PV are efficiencies above 10 percent and flexibility. In this context flexibility stands for the mechanical flexibility as a response of an external mechanical impact and secondly for the principal geometrical lay-out design of the photovoltaic module itself.
Currently all major industrial endeavours are concentrated on large- scale production of TFPV following the idea that low costs can only be achieved by economies of scale, disregarding the inherent advantages of TFPV.
The main objective of this project is the development of a flexible thin film solar cell based on CIS/CIGS (Copper Indium, Gallium, Selenide) semiconductor compound materials with a minimum efficiency of 12 percent reproducible under industrial conditions. The solar cell should be suitable for niche markets like mobile applications as well for device and building integration.
To achieve the high efficiencies needed for the envisaged applications the following micro and nano technological innovations will be developed:
The necessary research and development activities will be started by European SME´s and Research Organisations in early 2010 and are planned for 24 months.
Modules manufactured on the basis of the thin film solar cell should be producible at an industrial scale at prices below two Euros per Watt peak. This new system generates new market applications and lowers the total costs of using photovoltaic as a clean source of energy.
The main objective in METASOLAR is the development of flexible thin film solar cells based on CIS/CIGS with a minimum efficiency of 12 percent reproducible under industrial conditions.
The aim of the project is to obtain low weight, flexible and efficient modules suitable for niche markets like mobile applications as well as for device and building integration, etc. at lower total costs using photovoltaic as a clean source of energy.
METASOLAR is looking for the creation of a Joint Venture between Austria and Basque Country to facilitate the exploitation of the project outcome through the sharing of the generated knowledge.
METASOLAR aim is to become into a company that designs, develops, produces and sells products and services based on thin film photovoltaic and adapting itself to their future clients' applications and necessities.
Its vision is not only to sell a product but a business model and the technology developed.
METASOLAR aim is to increase the efficiency levels of TFPV modules based on CIGS by the development of:
To assure the industrial applicability of the technological novelties an in-situ monitoring process is being developed. All innovations are implemented in a pilot line and the TFPV modules produced in the pilot line will be tested and evaluated. It is expected that the envisaged innovations will lead to a significant increase of more than 20% in the TFPV module efficiencies.
METASOLAR helps to develop a competitive European PV industry that can provide major economic and environmental benefits for Europe. Europe is right now leading the way in terms of production photovoltaic modules based on rigid glass substrates or conventional silicon solar cells. On the other hand most innovations for new generations of photovoltaic cells are coming from outside Europe, particularly from the USA and from Japan.
The project helps to strengthen the position of Europe in the development of flexible Thin film photovoltaic's technology
The project is also particularly attractive for suppliers of photovoltaic, semiconductor or thin film equipment. Since many small and medium sized European companies provide excellent machinery and equipment in this area the METASOLAR project could be an impetus for providing solutions for prospective applications.
Some other competitive advantages:
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This project was chosen to be respresentated at EuroNanoForum 2011 in Budapest, Hungary.