Flexible solar film

DayStar Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of proprietary high performance, silicon-free solar cells on specialty metal foils, has unveiled TerraFoil, a product for use in traditional flat-plate photovoltaic (PV) modules.

The product is the second addition in the Company’s portfolio of planned Photovoltaic Foil offerings and complements the high specific power LightFoil product it introduced in March.

Targeted for use by module manufacture companies, TerraFoil is an alternative to wafer silicon solar cells.

The TerraFoil product itself consists of a Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) solar cell deposited on thin stainless steel foil with electrical performance characteristics comparable to silicon-based products, but without the breakage issues of fragile wafers.

Although the Company has previously achieved near 17% efficiency in a laboratory setting, DayStar is targeting TerraFoil to be manufactured at 10-14% efficiency, depending on intended applications and cost requirements.

The product will be available in 100mm -150mm square sizes, similar to the majority of the silicon cells produced today, and can be assembled into conventional flat-plate PV modules with the automated machinery used commonly by Modco’s.

A range of alternative cell sizes and shapes will be available for the emerging consumer product markets.

The company’s earlier product, LightFoil, consists of high efficiency CIGS solar cells deposited on thin titanium foil. Manufacturing development of LightFoil based on the laboratory benchmark is currently underway with a specific power target that will exceed 1000 W/kg. The company says it has achieved a specific power level of 1440 W/kg (15.2% AM0 efficiency) in the laboratory, which is approximately 50% more energy dense and 60% lighter than all known thin film alternatives.